Tag Archives: Stellar Award

JGM Pick of the Week: July 3, 2017

“Grace & Mercy” Tamika Patton feat. Min. Earl Bynum Available on iTunes and other Digital Media www.TamikaPatton.com By Bob Marovich On the independent single, “Grace & Mercy,” Tamika Patton proclaims her gratitude to God for his unconditional love and forgiveness. Such compassion, given “to a wretch like me,” has inspired her to pass it forward. The song’s carefree arrangement and mid-tempo two-step rhythm echo Patton’s exhilaration. She and featured guest vocalist Minister Earl Bynum, who joins halfway through, complement one another well. Their melodic voices, gilded with gospel grit, have a tangy blend, like salt and vinegar, as they go ...

Read More »

New Jersey’s Henry Hall Declares Dominion Over New Live Project

By Bob Marovich “I want to give people a sense of empowerment that they can do whatever it is they have in their heart to do,” Henry Hall said about the purpose of his new live recording, Declaration of Dominion. Hall might well have been talking about himself.  His own life is a lesson in striving to be all one can be. Born across the Delaware River from Philadelphia in Camden, New Jersey, Hall lost his mother when he was just eleven years old. By age twelve, he and the rest of his family started attending church. Their worship home was ...

Read More »

“You Were There” – Henry Hall and New Dimension Worshippers

“You Were There” Henry Hall and New Dimension Worshippers Rebel Hill Music “You Were There,” a graceful ode of gratitude to God for His constancy, is a slow burning single by Henry Hall and New Dimension Worshippers.  The choral harmonies are reminiscent of the Hawkins Family, Thomas Whitfield, John P. Kee, and other 1970s/1980s gospel ensembles. Hall’s high tenor expresses both humble gratefulness and vulnerability as he sings about how the Savior “Dried my tear-stained eyes / Held me when I cried.” Henry Hall scored a Newsome Award and a Stellar Award nomination nearly a decade ago for his vocal ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: January 25, 2016

“Call Him” Earl Bynum feat. Andra Cross Mann-Up Muzik (2015) www.earlbynummusic.com Minister Earl Bynum is known throughout the gospel music industry for his award-winning work with large choirs, but make no mistake: he is also a solo singer. His 2009 Open My Heart album garnered two Stellar Award nominations: Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year and Contemporary Choir of the Year. Bynum does some of his most soulful singing on “Call Him,” the debut single from his forthcoming solo album. During what might be described as a sacred slow jam, he encourages—nay, pleads with—the listener to call on Jesus because He answers prayer ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: October 19, 2015

“Hear Us” Maurice Griffin MGM Chicago Music Group www.mauricegriffinonline.com Maurice Griffin went from being in the Chicago-based gospel group New Direction to winning the Gospel Music Workshop of America Gospel Treasure competition in 2007, then to being a finalist on Season Two of BET’s Sunday Best. He was nominated for a 2013 Stellar Award for Best Artist of the Year. Part of the reason for Griffin’s upward trajectory is his vocal agility and capacity to read a praise lyric with just the right mix of conviction and pacing. He demonstrates all of this on “Hear Us,” a single that he released last ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: July 13, 2015

“The Promise” Tiff Joy Tyscot Records/Walkway Music Group/VMan Entertainment Chicagoan Tiffany Joy McGhee, known as Tiff Joy, wrote and was featured on “Amazing,” the title track of Ricky Dillard & New G’s latest, and arguably most popular, album. “Amazing” earned her a Stellar Award for Song of the Year. We hear Tiff Joy again on “The Promise.” This smoothly-produced, radio-ready single is a declaration to remain steadfast in faith and hope, because when “God said it, that settles it.” She carries the song in her sandy alto until the vamp, when she shouts the song’s explicit and final declaration: “It ...

Read More »

Lonnie Hunter feat. Structure – #GETITDONE

Lonnie Hunter feat. Structure #GETITDONE Tyscot Records www.tyscot.com Syndicated radio host, choir director, worship pastor, former model, Stellar Award winner, recording artist, CEO, educator, and now clothing line owner, Lonnie Hunter is gospel’s Renaissance Man. Despite his busy schedule with “The Lonnie Hunter Show” and as host of the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour, Hunter and his choir, Structure, recently rolled out their fifth release, #GETITDONE. The album features P&W lyrics set to creamy choral arrangements, some of which evoke the rich church choir tradition of Hunter’s Chicago upbringing. Paying indirect tribute to Hunter’s prior work with Chicago’s Voices of St. ...

Read More »

“Something Big” – Jekalyn Carr

“Something Big” Jekalyn Carr Luneal Music Group/Malaco Music Group (2015) www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich Young singers and pop music go together like bacon and eggs. In the gospel music industry, however, it can be more difficult for a young person to gain traction. Even though churches offer a variety of singing opportunities for young people, gospel is an experiential music—the significant demands that gospel places on the voice require a great deal of practice and training. That’s what makes Jekalyn Carr’s rise even more striking. Her remarkable performance as a pre-teen in the 2011 gospel documentary Rejoice and Shout ultimately ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: January 12, 2015

“Brand New Day” 21:03 From the PMG Gospel CD Outsiders (release date: February 24, 2015) www.pajam-music.com What better way to start the new year than to celebrate a brand new day? That is what the two who now comprise 21:03—Evin Martin and Torrence Greene—do on “Brand New Day.” An energetic disco beat and brisk arrangement complement the duo as they play off one another in kicking all bad things to the curb and embracing new beginnings by faith. The song comes nearly twelve years after the Stellar Award-winning group’s launch, January 21, 2003, the date that also inspired its name.

Read More »

Zie’l – [Pronounced ZY-EL]

Zie’l [Pronounced ZY-EL] Dream Records (release date: September 2, 2014) www.dreamrecords.org By Bob Marovich I first encountered the power trio Zie’l of Shreveport, Louisiana, in 2005 at the Gospel Music Workshop of America. Hearing Christina Bell, Keyondra Lockett, and Crystal Bell sing traditional gospel songs like an old-school quartet with jazz training gave me a glimpse of their future success. Not long thereafter, their CD Genesis garnered a Stellar nomination. The trio’s latest album, [Pronounced ZY-EL], sounds like two albums in one. Six of the ten tracks represent a different style for Zie’l, almost experimental, with a mix of urban AC and ...

Read More »