Tag Archives: Stellar Award

JGM Pick of the Week November 15, 2021

“Wonderful” Kim Person KLP Music Enterprise (release date: October 2021) www.kimpersontheartist.com By Robert M. Marovich Kim Person gives the Reverend F. C. Barnes’ classic “So Many Wonderful Things” a loping, shoulder-shaking treatment. Slowing the tempo ever so slightly, Person offers a litany of the many wonderful things about Jesus. Although she gives no specific examples, Person makes it plain that her praise comes from blessings received. “When I call, you’re right on time.” She closes with a flowering of melisma. It’s gratifying when an artist recycles a favorite song in the gospel music canon, and also gratifying to see an ...

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Lillian Lilly, James C. Birdsong Jr. to be Honored at Antigua & Barbuda Gospel Music & Media Awards October 22

Birdsong and Lilly will receive recognition for their contributions to the gospel music industry  St. John’s, Antigua – James C. Birdsong, Jr., a member of the renowned famed Birdsong family and award-winning figure in gospel music; and Lillian Lilly, the longtime principal vocalist of the world-renowned GRAMMY® Award-nominated Mississippi Mass Choir, are among the nine honorees for the 7th Annual Antigua Barbuda Gospel Music & Media Awards (ABGMA). The event will take place on Friday, October 22, 2021, at Kentish Pentecostal Church in St. John’s, Antigua, West Indies, during an invitation-only event. Birdsong and Lilly will receive their recognition at ...

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RIP Lee Williams of the Spiritual QCs

The Journal of Gospel Music was saddened to learn of the passing of Lee Williams, quartet legend and leader of the Spiritual QCs. Below is a brief bio of Williams and the group that I wrote back in 2019: Born July 28, 1946, and raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, Lee Williams began singing gospel at the tender age of seven. He was encouraged to do so by his uncle, Mitchell Thornton, who was part of a quartet called the Gospel Stars. Soon, Lee and his three brothers were performing as the Gospel Stars Juniors. Thornton formed another quartet called the Spiritual ...

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“You Are” – Byron Cage

“You Are” Byron Cage AIR / Malaco Music Group www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich Stellar Award-winning “Prince of Praise” Byron Cage delivers his latest single, “You Are,” a conventional mid-tempo P&W. Cage alternates between singing and incrementally thunderous exhorting as the background singers keep the song moving forward. While the melody and lyrics are consistent with other contemporary P&W fare, including Cage’s own catalog, the chorus, with its call-and-response litany of adjectives to describe God, is what’s most compelling. The song is from Cage’s September 2019 Atlanta International Records album Isolation (a prophetic title considering the past sixteen months).

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 14, 2021

“Thank You”Rufus JohnsonMiddle Boy Media (release date: July 19, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich Rufus Johnson, a native of Richmond, Virginia, expresses his gratitude to God on “Thank You” with a pocketful of shoulder-shaking beats and an R&B melody that is as fresh as right now. Johnson’s gratefulness for making it through the rough patches serves as the backdrop of this compelling, memorable, and expertly-produced song. Simple and effective in delivering its message. A Stellar-nominated singer-songwriter and music educator, Rufus Johnson was once a member of the male gospel group G.I. He co-wrote and sang on two of the group’s ...

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Charles Jenkins Pens Debut Book, SEASONS

(FEBRUARY 16, 2021) – CHICAGO, IL – Global spiritual leader, thought provoker, and celebrated GRAMMY®- and Stellar Award-winning artist Charles Jenkins continues his mark as an author with the release of the book SEASONS: How To Grow And Succeed During Times Of Transition. Additionally, as an artist, his gospel music single, “He’ll Make It Alright” (Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago) lands at #2 on Billboard’s Gospel National Airplay Chart. Jenkins’ SEASONS is available now on Amazon.com and at CharlesJenkins.com; the single “He’ll Make It Alright” is available on all major digital streaming and retail outlets. SEASONS seeks to give readers ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: September 21, 2020

“I Can’t Give Up” Byron Cage From the AIR / Malaco Music Group CD Isolation www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich It turns out the title of multiple Stellar Awardee Byron Cage’s September 2019 album, Isolation, was prophetic. But on “I Can’t Give Up,” the album’s latest single release, Cage and his background vocalists declare that their present circumstances don’t define them. “I’m built to win,” Cage enthuses, singing on his own behalf as well as on behalf of the listeners. The troupe sets pulpit-honed wisdom such as “I’ve come too far” and “no weapon formed against me shall proper” to an ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: November 11, 2019

“Leave It Alone” Alvin Darling From the Emtro Gospel CD Leave It Alone (release date: September 20, 2019) By Bob Marovich From singer, songwriter, pastor, and Stellar and Dove Award nominee Alvin Darling comes “Leave It Alone,” a quartet-flavored roof-raiser. The verses string together familiar church aphorisms while the chorus sums it up: “God can fix it better than you can.” An agreeable lead vocal with ample support from background vocalists and musicians evoke Darling’s zesty 2003 album, Waiting Right Here. His foundation in quartet and Pentecostal music is evident throughout the single, which is short and simple but effective.

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Travis Greene – Broken Record

Travis Greene Broken Record RCA Inspiration (release date: November 1, 2019) www.rcainspiration.com By Bob Marovich Broken Record is Travis Greene’s fourth full-length album and continues the youthful sacred fusion of his previous work. Against convention, the album opens with a slow, introspective song called “The Breaker.” It is only after this thoughtful piece has faded that the album moves into a lively gear with the countrified worship song, “Great Jehovah.” Greene later reprises this galloping tempo on a song of gratitude called “No One Else.” Also bucking convention, Greene doesn’t use a church or auditorium to record the initial tracks ...

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“Blessings on Blessings” – Anthony Brown and Group TherAPy

“Blessings on Blessings” Anthony Brown and Group TherAPy Key of A / Tyscot / FairTrade (release date: May 3, 2019) www.tyscot.com By Bob Marovich “Every time I turn around…blessings,” Anthony Brown sings, and he knows whereof he speaks. The group has gone from backing Maurette Brown Clark on her highly-acclaimed album The Dream (2007) to racking up their own chart action, which led to numerous Stellar Award wins, Grammy and Billboard Music Award nominations, and other honors. Inspired by the go-go style popularized in the Washington, DC, area, “Blessings on Blessings” is a bouncing, joyous paean to the sunshine that ...

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