Paul D. Allen -Producer and member of the P.A.J.A.M. production team with James Moss and Walter Kearney. P.A.J.A.M's innovative and cutting edge contemporary-urban gospel production style has made the team increasingly sought after as producers. Production credits include Virtue, Karen Clark Sheard, and Ramiyah.
Rance Allen Group (Group formed in the 1960's in Detroit, MI) - Pioneers of the contemporary gospel music movement. Inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1998. Members are Rance Allen and his two brothers, Thomas and Steve. This award-winning group has been together for over 30 years and were among the first to fuse jazz, r&b, and soul into a stirring gospel sound. Latest Release, "All The Way," was nominated for a 2004 Stellar Award for Traditional Male Vocalist of The Year.
Vanessa Bell Armstrong (Born: October 2, 1953, Detroit, Michigan) - This versatile vocalist, actress, and mother of five got her start with the assistance of Dr. Mattie Moss-Clark. In 2001, she was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Melody (Davis) Barnes - singer, writer, actress, and speaker, with a unique blend of jazz, soul, R&B, funk, and traditional gospel. At 6-years-old, Melody made her debut on live radio in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan. She later went on to sing with such notable choirs as, The Voices of Deliverance - under the direction of the late Rev. Donald Vails, The Eastern Michigan Gospel Choir - under the direction of Staffy Butler, and The Voices of Unity - under the direction of Gospel Stellar Award winner, Deitrick Haddon. Melody Barnes can be reached c/o N’flyte Music Group 240-788-3569, 12138 Central Ave., Suite 496 Largo, MD 20721, or contact online at www.melodybarnes.com.
Tim Bowman - gospel/jazz guitarist and producer, Tim Bowman got his start in the church alongside his musical family of 12 including sister Vickie (Bowman) Winans. Bowman was the musical director and lead guitarist for The Winans for six years, and has worked closely with BeBe and CeCe Winans, produced Esther Smith's album "Born To Worship", and has worked on records with Commissioned and Zion, and has played for Vanessa Bell-Armstrong among others. Bowman's fourth and most recent album is "This Is What I hear..." on Liquid 8 Records.
Lisa Page Brooks - Original member of female gospel group, Witness, wife of Pastor Michael Brooks, and co-pastor of Restoration Fellowship Church in Detroit. Mrs. Brooks has had two well-received solo projects, her most recent being her self-titled album.
Michael Brooks - veteran songwriter, producer, keyboardist and founder of contemporary female gospel group Witness. Married to Witness and solo artist, Lisa Page Brooks, he and his wife are co-pastors of Restoration Fellowship Church in Detroit.
Wanda Nero Butler - songwriter, playwright, producer and minister of gospel music. Ms. Butler now resides in Detroit, but began her gospel career at the age of nine, singing in her church choir in California. She is also a mother of three and a foster-parent of three. Her powerful and soaring vocals shine on her most recent release, "Live in Birmingham."
Byron Cage - This multiple Stellar Award winning artist, choir director, composer, musician and minister of music began singing as a teenager in Detroit, where he attended Henry Ford High School and Greater Grace Temple. He has sung with gospel music's finest including Thomas Whitfield and Commissioned. In the mid-90's, Cage formed the nine-vocalist group, Purpose, and together they recorded three powerful live albums. Cage's most recent self-titled album was nominated for four 2004 Stellar Awards: "Song of The Year" (for "The Presence of the Lord is Here"); "Male Vocalist of The Year"; "CD of The Year"; and "Contemporary CD of The Year." Cage won all four! No wonder Byron Cage is called the "Prince of Praise."
Dr. Mattie Moss-Clark - Legendary singer, composer, director, and founder of the Clark Conservatory of Music in Detroit, Michigan. Gospel music's matriarch recorded or produced over 30 albums in her lifetime. She was the recipient of numerous awards and accolades and her gospel music legacy lives on through her talented daughters, Twinkie Clark, Jacky Clark-Chisolm, Dorinda Clark-Cole, and Karen Clark-Sheard, also known as The Clark Sisters.
The Clark Sisters - World-renowned gospel music group comprised of Elbernita (Twinkie) Clark, Jacky Clark-Chisolm, Dorinda Clark-Cole, and Karen Clark-Sheard. The Clark Sisters has 13 albums to its credit and numerous awards. The daughters of legendary gospel artist, Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, each is an accomplished artist and woman-of-God in her own right.
