By Robert M. Marovich

Fresh off the thirty-city I Got Away tour, in partnership with McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour, singer and songwriter Bri Babineaux is looking forward to releasing a new album this fall.

Besides Bri, the McDonald’s-sponsored I Got Away tour featured hit makers Anthony Brown and Group TherAPy, Deitrick Haddon, and Pastor Mike Jr. “I always enjoy being part of the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour,” Bri told JGM. “It’s great to be a part of an ensemble with amazing artists, and Ronald McDonald House Charities is a great cause.” It was the fourth time Bri joined the Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour.

Although Bri’s son, who turns three in November, he has been on the road with his mother in the past, he couldn’t join her for the multi-city tour. “He missed his mommy,” Bri said, “but he loves music. He sings around the house all the time. Do I want him to do what I do for a living? Probably not, but you never know.”

The Honolulu-born and Louisiana-raised Bri Babineaux attracted national attention with the 2016 release of her debut album, Keys to My Heart (Tyscot), which hit number one on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart and even made the Billboard 200 chart. The pompadour-wearing fashionista was part of an ensemble of up-and-coming gospel artists under the tutelage of Marquis Boone that included Casey J, Kelontae Gavin, and Tasha Cobbs Leonard.

“I have definitely evolved since that album,” Bri said. “I’ve been through a lot of things. I got married, I had a child, and I’m going through a divorce.”

Bri said that her new album, slated for release later this year, “will really speak to where I am and where I’m trying to go. I wrote the songs over the past two years while going through different things. You will hear the heart and the passion in the story that I want to share in this particular album.”

During the eight-year period since her recording debut, Bri released several singles and videos, and two albums, The Encounter and The Encounter Continues. Her voice, smooth as polished chrome, is particularly affecting on worship ballads like “Make Me Over,” “He’s My Rock,” and her cover of Hillsong UNITED‘s massive hit, “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail).”

Not wanting to be boxed in to one producer’s vision, Bri hired several producers for the new album, among them Harmony Samuels, Troy Taylor, and Philip Feaster. “I use about six or seven different producers. Based on what I wrote, I knew what producer would give me the sound that I was looking for. So sonically, the music is totally different than many other things that I’ve done.”

Bri describes her songwriting style as conversational. “I like to journal, and when I’m journaling, I’m literally talking. So I take different things from my journal and just write what I was trying to convey to the Holy Spirit during that time.”

In the end, Bri hopes the new album will “bring people in on a more personal level. They’ve seen me in the videos but I don’t think they really get a chance to see me as a person. It will give them a more in-depth understanding of me.”

The first single from the album is scheduled for an August release. Meanwhile, now that the I Got Away tour is over, Bri wants “to go into a cocoon for at least a month!” Afterward, she plans to finish her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. She has a year left. “Before all of this [music] happened, I wanted to be a lawyer,” she said. “Eventually I may go to law school just to say that I did it.”

“I was on hiatus,” Bri said, “and I needed that in order to take the necessary time to raise my son. But I came back. I ask my fans to take a seat and enjoy the journey with me, because I have some great things in store for them. They’re in for a special treat.” New keys to her heart.

For more information on the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour, visit:

For more information on Bri Babineaux, visit:

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Written by : 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.