3’s Up for Rapper Dee-1 On February 17th

Written by: Gregory Gay

January 23rd, 2015

Dee1_3sUp_coverRCA Inspiration announced news of the first major-label release from Dee-1 on February 17th.  The native New Orleans rapper has been called one of the most important artists in hip-hop music today. The EP is available now for pre order and will feature the singles “Against Us” and “I’m Not Perfect”

Ashford Sanders Drops New Music February 23rd

Written by: John Burton

January 22nd, 2015

GOSPELflava was the first to break the news of music coming from Sunday Best Season 5 Finalist and Fan Favorite Ashford Sanders. Now comes word of the February release of a brand new single,Ashford Sanders official Because You’ve Been Good.

Sanders says the song is a personal testimony for him. “God has been good to me, and I know I have been blessed. Not that everyday in my life has been good, I have had some sleepless nights and days filled with pain, but I am a living witness that God will bring you through every situation. …… I can sing anything, but my heart is in songs with substance, and Because You’ve Been Good sums up how great God has been in my life. I can’t help but thank and praise Him for his goodness TO ME.”

Because You’ve Been Good is written and produced by Pharis Evans, Jr. and hits digital retail outlets on February 23rd.  Sanders will perform the song as he makes concert dates throughout the US leading up to the GMWA Board Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Crystal Aikin Delivers All I Need February 3rd

Written by: Gregory Gay

January 21st, 2015

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The world came to know of and love  the talents of Crystal Aikin via her win of the BET Sunday Best competition and she made her recording debut with I Desire More in 2009 .  Her sophomore project, All I Need,  hits stores and digital outlets on February 3rd.  Her lead single So Amazing is gaining traction at radio across the country.

Lisa McClendon: New CD… and a Devotional for Teen Girls.

Written by: Stan North

January 21st, 2015

lisamcclendon5amcdFresh from the December 2014 release of her devotional book geared towards teen girls (The Proverbial Girl: The 31-Day Devotional of Wisdom, Values, and Being Fabulous), neo-soul songstress Lisa McClendon has now also released her next audio project. Titled 5AM, the 12-track project features popular cuts “Fly” and “Turning the Corner”, and released on January 21, 2015 at popular online retailers.

Recap: 16th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards

Written by: Martin Williams

January 19th, 2015

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Atlanta, GA was on fire as Gospel music’s biggest and brightest stars, producers, and industry personalities invaded the city for The 16th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards.  BMI Vice President Catherine Brewton described the event as a “homecoming”. Sixteen years ago the first BMI Trailblazers Event was held in Atlanta with just a keyboard, drum set, and a hundred people. Since its humble beginnings the event has gone on to be considered the Gospel equivalent of the annual Clive Davis Grammy Party. In past years the event was apart of Stellar Award Weekend, but when it was decided that The Stellar Awards would be held in Las Vegas, BMI decided to return “home” to its Atlanta beginnings.

 

View the images from the event on GOSPELflava.com’s Gallery, linked here.

You could feel the electrifying energy the moment you entered the Rialto Theater in downtown Atlanta. For many, this was a reunion and the first time they saw their colleagues and friends in the New Year. The room was filled with the industry’s top artists, songwriters, producers, and industry personalities. All of these people had gathered together to honor this year’s honorees: Israel Houghton, LaShun Pace, and The Anointed Pace Sisters.

The evening started off with prayer and an introduction by the BMI Team. Awards were given for the top performed Gospel songs of 2014. The #1 most performed song of the year was “The Gift” by Donald Lawrence, the leading single off his recent release: “Best For Last”. BMI also recognized five additional opuses as Top-Performed Gospel Songs of the Year (2014): “1 On 1,” written by Lucius B. Hoskins and performed by Zacardi Cortez; “Clean This House,” co-written by Philip Cornish and Isaac Carree, who is the performer; “God Will Make a Way,” written by Ay’Ron Lewis and performed by Shirley Caesar; “Here in Our Praise,” co-written by Michael Bethany and Fred Hammond, who is the performer; and “It’s Working,” co-written by Aaron Lindsey and William Murphy, who is the performer.