Twinkie Clark - Singer, composer, producer, evangelist, workshop facilitator, and organist. Member of The Clark Sisters and accomplished solo artist with four albums to her credit. Has produced several solo projects for her mother, the late Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, and various choirs. Her solo release, "Live In Charlotte," is nominated for a 2004 Stellar Award for "Traditional CD of The Year."
Dorinda Clark-Cole - Evangelist, singer, composer, and arranger. Member of The Clark Sisters and accomplished solo artist. Her debut album, Dorinda, garnered a Stellar Award and Soul Train Lady of Soul Award. Administrator and Instructor at the Clark Conservatory of Music (founded by her mother, Dr. Mattie Moss Clark). Appointed to Detroit's Spiritual Advisory Board by Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
Karen Clark-Sheard - Singer, actress, and first lady of Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God In Christ in Detroit, Michigan. Member of gospel group, The Clark Sisters and accomplished solo artist with three albums to her credit. She is nominated for three 2004 Stellar Awards, "Female Vocalist of The Year," "Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year," and "Contemporary CD of the Year" (for her second album, "2nd Chance").
Rev. James Cleveland (born Dec. 5, 1932, died Feb. 9, 1991) - Singer, pianist, arranger, choir director, composer. The King of Gospel was born in Chicago, and later moved to Detroit where he was hired by the Rev. C.L. Franklin as choir director at new Bethel Baptist Church. It was there that he taught Reverend Franklin's daughter, Aretha, to sing. He later produced her Grammy- winning LP Amazing Grace. Rev. Cleveland is credited with writing over 400 gospel songs and was the first gospel singer to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1967, Rev. Cleveland founded the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA). The first GMWA convention was held in Detroit in 1968 at King Solomon Baptist Church with 3,000 delegates attending.
Marcus Cole - joined Commissioned in 1999. Cole and Terrance Herd released, "Chillin' Up In Heaven" in 1999?.
Commissioned - Legendary Grammy-nominated gospel group formed in 1982 by Michael Brooks, Fred Hammond, Mitchell Jones, Karl Reid, Keith Staten, and Michael Williams. Although the roster has continued to evolve over the years, Commissioned continues to be a major force in gospel music. Their most recent album, "Commissioned Reunion: Live," recorded in Detroit at Straight Gate Church and released in 2002, is already a classic.
Charles F. Curry - Nationally recognized musician, music arranger, writer, composer and soloist. Charles is Minister of Praise and Worship for the Second Ebenezer Church of Detroit, under the Pastorate of Dr. Edgar L. Vann. A graduate of Western Michigan University (B.S. in Music and Communications), and Marygrove College (Masters of Education), Charles is also a member of the Professional Music Fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and the Choral Instructor of the Highland Park School District. Charles also sang on the International Praise Team for the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship under the musical direction of Min. Byron Cage, and the spiritual direction of Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr. for nine consecutive years. In 2005, Charles released his live solo project entitled, "My Prayer," which may be purchased at www.cdbaby.com.
Sonnie Day - (Born and raised in Detroit) Sonnie Day sang in her first talent show at the age of four, and has been singing ever since. She has worked with and promoted many gospel artists including Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Vickie Winans, Kurt Carr, Michelle Williams, Karen Clark-Sheard, and others. Her first recording was on the "Detroit Sings Nu Hymns" under the direction of high-school classmate and Grammy nominee Deitrick Haddon. She refers to her music as "U3": Undefined, Uncategorized, yet Universal inspirational music.
Dr. Cedric Dent - (Born and raised in Detroit) Dr. Dent is an accomplished producer, arranger, and baritone member of nine-time Grammy award winning gospel group, Take 6. Dr. Dent also holds a Doctorate degree in Music Theory and is a frequent guest lecturer at Universities.
Eastern Michigan Gospel Choir (Founded in 1972 on the campus of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan) - Accomplished gospel choir has traveled the country and appeared at numerous gospel venues. In 2001, this DoRohn Records recording group charted on the Billboard Gospel Charts with their debut cd, "Get To The Concept."
