Chicago Mass Choir continues its Summer of Praise Tour with an appearance on Fox Television’s Good Day Chicago on Thursday, June 21st. The award winning choir will perform music from its latest CD We Give You Praise.
We Give You Praise made its debut in the Top 20 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Album’s chart largely fueled by the lead single, Thank You Thank You Jesus. The lead single generated over a half a million YouTube views cementing its place as a CMC classic alongside other chart-topping hits like “Holy Ghost Power,” “I Pray We’ll Be Ready,” “Mighty Good God,” and “God is My Everything.” The choir has released a follow up single, I Give You Praise as well as a companion lyric and live lyric video.
Founded by James Chambers as an extension of the ECC Music Workshop and celebrating over 25 years of ministry, CMC President Dr. Feranda Williamson gave words of appreciation to fans and supporters, “I am just overwhelmed with “THANKS” to those that support the music of Chicago Mass Choir. It is an honor to be listed with so many major gospel artists as one of the top billboard chart top 20 gospel albums. It is great to be recognized for our music ministry.”
Composer V. Michael McKay writes the songs that inspire people to sing all across the world. A sample of his body of work includes The Battle Is The Lord’s and The Good Shepherd (both recorded by Yolanda Adams) , The Potter’s House (Tramaine Hawkins), Intercession (Kim McFarland), All In His Hands (Florida Mass Choir and Dr. Charles G Hayes’ Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir), Broken But I’m Healed (Byron Cage), The Corinthian Song (Kathy Taylor), I’m Still Here (Albertina Walker) and Oh Jesus (Dorothy Norwood). McKay adds to his list of classics with the release of his new song Rest (For My Yoke Is Easy) making the rounds at radio.
The two time Dove Award winner said the song’s strong and deliberate message are derived from scripture and his upbringing. “These were words that I heard my mother and her mother recite with such conviction as I was growing up. When we realize that Jesus gives us a special invitation (to come to Him) in Matthew 11:25-30 and the invite allows us to bring our worries, our frustrations and our fears and in turn He gives us his rest. We can exchange our weakness for His strength. I Peter 5:7 is interspersed in the middle of the song, and what a joy it is to know we can cast every care upon Jesus and realize the load is not too heavy for Him to bear. For the weary, wounded and disappointed, there is rest. The world is teetering in a state of uncertainty and confusion, and in the midst of the turmoil. God offers us His peace and his rest.
A special release of the song heads to digital outlets in a couple of weeks.
Stellar Award winning Christian hip hop artist Derek Minor took to his blog to premiere the new video for his latest creation, Free. Motivated by the senseless violence and recent killings in Baton Rouge, Minor composed Free in just three hours, and shot the video a few days later with directorial assistance from Patrick Tohill.
Minor conveyed the following sentiments talking about the song, “We’ve been too occupied with ourselves to be “united”. We need real reform and real solutions and it starts with ALL of us. I wanted to bring that idea to life in the video for my song “Free”. We may not have all of the answers, but if there’s going to be change, I’m convinced we have to do it together.”
On Friday, July 18th, the Houston area Gospel community joined local area pastors, government officials and community leaders in a display of unity and prayer for peace in the nation as a whole in response to the tragedies and violence plaguing our inner cities. Leading the charge was Worship Leader and Psalmist Minister Cedric Ballard, who hosted the event at the Greater Grace Outreach Church. Joining in the celebration was noted songwriter V. Michael McKay, Rhonda and Shawn McLemore, Alexis Spight and Earl Duncan.
Ballard stressed the need for unity and for the church to lead the charge. “We have such a huge responsibility to show people that our gatherings have impact after the end of Sunday morning worship. God called and ordained the church to change the world, we have to show them we are truly united and serious about making a difference when and where it counts.”
After what seemed like a long four year hiatus, our favorite sister duo Mary Mary return with new music inspired by the new Paramount/MGM movie Ben Hur, produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.
Back To You is written and produced by Warryn Campbell and makes its exclusive video debut on Thursday, July 21 at 2pm EST / 11am PST on BET.com. In addition, Tina and Erica will perform the song as they visit the set of The Preachers on Friday, July 22nd. Check your local listings for time and station information in your area.
Grammy nominee Anita Wilson is getting in gear for a live recording taking place in Chicago on October 8th. The East St. Louis, Illinois native received a Grammy nomination for her second album Vintage Worship released last year as well as her debut project Worship Soul which was released in 2013 and produced the runaway hit Speechless and the infectious homage to the Barrett Sisters cover of Jesus Will.
In other news, Wilson joined the ranks of the recording industry’s finest with her addition as a recently elected Governor to the Chicago Chapter of the Recording Academy.
Ticket information and other details for the live recording are available via her website.
Michael Bethany’s solo debut Yours Forever makes its entrance in the Top 5 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart. Bethany shared these words of appreciation, “”WOW”, I am always grateful to God for the opportunity He gives ordinary people to accomplish great things in the kingdom. This has been a long journey, and along the way, I dealt with issues of if this was what I should be doing, was I even good enough to do this and the associated doubts and discouragement that comes along with the process. I was quickly humbled when I realized that none of this is about me and I clung to God’s promises. When it all boils down, the answer is simple, honor God, stay in His word and hold to His promises. He will come through.”
Bethany continues touring in support of the CD’s release with scheduled stops bringing him to the midwest and east coast in late Summer and early Fall.
In a year that gave utterance to the reunions of Tye Tribbett and GA and Bishop Hezekiah Walker and Love Fellowship Crusade Choir, the Divine has sanctioned the reunion of one of America’s most beloved choir’s, Reverend Milton Brunson’s Tommies. The Chicago based ensemble dominated Gospel music with soul stirring and heartfelt performances introducing the world to Tina Watson, Kim McFarland, Leanne Fainne, Percy Bady, Tyrone Block, Tommy Stewart, Ethel Holloway and many others. Their albums became the new hymnbook with such masterpieces as Lord, Im Available To You, There Is No Way, Cleansed By The Blood, He’s Still Good, He Cares, If I Be Lifted, My Mind’s Made Up, Over and Over and the list goes on.
On August 29th, all roads will lead to the New Faith Baptist Church outside of Chicago for the Tommies Reunion Live CD and DVD Recording. The momentous occasion pairs singers some old and new with the Tommies’ unique Dream Team of Darius Brooks, Percy Bady, Steve Huff, Kevin Brunson, Tyrone Block, Al Willis and Richard Gibbs for a night of healing through the power of anointed music.
Check out the Tommies Reunion website for ticket, hotel info and other details.
Billboard chart topping sensation Trinity Dawson releases Simply Amazing, the third single from his debut CD With All That I Am. The former athlete turned singer released the project in 2015 with hit singles Just Be With Me and Not That Easy earning new fans along the way.
Simply Amazing was written by Aaron Sledge and has special meaning for the Dawson family. Throughout his many experiences, Dawson has learned to put his faith and trust in God and counts his life experiences as rich and fulfilling. Dawson is able to sing of the Lord’s goodness and visibility in every day things in this song.
GOSPELflava joins others around the country mourning the passing of Tunesha Crispell. Crispell is known for her stellar work as lead singer with James Hall and Worship and Praise and her outstanding solo debut Just As I Am.
Crispell chronicled her cancer journey as seen in the video below. Exhibiting great bravery, Tunesha fought hard in her ongoing battle with cancer and won many times. While deeply saddened by her passing, we are lifting up her son Melvin Crispell III and other family members during this time.