After the awards were handed out it was time for the tributes to begin. Hosts VaShawn Mitchell and Kim Burrell took the stage to introduce Gospel group “Ziel” who sang “Safety Zone”. The girl’s high energy soaring vocals roared loudly throughout the theater and had everyone up on their feet. Following behind them was the now Grammy Award Nominated Group, “The Walls Group”. The group took the stage to sing “Contentment” written by Pace Sister, Latrice. LaTrice was moved to tears as she sat and watched her song come to life. LaTrice has served as a background vocalist for many years on the Trailblazers stage but this year was special as she was an honoree along with her sisters. The sisters sat with tears in their eyes as Donald Lawrence and Company did their rendition of the song “U Know” which included several reprises of the vamp. Next we were up on our feet as Dorinda Clark Cole sang, “Be A Fence”, and adder her jazzy signature Clark vocals to the song. Mom and Daughter Duo Lisa Page Brooks and Tasha Page Lockhart sang the hit single, “When God Is In The Building” an added their signature “Witness” flare to the song. Perhaps the most unique performance of this tribute set was when Anthony Williams (BSlade/ Tonex) performed the LaShun Pace classic, “ I Know I’ve Been Changed”. When Williams took the stage the place erupted with joy to see one of Gospel’s own return home. The crowd sat with anticipation to hear the amazing vocal acrobatics that would come from his mouth. In a fatigue outfit he started the song off acapella in a smooth falsetto and later brought the band in and sang the song in full voice and with choreography. Everyone was reminded just how amazing talented Williams is. Kathy Taylor then sang “Just Because God Said It” and then Pastor Rance Allen kept the party going singing “He Keeps On Doing Great Things For Me”. Allen got personal and talked about how he met the Pace Sisters and had dinner at their home many years ago and how their mother served them fried chicken and corn on the cob. When the sisters took the stage to accept their award and thank their labels that have supported them over the years. The sisters then grabbed the microphone and sang the vamp to their signature song “It’s Already Done”.

There was a special tribute to the late Andrae Crouch that included a rousing rendition of “We Are Not Ashamed” performed by Pastor Donnie McClurkin and Yolanda Adams that had the crowd on its feet. Pastor Crouch was honored years ago with the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Award.

 

The finale of the event was the powerful worship tribute to Israel Houghton. Micah Stampley started off the powerful medley singing “Another Breakthrough”. From the moment Micah opened his mouth, you could feel the power and presence of God in the room. Tears flowed from Micah’s face as the song became more intense and the band proceeded to flow into “Lord Of The Breakthrough”. In the same vein of worship Tasha Cobbs hit the stage to sing “Alpha and Omega”. Cobbs hit the floor in a beautiful white suit and began to worship causing the entire atmosphere to shift. To end the set Jonathan McReynolds did an acoustic version of “Moving Forward” which ended with Houghton taking the stage to sing.

BMI held true to their standard of elegance, power, and class. The one statement that held true to those who were honored was, “You Are Not Forgotten”. Those simple words served as encouragement to not just the honorees but all those in attendance.

BMI Awards Most Performed Songs

Written by: Melanie Pratt

January 19th, 2015

Donald Lawrence pr photo 1-Photo credit Dominick Guillemot

This weekend’s BMI Trailblazer Awards were also the scene to honor Gospel’s Most-Performed Song of the Year: “The Gift,” written and performed by Donald Lawrence. The song, featured on Lawrence’s album Best For Last, topped the Billboard Gospel Airplay chart and achieved  wide-spread success. BMI also recognized five additional opuses as Top-Performed Gospel Songs of the Year (2014): “1 On 1,” written by Lucius B. Hoskins and performed by Zacardi Cortez; “Clean This House,” co-written by Philip Cornish and Isaac Carree, who is the performer; “God Will Make a Way,” written by Ay’Ron Lewis and performed by Shirley Caesar; “Here in Our Praise,” co-written by Michael Bethany and Fred Hammond, who is the performer; and “It’s Working,” co-written by Aaron Lindsey and William Murphy, who is the performer.