The Emmanuels (Founded in 1974 in Detroit, MI) - DoRohn Records recording artists comprised of: Bishop James Garrett, Guitarist, Baritone and Second Tenor, Pastor George Young, Lead Vocalist and Baritone, Deacon Fred Shelton, Lead Vocalist and Second Tenor, Brother Al Singleterry, First and Second Tenor, Brother David Jones, Bassist and Drummer, Brother Joe Armstrong, Drummer and Percussionist, and Brother Lloyd Robinson, Musical Coordinator, Lead Vocalist and Keyboard Artist.
Michael Fletcher and The Michael Fletcher Chorale (Founded in July, 1982, in Detroit, MI) - The Chorale consists of 30 saved and anointed artists dedicated to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Michael Fletcher Chorale has ministered alongside gospel legends including, Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Wanda Nero Butler and The Clark Sisters. The Chorale has recorded three projects on the Sound of Gospel label: "Jesus...He's the One"; "The Michael Fletcher Chorale Live"; and "Highest Praise". In 2000, the Chorale sang with Dorinda Clark-Cole on her first solo project. Michael Fletcher is a protégé of the "The Maestro," the late Minister Thomas A. Whitfield, and currently serves as minister of music for Second Ebenezer Baptist Church under Pastor Edgar L. Vann, Jr.
Antun Foster (& Chemistry) -Musician, music director, producer, and writer. Discovered by Elbernita “Twinkie” Clark at the age of 15, he has toured the world with gospel greats such as: Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, the Clark Sisters, Donnie McClurkin, Vicki Winans, and the Winans. His large repertoire of published and/or produced works have been sung by some of gospel music's finest including Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Orlando Wright, Deitrick Haddon, Hezekiah Walker, and Marvin Winans. Becoming the backup choir for Karen Clark-Sheard has given Foster & Chemistry national exposure. Their single, “Worthy” is on the Crystal Rose Records’ Pure Gospel III CD project.
Aretha Franklin (Born March 25, 1942) Raised in Detroit, where her father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, was a Baptist minister. The Queen of Soul, began singing in the church choir as a child. At 14 she became a soloist in her father's traveling gospel revue and made her first professional recording. Her gospel recordings include "Amazing Grace - The Complete Recordings," and "One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism." Ms. Franklin has gone on to win numerous Grammy (including a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in 1994) and other awards and continues to reside in the Detroit area.
Rev. C. L. (Clarence LeVaughn) Franklin (Died July 7, 1984) - Pastor, City leader, Freedom Fighter, Gospel singer and preacher. Rev. C. L. Franklin moved to Detroit in 1946 and founded New Bethel Baptist Church. In his lifetime he recorded 76 albums of gospel music and sermons that still inspire today. In 1963 he helped to organize and marched with Dr. Martin Luther King in a freedom march down the streets of downtown Detroit to protest racial discrimination. His daughter, Aretha Franklin, began her singing career in Rev. Franklin's church choir.
God's Army - Hailing from Detroit, God's Army is a gospel rap group that uses cutting edge lyrics and R&G (Rhythm and Gospel) stylings to confront some of societies most controversial issues with a biblical stance. Their primary ministry is to young people and their musical style ranges from HipHop to Jazz, and everything in between. God's Army has been under the development and direction of its founding member, Minister Liyongo Tolin, since 1997.
Calvin J. Golden & Shekinah - Calvin Golden & Shekinah was founded in 1992 by Calvin Golden. Calvin Golden is a multi-talented musician, singer, songwriter and producer. In 1997 Calvin Golden wrote, “My Soul Is A Witness”, which was released on the Peter’s Rock Mass Choir album entitled “Over and Over”. Calvin has also sung background for James Moss, Vanessa Bell-Armstrong, Damita Haddon and Charles Laster. Calvin has also sung background for Deitrick Haddon and he was the lead vocals on two songs on the release entitled “Supernatural”. Calvin Golden & Shekinah's debut album is scheduled to be released Summer 2004.
David Gough (Born in Detroit) - Entrepreneur, artist, songwriter, and producer, David Gough is often referred to as, "The Mayor of Gospel." In 1978, Mr. Gough founded DoRohn Entertainment, where he is president and CEO, to help promote his work and launch the careers of other gospel artists. In 1995, he founded The International Gospel Music Hall of Fame , located in Detroit, MI, which is dedicated to the preservation and education of gospel music.
