Personally, I’m not a big fan of “American Idol” type contests, but I must admit that they have identified some very talented singers, especially LaShell Griffin. LaShell was the winner of Oprah’s Pop Star Challenge, and if this is a way for a 36 year-old mother of five to get the chance to share her talent with the world, I say, “Full speed ahead, Oprah! Find more like LaShell!”
Not only is LaShell a fantastic singer, a captivating performer, and a genuinely good person, she has what may be the best gospel performance on vinyl this year: “Free.” LaShell wraps her voluptuous voice around this professionally-crafted composition, and the combination will appeal to gospel music and contemporary Christian music lovers, as well to those who enjoy straight-ahead pop music. It has made my list of top 10 gospel tracks in 2004, and I hope it will make others’ best-of lists as well. “Free” and LaShell are both going places!