BMI HONORS ISRAEL HOUGHTON, LASHUN PACE AND THE ANOINTED PACE SISTERS

Written by: Melanie Pratt

January 19th, 2015

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This past weekend, BMI brought legends and contemporary stars together to celebrate the careers of gospel giants Israel Houghton, LaShun Pace and The Anointed Pace Sisters at its 16th annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards in Atlanta.

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Top 25 Gospel Albums

Written by: Gregory Gay

January 14th, 2015

Fred Hammond’s I Will Trust holds on to the top spot as Brian Courtney Wilson makes his debut at number 2 on the the Soundscan Top 25 Gospel Albums Chart for this week.  Fred Hammond I Will Trust

  1.  Fred Hammond                          I Will Trust
  2. Brian Courtney Wilson             Worth Fighting For
  3. Tasha Cobbs                                  Grace
  4. Various Artists                            WOW Gospel 2014
  5. J Moss                                              Grown Folks Gospel
  6. Youthful Praise/JJ Hairston  I See Victory
  7. VaShawn Mitchell                       Unstoppable
  8. Smokie Norful                               Forever Yours
  9. Erica Campbell                             Help
  10. Michelle Williams                       Journey To Freedom
  11. The Walls Group                          Fast Forward
  12. 3 Winans Brothers                      Foreign Land
  13. Icon Gospel                                   Icon Gospel
  14. Jessica Reedy                               Transparent
  15. The Rance Allen Group            Celebrate
  16. Wess Morgan                                Livin
  17. Lynda Randle                              Ageless Hymns
  18. Ricky Dillard & New G              Amazing
  19. Jimmy Greene                             Beautiful Life
  20. Tasha Page-Lockhart                Here Right Now
  21. William McDowell                      Withholding Nothing
  22. Various Artists                            Motown Christmas
  23. James Fortune & FIYA            Live Through It
  24. Donnie McClurkin                      Duets
  25. Deitrick Haddon                         Best of Deitrick Haddon

 

Israel Houghton Celebrates God’s Goodness

Written by: Gregory Gay

January 14th, 2015

2015 marks a milestone in the music ministry of award winning worship leader and singer/songwriter Israel Houghton; 15 years of ministry with New Breed and the March release of CoHougton 2015vered, Live in Asia, his 10th album with the group.  Making impact is the current single, How Awesome Is Our God, which is now available on all digital outlets on January 13th and features the inimitable Yolanda Adams.  Houghton shared his joys of the pairing, “Having Yolanda Adams singing with us on this song marks a personal ‘bucket list’ moment for me!”

Houghton will be celebrated at the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Ceremony in Atlanta on January 17th as well as taking part in the 16th Annual Superbowl Gospel Celebration concert series in Phoenix, AZ.  There are plans for a theatrical release of the “Alive in Asia” concert film to theaters in select cities.

 

Anthony Hamilton, PJ Morton & Dave Hollister Join DeWayne Woods For Life Lessons

Written by: Gregory Gay

January 14th, 2015

DeWayneWoodsLifeLessons

DeWayne Woods provides “Soul Therapy” with Life Lessons, his new album after a four year hiatus.  Best known for Let Go, Let God and Living on the Top, Woods feels confident the music on the new disc will position him in a different perspective yet remain true to his sound.  “I can honestly say this is the kind of creative project I’ve always wanted to record where there is enough on it to cater to everyone, but not lose my core,” Woods says of his third faith-inspired album. “It’s always great to think about building your audience as you grow in your career, and I definitely feel this is the record to do so.”

Woods is joined by Anthony Hamilton and Dave Hollister on the current radio single Friend of Mine, and the project will also feature music from Avery* Sunshine, P.J. Morton and Larry Waddell & Stokley Williams of the legendary band Mint Condition. Life Lessons hits the streets on February 3rd.