Minister Elaine Benford Gwynn - local gospel artist, gospel television show host, and minister of Sow A Seed Ministry. Min. Gwynn is also a pillar in the community, organizing an annual Christmas benefit to help needy families with dinner, clothing and toys. Min. Gwynn's local gospel show, "It's Mo!!Gospel Television" showcased local gospel talent.
Bishop Clarence Haddon and Dr. Joyce Haddon - pastors of High Praise Cathedral of Faith with two locations in Detroit and Inkster, Michigan, and parents of gospel artist, Deitrick Haddon. Deitrick Haddon produced Bishop Haddon & The Cathedral Voices' (50+ strong) release "Blessed," recorded live at the High Praise Cathedral of Faith Church.
Damita Haddon - Former background singer for Aretha Franklin and member of female gospel group, Adoration and Praise. Damita Haddon was also a member of husband, Deitrick Haddon's group, The Voices of Unity, and sang on and composed for his award winning album, "Lost and Found." Mrs. Haddon also toured with the gospel production, "Mama Don't," and her debut solo release, "Damita" was well received. Although close ties to Detroit remain, Damita Haddon currently resides in Florida, with her husband, Deitrick.
Deitrick (D.D.) Haddon - Grammy nominated and Stellar-Award winning singer, composer, music director, preacher, and youth pastor. Began his recording career in 1996 as Deitrick & The Voices of Unity. Wife, Damita Haddon, was a member of Voices of Unity, and has her own successful solo career. Haddon's CD, "Lost and Found" was nominated for a 2003 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album and (7) 2004 Stellar Awards. Haddon won (2) 2004 Stellar Awards for Contemporary Male Vocalist of The Year and Urban/Inspirational Performance of The Year. Haddon's most recent album, "Crossroads," is climbing the charts. Haddon's parents, Bishop Clarence B. and Dr. Joyce Haddon, are pastors of High Praise Cathedral of Faith with two locations in Detroit and Inkster, Michigan. Although close ties to Detroit remain, Deitrick Haddon currently resides in Florida, with his wife, Damita, and is a pastor at Without Walls International Church in Tampa, under Co-Pastors Randy and Paula White.
Fred Hammond (& Radical For Christ) (Born 1960, Detroit, MI) - Singer, songwriter, producer, bass player, and founding member of power-house gospel group, Commissioned. World renowned, Platinum-selling, Stellar Award-winning artist with eight solo albums, multiple producer credits, and numerous guest appearances with such notables as Kirk Franklin, Colorado Mass Choir, and others. Began his legendary career at the age of 12 singing in the church choir. Later he played bass for The Winans and worked with the late-great Thomas Whitfield. Minister Hammond is also CEO of his own record label, F. Hammond Music and is a "motorcycle evangelist," spreading the gospel through the streets of Detroit. Most recent release, "Speak Those Things: POL (Pages of Life) Chapter 3," nominated for 2004 Stellar Award for Contemporary Male Vocalist of The Year. 2001 Gospel Music Hall of Fame Inductee.
Tessie Hill - Born in Monroe, GA. At the age of eight, her family moved to Detroit where she sang in the church choir at Polk Street Church of God in Christ. The minister of music at Polk Street COGIC sent a demo of the choir, with Hill on lead vocals, to Savoy Records in the early 60's. The Savoy executives were so impressed that they signed the choir. Eventually Hill pursued a successful solo career and went on to record a string of hits in the mid-70's including "Great Things," and "Don't Forget to Remember." In 1978 Record World magazine named Tessie Hill its "Top Female Gospel Artist."
Montee Jefferson - former Motown tenor and soprano saxophonist, executive producer, and gospel musician. Jefferson's first solo album, "Sounds From Heaven" showcases his inspirational sax playing.
Chris Jones & Word of Praise - Chris Jones served as primary song writer on group's well-received debut album, "Like A Rock." Group has also performed at the Gospel Superfest II, and sung in the hit gospel stage plays "Come Out of The Rain," "Mama Don't," and "Sang Sista, Sang."
