“Welllll….I hope everybody is in the spirit tonight. We’re bringing some church to the White House!” were President Obama’s opening remarks for the White House Gospel Music Celebration last Tuesday. Held in the East Wing of the White House, which was converted into a concert venue, President Barack, First Lady Michelle Obama, and invited guests were entertained by some of the nation’s premiere Christian and Gospel artists. Among the list of performers included: Pastor Shirley Caesar, Rance Allen, tamela Mann, Rodney Crowell, Darlene Love, the Morgan State University Choir, Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett and Aretha Franklin. ABC’s Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts served as Mistress of Ceremonies. The show is scheduled to air on PBS and TV One on June 26th. Take a listen! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnNxnQ1zZ3I
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Charles Jenkins and Fellowship Chicago make a triumphant return to the top of the charts with their sophomore project Any Given Sunday displacing the WOW GOSPEL Series as we conclude the 12th week of the year. The rest of the top 25 CDs are listed below:
1 JENKINS*CHARLES ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
2 VARIOUS ARTIST WOW GOSPEL 2015
3 VARIOUS ARTISTS WOW GOSPEL 2014
4 COBBS*TASHA GRACE
5 VARIOUS ARTISTS BILLBOARD #1 GOSPEL HITS
6 HAMMOND*FRED I WILL TRUST
7 CLARK-COLE*DORINDA LIVING IT
8 NELSON*JASON JESUS REVEALED
9 MOSS*J GROWN FOLKS GOSPEL
10 3 WINANS BROTHERS FOREIGN LAND
11 BROOKLYN TABERNACLE CHOIR PRAY
12 DR LARRY D REID THE SET
13 CAMPBELL*ERICA HELP
14 REEDY*JESSICA TRANSPARENT
15 MCDOWELL*WILLIAM WITHHOLDING NOTHING
16 YOUTHFUL PRAISE FEAT. J.J. HAI I SEE VICTORY
17 NORFUL*SMOKIE FOREVER YOURS
18 ICON GOSPEL ICON GOSPEL
19 GGC VOLUME 1 GGC VOLUME 1
20 WALLS GROUP*THE FAST FORWARD
21 GGC VOLUME 2 GGC VOLUME 2
22 MITCHELL*VASHAWN UNSTOPPABLE
23 WILSON* BRIAN COURTNEY WORTH FIGHTING FOR
24 WILLIAMS*MICHELLE JOURNEY TO FREEDOM
25 WOODS* DEWAYNE LIFE LESSONS
The Princess of Rhythm and Praise is back! Lisa McClendon has returned with a new project, outlook on life, and an indomitable spirit to praise God no matter what. Gospelflava.com had the pleasure of catching up with the gospel neo-soul songstress to talk about her new release, new lease on life and what’s new outside of music.
Over the past decade, McClendon has wowed us with her sultry, organic, and spiritual vocals. Although she rose to prominence with the song “You Are Holy” from Soul Music (2003), her first CD release “My Diary, Your Life” debuted in 2002 (definitely worth a listen). Subsequently she released “Soul Music”, “Live from the House of Blues” (2006), “Reality” (2009), and “Christmas with You” (2010). However since that time, she seemed to have vanished. Many wondered, “Where is Lisa McClendon?” Her stalwart answer is, “Home.” She jovially added, “I’ve been home. I needed to take time out to be wife and mother. Plus, my husband Maurice had just started a ministry and I needed to be there to help. I knew I had to put some things on hold. It was hard, but it was worth it.”
Now she’s back! What took so long many would wonder? This wasn’t a 3 to 6 month project, McClendon says, “It’s been in the making for the last 3 years.” As to why, “My story wasn’t done” she admitted. As she was doing life, she was gaining life also. If you are a social media McClendon devotee, she talks about her personal ups and downs, especially her bouts with depression. When many would omit this storyline, McClendon shares it. “I share my truth about my depression because truth sets you free. I was truthful and honest with myself.” She described her time away simply as the color gray. “I was confused. There wasn’t a black or white. I hadn’t had my 5 AM moment yet. I had some stuff I needed to experience.” Then her breakthrough came! In the breaking, she felt the desire to write again. “I started pouring out. Every song is a different place during the season that I had to go through.” Her most liberating revelation was, “God told me, I will never be perfect. I said amen. Now, it’s okay. I’m me and I’m progressing.” Life experiences such as these always make for superb song material for stellar albums. Hence her new project “5 AM.”
