By Bob Marovich
This year’s Stellar Awards Song of the Year went to “You Deserve It.”
Written by David Bloom and co-authored by Bishop Cortez Vaughn, Demond Reed, and JJ Hairston, the song also received a Grammy nomination for Best Gospel Performance/Song. Bloom explained to the Journal of Gospel Music how the song was birthed.
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I was first exposed to gospel music as a child. My parents were pastors, so as soon as I was born and we left the hospital, we went straight to church! My mom was a musician and a praise and worship singer. My brother was also a musician and singer and writer, so I was always watching them.
I wrote my first song, “The Well,” at age twelve. I tried to veer off to write pop and R&B, but my greatest strength is writing gospel songs. A few, such as “Beautiful” and “Yahweh,” were very popular in my community of Fayetteville, North Carolina. But “You Deserve It” was the one that really took off.
I didn’t necessarily write “You Deserve It” for an artist to record or for a particular placement in the gospel music industry. It came during a low moment in my life. When I’m in my low moments, I tend to go to the piano to pray and play. “You Deserve It” came out of that low, spontaneous moment of prayer. It took about five minutes to write.
I wrote it on a Friday night in December 2013 and introduced it to my praise team at Kingdom Impact Global Ministries in Fayetteville that Saturday morning. They liked it and we sang it the following Sunday. The church really loved it, too, and it became my “every Sunday” song.
Bishop Cortez Vaughn heard the song when he came to my church for a conference. He really liked it and asked if he could take it back to Kansas with him. Then JJ Hairston heard the song at a concert Bishop Cortez was throwing.
Because the song is so easy, Bishop Cortez and Demond Reed came up with their own versions as they took it to different cities. JJ added his own flair to it and it became what it is today.
A few months before the recording of the song, JJ and I talked about him using it for his album. When he sent the final version to me, I cried. It was like a dream come true. All my life, I’ve wanted to be a writer. I never wanted to be an artist or a singer. I just wanted to write songs that the world could respond to, and respond to God to.
When JJ called to tell me about the Grammy nomination, I wanted to pass out! I was at a loss for words. It seemed like it was all happening overnight. I believe I was prepared all my life for these moments, but when the moments came, it seemed like it was happening so fast.
When the Stellar Awards announced that “You Deserve It” won Song of the Year, my knees got weak. I had this flashback of seeing the entire journey. I realized that God takes us through moments for an even greater moment. I felt like that was my greater moment. That was what the pain, everything that I went through, was all about.
I knew “You Deserve It” was a great song just from the popularity in my community, but I never imagined it would be this big—being number one on the Billboard charts for as long as it had been, 54 million views on YouTube, the awards, being sung in different languages and different countries. It’s amazing!
One lady told me her father was on his sick bed with cancer. One of the songs she would play for him every day was “You Deserve It.” And every day, she said, it seemed he would get better, and now I do believe that he’s cancer free.