Walter Kearney -Producer and member of the P.A.J.A.M. production team with James Moss and Paul D. Allen. P.A.J.A.M's innovative and cutting edge contemporary-urban gospel production style has made the team increasingly sought after as producers. Production credits include Virtue, Karen Clark Sheard, and Ramiyah.
Esther Keeling - This native Detroiter's first CD is entitled, "God's Greatest Love," on Naricka Records. Ms. Keeling wrote all the songs on the CD, and produced and arranged all the background vocals. She also composes commercial jingles for various media including, radio, tv and websites.
Kelly and Kelly - Family gospel group based in Detroit, Michigan. The siblings are Ellis Kelly III, Andria Kelly, Tracey Kelly, and Rachel Kelly. Since February 1996, Kelly & Kelly has performed the U.S. and Canadian National Anthems in multiple NBA arenas. They have also written produced, and performed tribute songs set to video and televised on WDIV 4 "Sports Final Edition." Their most recent project is a stirring rendition of, "God Bless America," available at Amazon.com.
Kindred Nation - Kindred Nation is a Christian music ministry based in metro Detroit. Their mission statement is "Crossing racial, denominational, and generational boundaries with diverse musical styles and a message of reconciliation." They recently released their debut CD, and are actively involved in ministry in venues as diverse as churches, rescue missions, prisons, coffee houses, and festivals.
Ernest Lee (and the Spirit of David) - Talented musician, producer, composer, arranger, and accountant. Lee was born in Romulus, Michigan and at the age of seven was in a tutelage program under gospel singer, Twinkie Clark. In 19XX, Lee penned and arranged "The Lord Is With Us In This Place," Recorded by Fred Hammond and The Radical For Christ Choir. His group is set to release a project entitled, "New Psalms," soon.
Mad Prophets - Three Detroit-based young men, Quan, Temple and Steel Will make up this Holy hip hop gospel group. Their first album, "Reasons For Rhetoric", attempts to provide answers, not just questions. Their message to the youth of today is clear, Jesus is the only alternative to street life...and death.
The Meditation Singers - Gospel music group co-founded by Della Reese and leader Earnestine Rundless in Detroit. Other members were Marie Waters, Herbert S. Carson, Carrie M. Williams, Laura Lee Rundless (Earnestine's daughter), James Cleveland, Loraine Vincent, and Emory Radford on piano.
Bishop Andrew Merritt - Pastor, singer, composer. Bishop Merritt is pastor of Detroit's Straight Gate church, which he founded over 20 years ago with three members. His wife, Pastor Viveca Merritt, is Co-Pastor. Straight Gate is now over 6,000 members strong, boasts its own recording studio, and is a cornerstone of the Detroit gospel community. Bishop Merritt and the Straight Gate Mass Choir's most recent album, "Expectations: I'll Praise," captures the joyful sounds of Straight Gate's dynamic ministry in praise and worship.
The Rev. James Moore - Born in Detroit in 1956, Moore first performed at the age of seven. The legendary Mattie Moss Clark is credited with helping to launch Moore's gospel career. In 1974, Moore was awarded with the Thurston Frazier Scholarship Award from the Gospel Music Workshop of America. His work with the Mississippi Mass Choir and others has made him a gospel music legend. His homegoing on June 7, 2000, marked the end of his all-to-brief time here with us, but not the end of his impact on gospel music.
James Moss (J. Moss) - Singer, producer, and nephew of gospel legend, Mattie Moss Clark. Co-founder and member of P.A.J.A.M. production company with Paul D. Allen and Walter Kearney. Co-producer and background vocalist on Stellar Award-winning solo release from cousin, Karen Clark-Sheard, entitled "Finally Karen." Moss' cutting edge hip-hop production style has made him increasingly sought after as a producer. Other production credits include Virtue and Ramiyah.
Robert Norwood - Robert currently lives in a suburb of Detroit with his wife Dr. Earlexia M. Norwood and their two children Gabriel and Mikhaella. Robert is a member of the Straight Gate International Church, under the leadership of Bishop Andrew and Pastor Viveca Merritt. He currently serves as leader of "The Timothy Ministry," which is dedicated to the mentoring of young men. As a singer, he has traveled extensively throughout the world spreading the message of the Lord Jesus Christ. He firmly believes and his life exemplifies, that "your gift will make room for you and bring you before great men."