Love is in the air…because Valentine’s Day is here! Whether you have a sweetheart or not, don’t miss out on your opportunity to revel in this Love Day. Over the years, there have been several gospel songs that not only express our love towards one another, but also our love toward God. Here are a few songs to add to your playlist this Valentine’s Day weekend. Some of which you may have heard before. Whereas others you may not, but this lovers holiday, they certainly deserve a listen.
“I Love You Lord” – Fred Hammond
“Love Song”- Canton Jones
“Addictive Love” – BeBe & CeCe Winans
“Open My Heart” – Yolanda Adams
“Real Love” – Kirk Franklin & The Family
“Jesus is Love” – Smokie Norful featuring Heather Headley
“Be Happy” – Mary Mary
“I Adore You” – Darlene McCoy
“Just For Me” – Karen Clark Sheard
“Draw Me Close” – Donnie McClurklin
“Chasing After You” – Tye Tribbett
“Ain’t No Need to Worry” – Marvin Winans & Anita Baker
“Stuck” – Lisa McClendon
“Abide” – Lexi
“Happy” – Tasha Cobbs
Sending YOU our love from the GospelFlava.com family!
Detroit based label Yunion Productions (previous projects Genocide and the H.E.R Project) returns with Bow Down featuring Chris Lawson. Lawson is currently a featured soloist with praise & worship leader Israel Houghton at the Lakewood church in Houston, Texas. The 11-track praise and worship project features his soulful falsetto stylings with worship lyrics taken from the Psalms. Producer Jason “Maji” Wilson helms three songs on the album, including the lead single, “Due”. Bow Down has already released to digital retail, with video and radio to follow.
Its beginning to sound a lot like Christmas! Holiday favorites from Yolanda Adams, Anthony Brown & Group therapy, Commissioned, James Fortune & FIYA, Ayana George, Fred Hammond, Israel Houghton & New Breed, Whitney Houston, Joe, John P. Kee & The New Life Community Choir, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, Tarralyn Ramsey, Richard Smallwood and Hezekiah Walker round out the Gotta Have Gospel! Christmas Oh Holy Night CD release from RCA Inspiration and Integrity Music. The disc is now available on all digital outlets and in stores.
As Evangelist Dorothy Norwood releases her 52nd recording project on her DNMG label with distribution from Echopark/JDI, the disc receives a warm reception from gospel music fans and makes its debut at number 2 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums Chart. The CD also bows at number 57 on the Billboard Top 200. Journey surpasses her other top seller “Live featuring Northern California G.M.W.A. Mass Choir” which was #3 on the Gospel Albums chart in January 1992.
Earnest Pugh draws people into the presence of the Lord on his new EP, Just Worship hitting retail and digital outlets September 2nd. Pugh is assisted by veteran producers Michael Bereal (Beverly Crawford, Norman Hutchins, and Judith Christie McAllister) and Grammy Award winner Cedric Thompson (Donald Lawrence, Stephanie Mills, Karen Clark-Sheard) in the creation of the disc that features music culled from the many worship experiences from Pugh’s live concerts.
A CD release celebration will be hosted by Pastor Keion Henderson and the Lighthouse Church family, where Earnest serves as Worship Pastor. Joining in the night of praise are Deric Lewis of Austin and Keith Williams and the Lighthouse Church Radical Praise Choir.
GOSPELflava got an opportunity to talk to Bryan Andrew Wilson about the release of his latest CD, The One Percent. Released in June, the disc made its debut at #18 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart fueled by the success of the lead single Turning Away. Wilson opened up about his beginnings, the people who have influenced his life and ministry and much more.
GOSPELflava: Take us back to the beginning and how this all started.
BAW: Growing up everything I knew was church. I grew up as a kid in the Church of God In Christ in Chicago, Illinois in the 5th Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction (for authenticity). You know typical church kids, we would go to church and then come home and have more church. I would be outside singing to the grass every day before I went to school and when I got home from school with the paper towel roll serving as my microphone and I would be singing and shouting on the side of my house. One day my neighbor said, you know somebody needs to put that boy on tv or do something with him, so a video tape was made of me at church. The neighbor’s daughter was attending Jackson State University and had become affiliated with the Mississippi Mass Choir. She presented the tape to Jerry Mannery, he heard the tape and loved it immediately, they invited me to come down and sing. I sang His Eye Is On the Sparrow, they tweaked it a little bit and we recorded it for the debut project of the Mississippi Children’s Choir and it took off from there and as they say the rest is history. I got into the Malaco family, continued travelling in the COGIC conventions and Holy Convocations. I got to know James Moore and he took me under his wing and mentored me and that’s how it all began. (more…)