Tag Archives: Kirk Franklin

Christon Gray Wants to Clear the Air with “Interim” Album

By Bob Marovich After the release of his Billboard-charting School of Roses in 2014, Christon Gray had no idea what was coming. “I didn’t know that I would be going through a separation and then a divorce,” Gray told the Journal of Gospel Music. “I didn’t know that I would be moving. I didn’t know that I’d be in a new relationship. I didn’t know that I’d be leaving a record label. All of that happened and more.” On his latest release, Clear the Heir (Fo Yo Soul Recordings / RCA Inspiration), Gray uses lyric poetry and music to describe ...

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Jonathan Nelson Wants Listeners to be “Inspired, Encouraged, and Empowered” by New Album

By Bob Marovich In 1776, the Declaration of Independence freed American people from the oppression of the Royal Crown. In 2018, Jonathan Nelson’s seventh studio album, Declarations, is intended to free all people for salvation under the Holy Crown. The Stellar Award-winning singer and songwriter releases Declarations (Entertainment One) nationwide and through digital outlets today, Friday, September 14. “I want the album to leave listeners inspired, encouraged, and empowered,” Nelson told the Journal of Gospel Music. “If they sing these songs of themselves, they can see the results of what they say. If they say ‘I’m healed,’ they can be free ...

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33rd Stellar Gospel Music Awards in Las Vegas Saturday, March 24

(CHICAGO) – Feb. 27, 2018 – Central City Productions announces a dazzling line-up of performers for the 2018 Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, including the reunion of contemporary gospel music’s favorite sister act, Mary Mary (Erica Campbell and Tina Campbell), and the Stellar Award’s debut of rapper, actor, and television personality Snoop Dogg, performing songs from his new gospel album “Songs of Love” at this year’s show. Celebrated as a “transcendent night of gospel music,” the 33rd Annual Stellar Awards promises to surpass its ‘stellar’ reputation, featuring performances by the genre’s hottest acts. Performers scheduled to appear include: Tasha Cobbs ...

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Anthony Brown & group therapy: [a long way from sunday]

Anthony Brown & group therAPy [a long way from sunday] Tyscot Records (release date: July 28, 2017) www.tyscot.com By Bob Marovich [a long way from Sunday] is Anthony Brown & group therAPy’s third album for Tyscot Records and the follow-up to 2015’s Everyday Jesus, which earned the group no less than ten Stellar Awards in 2016, including Song of the Year for “Worth.” The album may be third in chronological order, but it is number one in terms of quality and consistency of message. Brown opens with a brief narration that sets the album’s tone. He says he was “raised ...

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Cheryl Fortune – Simply Cheryl

Cheryl Fortune Simply Cheryl LuDawn Music / Tyscot Records (release date: October 13, 2017) www.tyscot.com By Bob Marovich On a selection from her album Simply Cheryl, gospel singer-songwriter Cheryl Fortune sings: “You don’t know the half of it, and I just can’t tell it all.” Cheryl, a background vocalist for Kirk Franklin and the wife of gospel artist James Fortune until their marriage dissolved over his domestic abuse, may not tell it all but we get the drift. The album’s coded references to her recent personal history are exactly what we would have expected from this, her debut solo album.  Anything else would have ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: July 17, 2017

“Grace” Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago feat. Le’Andria Johnson Inspired People, LLC (release date: July 7, 2017) Available from digital media outlets By Bob Marovich Pastor Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago’s “Grace” feels like a quicker-tempo version of Kirk Franklin’s “I Smile” with its plinky piano, chirpy melody, finger-popping rhythm, and unison singing. The choir declares that they don’t look like what they’ve been through, and it’s because of God’s favor. God has brought them from a mighty long way. They’re blessed by the best. Then Le’Andria Johnson jumps in and drops a healthy helping of righteous southern soul on ...

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RCA Inspiration, Provident Music Group Announce Relaunch of Verity Records

Nashville, TN – July 5, 2017 – RCA Inspiration and Provident Music Group celebrate the relaunch of Verity Records, reviving the iconic label that has been a modern standard-bearer in Gospel for almost two decades! Reintroducing Verity, kicked off by the newly-launched single “Close” from Gospel icon Marvin Sapp, excitement is buzzing high among artists, the industry, and fans about the return of the beloved brand. Verity Records will be operated under Provident Music Group. Continuing to shine a spotlight on the timeless inspirational music that’s impacted countless millions worldwide, Verity is home to a vast catalog that shaped a ...

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Travis Greene: A Voice for a New Generation

By Bob Marovich Gospel singer, musician, and songwriter Travis Greene earned so many Stellar Awards at this year’s ceremonies in Las Vegas that he could have used a shopping cart to carry them home. Add a recent win at the Billboard Music Awards for his song, “Made a Way,” and there’s no doubt the Greene home now needs a bigger trophy case. But has this newfound success changed his life, the Journal of Gospel Music asked Greene in a telephone interview earlier this month. “What part?” he laughs. “The only real change is a busier schedule, but I’ve always been ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: March 20, 2017

“Continuous Praise (Over and Over)” Zion’s Joy! Damascus Road Recording (release date: January 14, 2017) www.zionsjoy.com On “Continuous Praise (Over and Over),” Zion’s Joy!, an eleven-member multicultural gospel group from Indianapolis, evokes Kirk Franklin’s ensembles with its staccato vocals, musical swagger, ear candy hooks, and professional production. It’s a praise song with the zest to lift congregants up out of the pews and into the aisles, especially during the vamp, when the singers move into Friends of Distinction mode and begin singing contrapuntal motives. A workout mix, released in February, accentuates the electronica to optimize aerobic effort. Founded in 2008 ...

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Franklin, Scott Among Winners at 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards

Here’s the rundown on Gospel Music / Christian Contemporary Music winners this weekend at the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards: Best Gospel Performance/Song: “God Provides” – Tamela Mann (Kirk Franklin, songwriter) Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song: “Thy Will” – Hilary Scott & the Scott Family (Bernie Herms, Hillary Scott, and Emily Weisband, songwriters) Best Gospel Album: Losing My Religion – Kirk Franklin Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: Love Remains – Hilary Scott & the Scott Family Best Roots Gospel Album: Hymns – Joey + Rory Additionally, Pastor Shirley Caesar was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award, and Tamela Mann and Kirk Franklin ...

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