Juan Luis Guerra Inks One-Off Deal

Vene to release new Christian album.

In a one-off deal, bachata star Juan Luis Guerra will release a Christian album on Vene Music on Aug. 31.

Guerra remains signed to indie label Karen Records, but the worldwide rights of his new album, "Para Tí," belong to Vene, the independent label arm of entertainment company Venevision Internacional. Guerra signed the deal directly with Vene president Luis Villanueva.

The move marks the first solo-artist release from Vene, a year-old label that has previously put out compilations and concept albums.

Despite the Christian content of "Para Tí," it will be marketed as a secular album, according to Vene marketing director Fidel Hernández.

"We don't want to go by the book," says Hernández, who was previously managing director of Karen Records. He cites the path set by Christian star Marcos Witt, whose latest album was successfully marketed by Sony to secular accounts.

Guerra is credited with popularizing the Dominican Republic's traditional bachata music with a wave of successful releases, including "Bachata Rosa," for which he won a 1991 Grammy Award for best tropical album.