Partners In Christ - Gospel instrumental group featuring native Detroiters Harry Patton and Daryl Beebe on saxophone. Partners In Christ uses a variety of musical genres such as Latin, jazz, contemporary and traditional gospel to spread the Word of God. Patton and Beebe first met in high school where they played together in the marching and jazz bands. In 2002, Patton and Beebe released their debut Partners In Christ recording, entitled “The Covenant Project”. Recently, Patton and Beebe founded Two for One Productions. Two for One will introduce and feature a wide variety of artists.
Brandon Perry "The Psalmist" - Born in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Brandon Perry, is the founder of Breakin' Bread Productions, a comprehensive ministry that uses a combination of methods to deliver messages of hope and direction to young people. Brandon completed his first Maxi-Single CD entitled “Taste the Rhymes” in April 2000. This CD encourages everyone to get to know God personally through the study of the Word. Recently, Brandon ministered at the Bobby Jones New Artist Showcase in Detroit, Michigan where he tied for First Place among 25 participants. He is working on his next full CD release entitled, “Bread of Life”.
Prenestine Williams Porter - Detroit born singer, soloist, director and writer. Porter also teaches Vocal Music for the Detroit Board of Education, and serves as the Minister of Music at Williams Chapel Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of her father, Rev. Welton Williams. A member of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Prenestine has worked with Wanda Nero Butler, Herman Harris and the Voices of Faith Hope and Love, the Michael Fletcher Choral and others. She also sang in the production of T.J. Hemphill’s "Perilous Times," and has ministered internationally in Israel, Haiti, The Caribbean, Sicily, Torino, Florence and Milan.
Ramiyah - Female contemporary gospel group comprised of teen-age songstresses Sherise Staten, Tracy Bryant, DeLaurian Burton and Stephanie Bonner. Ramiyah is Hebrew for "jehovah is exalted" and the group was brought together by the hit production team of PAJAM (J. Moss-nephew of Mattie Moss Clark , Paul "PDA" Allen and Walter Kearney). Ramiyah's self-titled debut album has been well received and garnered the group Stellar Award nominations for New Artist of the Year and Contemporary Group/Duo of the Year.
Rev. Della Reese-Lett (Born Deloreese Patricia Early) - Ordained minister and award-winning singer and actress who began singing in the Baptist church choir in her native Detroit at the age of 6. At 13, she was touring with the late great Mahalia Jackson. At 18, she co-founded a women's gospel group called the Meditation Singers and was the first to take gospel music to the casinos of Las Vegas. Best known for her role as Tess, in the hit television series, "Touched By An Angel," Rev. Reese-Lett is also the founder of Understanding Principles For Better Living Church in Los Angeles, California. She was nominated for a Grammy Award as Best Female Soloist in Gospel Music in 1987 and 1998. Most recently she has written a series of inspirational books, one for each month of the year.
The Resurrection - Detroit recording trio comprised of Mark Walker, Elder Leon Jones, and Bobby Evans, dedicated to "Reaching Men and Women for Christ", through the media of gospel music. Often referred to as "The Temptations" of Gospel Music because of their smooth, easy flowing harmonies and choreographed steps reminiscent of the legendary R&B groups. In 2001, The Resurrection teamed up with Fred Hammond to record "A life That Shows"on the F Hammond Music Release, "Fred Hammond Presents: in case you missed it... and then some."
RiZen (Adriann and Aundrea Lewis, Kanika Trigg, and Ashley Jones) - Although these four powerful songstresses are from Saginaw, MI, we at Detroit Gospel.com consider them honorary metro-Detroiters (Saginaw's not THAT far from Detroit). On their self-titled, major-label debut album, "RiZen"(on Light/Chez Musique records), the quartet puts their own unique spin on traditional gospel music. Their fusion of jazz, R&B, and contemporary influences brings traditional gospel into the 21st Century and garnered them a 2004 Stellar Award for "New Artist of The Year". Their newest release, "RiZen 2," has a scheduled release date of May 17, 2005.
Dr. Marvin Sapp (born Grand Rapids, Michigan) - Accomplished singer, preacher, and associate and youth pastor. Before launching a successful solo career, Dr. Sapp was a member of legendary gospel group, Commissioned. Sapp's 1995 self-titled debut album earned him Dove and Stellar Award nominations. In addition to four solo albums and numerous award nominations, Dr. Sapp is a dynamic preacher and earned his Doctorate in Divinity from Aenon Bible College.
