DeNetria “Aretha” Champ — gospel’s newest “it” girl?

On its list of “Best Decisions of 2004,” Professor James Roberson’s JDI Records must have included at the top its release of DeNetria “Aretha” Champ’s first solo CD: “I Really Love You.”

Having appeared as a guest on a number of JDI projects, including Chicago’s Greater Walters (“He Can Do Anything”) and with Norman Hutchins (“Jesus Whoop”), DeNetria is head and shoulders JDI’s finest asset.

It’s not hard to understand why DeNetria earned the nickname “Aretha;” her high soprano passages sound almost eerily like the late Rev. C.L. Franklin’s famous daughter. At the same time, she has a style and freshness all her own, employing the Aretha-esque shouts only for special emphasis. She’s the kind of person who could sing “Happy Birthday” and make it a hit.

The CD, “I Really Love You” includes a duet with Vanessa Bell Armstrong (“Go On Through It!”) and “DeNetria’s Church Medley,” which showcases her ability to blend old school gospel with an up-to-the-minute sound.

Hailing from Los Angeles, DeNetria has already appeared on television, film, and now on her own CD. Look out gospel music: your new “it” girl is here!

About Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.

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