Breaking News

Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul and Gospel Singer

By Bob Marovich Aretha Franklin, the multi-GRAMMY Award-winning “Queen of Soul,” went on home to be with the Lord today at age 76 after a struggle with pancreatic cancer. Born in Memphis but a longtime Detroit resident, Franklin was an accomplished gospel vocalist before and during her professional music career. In her early teens, she delighted the congregation of her father Reverend C.L. Franklin’s New Bethel Baptist Church with solo renditions of “Never Grow Old,” “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood,” and other gospel songs and hymns. Listeners heard a huge, expressive voice well ...

Read More »

GMA Announces Nominees for 49th Annual GMA Dove Awards, October 16 in Nashville

THE 49TH ANNUAL GMA DOVE AWARDS NOMINEES ANNOUNCED TODAY WITH TAUREN WELLS LEADING ARTIST NOMINATIONS WITH SEVEN AND ZACH WILLIAMS WITH SIX CORY ASBURY, TASHA COBBS LEONARD AND TOBYMAC HONORED WITH FIVE NODS EACH Awards to be held live Tuesday, October 16, at Lipscomb University and will air on TBN on Sunday, October 21 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 8, 2018) – The Gospel Music Association (GMA) announced today the nominees for the 49th Annual GMA Dove Awards, revealed exclusively on Facebook Live with the help of Travis Greene and Francesca Battistelli. The awards show will take place on Tuesday, October 16, ...

Read More »

RIP: Lavelle Lacy, Gospel Musician and Songwriter

JGM learned the sad news that Chicagoan and longtime gospel musician Lavelle Lacy has gone from labor to reward. The number of gospel artists he accompanied is numerous, and includes Inez Andrews, Rev. Maceo Woods and the Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir, Rev. Ernest Franklin, and the Starlight St. James Choir.  Lacy was part of a coterie of top-notch gospel musicians in Chicago who give your music special oomph. He also wrote songs for the likes of the Chicago Mass Choir, Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Warriors, and Ricky Dillard and New G. Lacy was a featured keyboardist on the 2016 release of Lift Me Up: ...

Read More »

RIP: Stan Lewis, Record Company Owner

Stanley “Stan” Lewis, owner of Jewel Records, passed away July 14, 2018, at the age of 91. In 1948, he and his wife Pauline opened Stan’s Record Shop in Shreveport, Louisiana. One of their customers was a young Elvis Presley. From there, the Lewis’s built their enterprise into a mail order company, a distributor, and founded Jewel, Paula, and Ronn labels. Their labels featured a potpourri of American roots music, including blues, R&B, country, gospel, rock, and soul. More on Lewis’s life and many contributions to the record industry can be found in the obituary here: Stan Lewis. We at JGM ...

Read More »

Malcolm Williams & Great Faith, Jonathan C. Wimbush, Todd Curry Among Top Honorees at 10th Rhythm of Gospel Awards

By Bob Marovich Chicago’s Malcolm Williams & Great Faith walked off with no less than four honors, including Contemporary Choir of the Year and the coveted Rhythm of Gospel CD of the Year, during the 10th annual Rhythm of Gospel Awards this past week. Held in “Yeah That Greenville,” South Carolina, from June 20 to 24, the Rhythm of Gospel Awards celebrated its tenth anniversary with music showcases, awards ceremonies, banquets, and pageants. Other top honorees at the ceremonies included the remarkable holy hip hop artist Jonathan J. Wimbush with three awards; Ms. C. Ashley Brown-Lawrence, who picked up Contemporary Song ...

Read More »

RIP: Clarence Fountain, Last Original Member of the Blind Boys of Alabama

By Bob Marovich Clarence Fountain, the longtime lead singer and an original member of the Grammy Award-winning Blind Boys of Alabama, passed away this morning. He was the last of the original members of the group that was organized in 1944. Six sightless pupils, including Clarence Fountain, left the Alabama Institute for the Negro Deaf and Blind in Talladega, Alabama, in 1945 to pursue a career as a professional gospel group. Initially known as the Happy Land Singers, the group was among the early quartets to incorporate hard-singing gospel techniques into their rhythmic harmonizing. The bio from the National Endowment of ...

Read More »

Pastor C. James Starks, Patriarch of the Starks Family, Makes His Transition

(Detroit, MI)  Members of the Gospel Music community at large offer prayers and condolences to the Starks family in the untimely passing of the family patriarch, Elder C. James Starks, on Monday, April 14. A loving and devoted husband, father, spiritual leader, and “man by example,” Pastor Starks was a mentor and inspiration to many, both young and old. “Dad was my hero,” said multiple Dove and Stellar Award-nominated composer and producer Derrick Starks. “I would not be the man or the musician I am today had it not been for his example. Over 54 years of marriage and 80 ...

Read More »

Yvonne Staples of the Staple Singers Passes Away

By Bob Marovich Bill Carpenter, co-founder of Capital Entertainment in Washington, DC, and a longtime friend of and spokesperson for the Staples Family, informed JGM of the passing of Yvonne Staples. She died at her home in Chicago today, Tuesday, April 10, at age 80. Born in Chicago on October 23, 1937, Yvonne was initially a reluctant singer. She didn’t join her family’s group until some years after its founding. While not a lead singer, Yvonne’s baritone contributed greatly to the Staples’ distinctive harmonies. She is present for the Staple Singers’ late 1950s selections on Vee Jay Records, their songs of social significance for ...

Read More »

JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise Leaves 2018 Stellar Awards with Six Trophies, Travis Greene with Four

By Bob Marovich With six awards, JJ Hairston led the pack at the Stellar Awards ceremonies in Las Vegas this past weekend (March 23-24). Singer-songwriter Travis Greene took home four honors, including Artist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. Hairston and his Youthful Praise choir took home CD of the Year for You Deserve It, while the title track won Song of the Year. The ensemble also won Choir of the Year and Contemporary Choir of the Year. Tasha Cobbs Leonard took home three Stellars, including Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year and Contemporary CD of the Year ...

Read More »

Kurt Carr Looking to Add Two Millennials to His Kurt Carr Singers

Houston, TX – Grammy Award winning recording artist Kurt Carr is looking to add two new voices to his acclaimed Kurt Carr Singers. In preparation of his forthcoming album, Bless Somebody Else, Carr is looking to bless two aspiring artists looking for an opportunity in Gospel Music by having them join his collective of singers. “It’s been said that millennials don’t go to church and have drifted from God, but I don’t believe that is true. So, I have decided to search for two exceptionally-gifted millennial singers who have a serious desire to worship God in song,” said Carr. The ...

Read More »