Kierra Sheard - EMI Gospel artist and teenage daughter of Karen Clark-Sheard. The Clark legacy continues in full force as Kierra shines as a guest vocalist on each of her mother's albums, including the most recent release, "The Heavens Are Telling". Kierra's debut release, "I Owe You" debuted at #1 on Billboard's Gospel Chart.
The Singletons - "Six women and two men so tight—so righteous and just plain right—that they could've 'grown up singing together,' you couldn't be more correct." Sisters Camilla, Andrea, and Catrice planted the first seeds of the larger group to come, as the Singleton Sisters. When nieces and nephews Crystal, Carmen, Tia, Ryan and Alfred joined them officially in the year 2000, they kept things simple by settling on "The Singletons," the name carved on the trunk of a very extensive family tree. All raised in Lansing, Michigan—where they are still based today—in a closely knit family where literally everyone was either vocally or instrumentally gifted, and church was integral to day-to-day life, the Singletons were steeped in an environment of musical diversity built on a solid spiritual foundation. With an age range from mid-20s to late-30s, the Singletons keep each other widely versed in genres that run the gamut from traditional Gospel, cool retro-soul and easy jazz, to modern R&B, urban and hip-hop. This Stellar nominated group has shared the stage with renowned artists such as Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp, Mary Mary, Stevie Wonder and so many more. As seen on TBN, INSP Network, and BET, Fred Hammond's protégé group desires to deposit life into each Church Body and are passionate about nothing more than reaching the nations with their ministry! Their blended sound, energetic style and polished presentation are sure to leave you changed…forever!
Evangelist Esther Smith - Evangelist, workshop facilitator, DoRohn Records recording artist, and author of, "Programmed For Failure...But God." In spite of a hectic schedule, Evangelist Smith is a devoted wife and active member of her church, the International Gospel Center located in Ecorse, Michigan, where the Reverend Marvin N. Miles is the Pastor.
Joe Smith (featuring Blessings and Praise) - Producer and songwriter. The debut release from this native Detroiter, "Call Him Up," featuring a live choir has been called old-school gospel at its finest. The title track was written by Ricky Grundy and is a remake of the 1981 Keith Pringle and The Pentecostal Community Choir classic (also known as "Can't Stop Praising His Name").
Sounds of Imani (founded in 1996 in Detroit, MI) - Contemporary gospel vocal/music group comprised of Pastors Gerald & Carol Ervin along with their band, and background vocalist, Kenneth Goodman. The Ervins are Pastors of Acclaim Ministries International ecclesiastical ministry; as well as the presiding officers of Acclaim Community Outreach Services in Detroit, MI. They also own Nia Phase One Publishing, a printing and publishing company, and their own studio & record company, Heaven-Wings Records.
Rudolph Stanfield, Jr. (born December 3, in Detroit)- Musician, composer, arranger, producer, and founder and pastor of Pentecostal Life And Praise, Church Of God In Christ, Royal Oak, Michigan. Long-time collaborator with the late great Rev. James Moore, Pastor Stanfield is also the founder of Malaco recording group, "Rudolph Stanfield and New Revelation"
Derrick Starks - vocalist, producer, composer, and founder of gospel group, Derrick Starks & Today's Generation. Starks' group has released two well-received albums to date, the most recent, "Sacrifice," on Crystal Rose Records was recorded live at Second Ebenezer Baptist Church in Detroit.
Michael Van Tull - (Born in 1962 in the Panama Canal Zone, Relocated to Detroit in 1974). This 1980 graduate of Cass Technical High School in Detroit, is an "urban American poet," whose first collection of poetry is titled, "Speak On It." Mr. Tull is a DoRohn Records gospel artist and has signed with Affirmations Publishing Company.
Evelyn Turrentine-Agee - Born into a family of 18 children in St. Louis, Missouri, Agee moved to Detroit in 1962 where she currently resides. Evelyn began singing with her father when she was three and has sung with many gospel groups including the Gospel Echoettes and The War On Sin Choir. Her release, "God Did It," was a big success receiving several nominations and awards. Her last project, "It's Already Done" (on AIR Gospel records), won a 2004 Stellar Award for "Traditional Female Vocalist of the Year". Her latest release is entitled "Go Through."
