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Urban Gospel, Page 2

Erica Campbell | Help

Erica Campbell - Help
Erica Campbell | Help
Entertainment One
by Peggy Oliver
When fans catch wind a member of their beloved duet or group recording a solo project, their natural tendency is to rev up the rumor mill about a potential breakup. But the realities between the industry demands and the demands weighing upon one’s personal lives, even within a time-tested act, are constantly taken into account. Now facing this scenario are the sister duo of Mary Mary, Tina and Erica Atkins-Campbell.

James Fortune & FIYA | Live Through It

James Fortune  & FIYA - Live Through It
James Fortune & F.I.Y.A. | Live Through It
Light Records
By Peggy Oliver
While music evangelists are driven by proudly proclaiming God’s goodness and dropping testimonials of being delivered through storms, they also face life’s brutal realities racked with occasional questioning of faith and doubting their relationship with God. Never minimizing the importance of praise and worship, it is sometimes those definitive make or break character development moments that hits the mark with those who avoid weekly church services.

Various Artists | BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music 2013

BMI Trailblazers Live
Various Artists | BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music 2013
By Peggy Oliver
In the past thirteen years, BMI has honored those whose contributions to the gospel industry raised the artistic and spiritual bar for generations to come. The class of 2013 of the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music spotlights the works of Tramaine Hawkins, Edwin Hawkins and Kurt Carr with interpretations by their many peers. For the first time in the BMI Trailblazers’ history, the star and soon to be star-studded 14th Annual festivities are being released to the public.

Tasha Cobbs | Grace

Tasha Cobbs - Grace
Tasha Cobbs | Grace
EMI Gospel
By Peggy Oliver
When someone declares, “you were born to sing,” sometimes those compliments would ring true or it might be a bunch of hype. Unquestionably, Tasha Cobbs was born to sing. But Cobbs was born to accomplish even bigger things than just her obvious vocal skills. That critical gift is leading the masses into the presence of God that many gospel fans and industry cohorts have gravitated to.

Jonathan Butler | Grace and Mercy

Jonathan Butler - Grace and Mercy
Grace and Mercy
Jonathan Butler
by Darnell Meyers-Johnson
Jonathan Butler signed his first recording contract at twelve years old.  By the time he was fifteen, he was already an established recording artist in his native South Africa.  By his own admission, he was also a drug addict whose soul was seeking salvation.  Guidance would come through a friendship with a fan who introduced him to the Christian faith.  That fan would later become his brother in law.

Anita Wilson | Worship Soul

Anita Wilsonm - Worship Soul
Anita Wilson | Worship Soul
(EMI Gospel)
By Peggy Oliver
On most live gospel recordings, it is customary for the church’s pastor or gospel music luminary to introduce the artist to the congregation.  During the introduction for Worship Soul by Anita Wilson, her mentor Donald Lawrence pays this worship leader and singer/songwriter a significant compliment: “With a style all her own and a tone all her own.” 

J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise | After This

J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise - After This
J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise
After This
By Peggy Oliver
When I first stepped foot in church during the early sixties, my attention focused on the precious, riveting harmonies of the choir. It did not matter if the choir embodied a hymn, spiritual or the Psalms, this part of the weekly church service was my absolute favorite moment. As I started taking my relationship with Christ more seriously, choir ministries took on a slightly different meaning, equivocating more than just some pretty voices that have sheer technical skill.

Shirley Murdock | Live: The Journey

Shirley Murdock | Live: The Journey
By Peggy Oliver
There are plenty of saints – to sinners – to saint’s stories within the gospel music industry. It is quite commonplace for artists to maturate their voices in the church before taking the gifts to the secular side for such a season; before they recall the strong foundation they received thru solid Christian teaching. Shirley Murdock was raised on gospel in her hometown of Toledo, Ohio but her claim to fame was as part of the R&B/futuristic funk outfit Roger Troutman & Zapp.

John Jay | The Secret to Life

John Jay - The Secret To Life
John Jay |The Secret to Life
By Peggy Oliver
John Jay may not be a household name in the gospel industry — yet. However, by no means, does it diminish the fact that his talents have been solidified through his body of work and in a variety of musical settings. From appearances at Jazz Aspen Snowmass to the Holy Hip Hop Awards, Jay’s gospel journey can certainly not be put in any kind of box.