Tag Archives: Kirk Franklin

Christian Music’s Place In Mainstream Entertainment

By Nicole McCraySpecial Feature – Journal of Gospel Musicwww.nicolemccray.com Christian music has been chiefly regarded as hymns. However, it has evolved into a multitude of genres, breaking the barrier between what people think of as “typical church music” and branching out into other styles, all of which remain grounded in worship. Independent artists are emerging in Christian music, and with the majority of Americans today identifying as Christian, religion makes up a massive chunk of popular culture. In addition, evangelicals are influencing others in the ways of Jesus. Christian bands and artists are creating hit songs, bridging gaps between secular and ...

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Travis Greene – Oil & Water

Travis Greene Oil & Water RCA Inspiration (release date: August 20, 2021) www.rcainspiration.com By Robert M. Marovich Listening to Travis Greene’s Oil & Water reminds me of a quote ascribed to hymnist John Newton: “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.” On multi-Grammy Award nominee Greene’s new studio album, and particularly on its title track (with Anthony Hamilton), ...

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Kirk Franklin Wins at 2021 BET Awards

Nashville, TN (June 28, 2021) – RCA Inspiration celebrated the 2021 BET Awards with a powerful night for Gospel, as two #1 hits from Kirk Franklin (Fo Yo Soul/RCA) were lauded at this year’s awards. The sixteen-time GRAMMY®-winning artist, songwriter and producer was honored with the Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award for the second consecutive year, winning for his #1 Gospel hit single “Strong God” (from his hit album LONG LIVE LOVE). Franklin also kicked off the night’s broadcast in an exuberant opening performance with Lil Baby, showcasing their #1 Gospel hit “We Win” (featured from the soundtrack for ...

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Kirk Franklin and Sony Music Entertainment Debut New Podcast Series, “Good Words with Kirk Franklin”

New York – February 9, 2021 – Sixteen-time GRAMMY-winning artist, songwriter and producer Kirk Franklin and Sony Music Entertainment today announced the launch of “Good Words with Kirk Franklin,” a new podcast series that welcomes people from every cross section of life who seek inspiration and empowerment. Through intimate conversations exploring faith, redemption, and the realities of today’s world, Franklin invites listeners into shared moments with some of the biggest names across entertainment, beginning with Pharrell Williams. The first episode is available now. In a deeply personal and introspective conversation that explores shared common experiences, Franklin provides listeners with fascinating ...

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How Gospel Music Influenced Mainstream Hits

By Cecille Richman, Guest Contributor While many might say that gospel music is incredibly niche, the opposite is actually true. Formed out of a mixture of African American folk music and religious hymns, it’s a soulful genre that has inspired countless others. Genres now considered foundational to American popular music, including soul, blues, and R&B, can all trace their history back to gospel. The recent launch of Legacy Music Group is proof of gospel music’s incredible influence and popularity. Hundreds of popular artists have made use of gospel music or gospel musical influences in their discographies. In a ZenBusiness guide ...

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Chosen Vessel – Marvin Sapp

Marvin Sapp Chosen Vessel RCA Inspiration / Verity (release date: October 9, 2020) www.rcainspiration.com By Bob Marovich Every successive Marvin Sapp solo album release after 2007’s Gold-certified Thirsty, with its blockbuster hit, “Never Would Have Made It,” has assumed something of Major Event status. Here I Am (2010), with its hit “The Best In Me;” I Win (2012); You Shall Live (2015); and Close (2017) received widespread attention and each ultimately hit number one. So no pressure on Chosen Vessel, Sapp’s twelfth solo release, dropped last Friday. Produced by Aaron Lindsey and Myron Butler, Chosen Vessel was recorded at Sapp’s ...

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Chicagoan Lonnie Norwood Jr. Teaches “The Gospel Essentials” to Youth Nationwide

By Bob Marovich Earlier this year, the Chicago Children’s Choir was busy coordinating some 5,000 youth meeting in various in-school and after-school ensembles throughout the region. The sound of song was in the air everywhere. Then COVID-19 happened. Choirs became potential virus spreaders. Everything moved to virtual learning. CCC launched the online Arts Enrichment Sessions to keep its youth engaged during the pandemic and to impact young people ages 8 to 18 nationwide. “The Gospel Essentials” is among fourteen different arts enrichment courses from which students can choose. Taught by Chicago musician and educator Lonnie Norwood Jr., “The Gospel Essentials” ...

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PJ Morton: Gospel According to PJ

PJ Morton Gospel According to PJ Morton Inspiration / Tyscot (digital release date: August 14, 2020; physical release date: November 27, 2020) www.tyscot.com By Bob Marovich Much is being made about Gospel According to PJ being PJ Morton’s return to gospel. But like the Reverend C. L. Franklin said of his GRAMMY-winning daughter Aretha, Bishop Paul S. Morton can say of his GRAMMY-winning son: he never really left the church. That’s because most of Gospel According to PJ is a re-introduction, in new arrangements, of sacred songs that Morton, a multi-genre musician, singer, songwriter and record producer, created for other ...

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Millennial Gives Historic African-American Radio Station a New Heartbeat

From a press release: With the explosive growth of digital streaming, the rise of social media and other online distractions, many have pronounced terrestrial radio dead. However, KOKA – The Heart of Gospel – Shreveport, Louisiana’s first African American radio station, with a history dating back to the 1950s – is very much alive. The station – which had been in decline for some years – has been robustly resuscitated by its proactive 31-year-old program director, Charles “Pastor CeJay” Johnson. In the midst of a national pandemic and civil rights unrest, Johnson has taken stands and made decisions that have ...

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35th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Award Winners

(CHICAGO, IL) August 23, 2020 – Not even a global pandemic could diminish the powerful spirit of praise, worship and celebration during the historic virtual broadcast of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards Sunday night on BET and BET Her. Led by hosts Kirk Franklin, Jonathan McReynolds, and Koryn Hawthorne, the 35th Anniversary Stellar Gospel Music Awards awarded trophies in 28 categories for the year’s best performances in the genre — including six statues presented to the night’s big winner, host and Gospel icon Kirk Franklin. Here is the complete list of 35th Stellar Award Winners. Congratulations to all the winners ...

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