Darius Twyman - Director, composer, producer, and recording artist. Formerly with Oscar Hayes' Abundant Life Chorale, Darius Twyman & Destiny's debut album, "Fulfilling My Destiny," was met with strong reviews.
Minister Thomas A. Whitfield (Born: April 30, 1954; Died: June 21, 1992) - Singer, director, keyboardist, arranger, producer, composer, and gospel music legend affectionately referred to as "The Maestro." In his all too brief time here, Minister Whitfield left an indelible mark on the canvas of gospel music. Possibly second only to James Cleveland as one of the greatest gospel music composers of all time. Many of today's gospel music artists began their careers with the help of Whitfield, including gospel mega-stars, Fred Hammond, Byron Cage, and Yolanda Adams. During his lifetime, Whitfield was nominated for three Grammy Awards. In 1999, Thomas Whitfield and the Whitfield Company were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Though Whitfield is no longer with us, his legacy lives on through The Whitfield Company and the many gospel artists who continue to record his classic songs, such as "Nothing But The Blood," "Soon As I Get Home," "We Need A Word From The Lord," and so many more.
The Whitfield Company, founded by Thomas Whitfield, Jr. in 1977, continues to be a viable force in the gospel music industry, made up of the same voices "handpicked" by Thomas Whitfield 17 years ago. The group is still touring and is preparing to record again soon. The Whitfield Company has been the recipient of numerable awards and "is committed to living up to a legacy of a man that transcended gospel music." Their last highly anticipated and well received project was "Still" on The Crystal Rose label. Click here to purchase "Still" by The Whitfield Company on Amazon.com.
The Whitfield Music Group - Founded by Larry and David Whitfield, these talented brothers of the late great Thomas Whitfield ("The Maestro") are musically gifted in their own right. The Whitfield Music Group's vision is to reach the ears of many who are lost to share the Gospel through song. Along with their musical director, Demetrius "Krayon" Nabors, the group has recently released, "This Time," an inspiring and upbeat mix of contemporary and traditional style gospel music. "This Time" by The Whitfield Music Group is available at God's World in Detroit and on CDBaby.com.
Angie & Debbie Winans - This gospel singing duo of Winans sisters is known for their bold presentation of the gospel to a God-less generation. Met with stiff opposition on their "Bold" album for singing what they believe, the project nonetheless maintained Billboard Top 10 status for several weeks. Most recently, Debbie Winans-Lowe has released a gospel children's album, "Debbie Winans Presents Fruity Fruits" with the nine Fruit of the Spirit singing 12 up-beat children's songs.
BeBe (Benjamin) Winans (born Sept. 17, 1962 in Detroit, MI) - Multiple award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, actor, and member of gospel music's First Family. Accomplished solo artist in addition to 7 albums with younger sister CeCe. Co-starred in Broadway run of "Your Arms Too Short To Box With God."
CeCe (Priscilla) Winans (born Oct. 8, 1964 in Detroit, MI) - 7-Time Grammy award-winning member of gospel music's royal family. This singer, songwriter, producer, actress, and author has 6 solo albums to her credit, 7 albums with brother BeBe Winans, and numerous Grammy, Stellar, and Dove Awards. Her phenomenal voice and inspiring music knows no boundaries. She is also the founder and driving force behind PureSprings Gospel, an independent gospel record label creating music that is creatively excellent, culturally relevant, partnering with highly creative people who are called to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ through the arts.
Pastor Marvin L. Winans (born March 5, 1958) - Pastor, singer, lyricist, composer and member of gospel music group, The Winans. Pastor Winans is the youngest of twins and the fourth of ten children. In 1989, Pastor Winans founded Perfecting Church in Detroit, with 8 members. Since then, the church has grown to over 3,000.
Marvin L. Winans, Jr. - Son of Pastor Marvin L. Winans and award winning gospel singer, Vickie Winans. Marvin, Jr. is making his own mark in the gospel music arena as a member of Winans Phase 2. He was also nominated with his mother for a 2004 Stellar Award for Producer of The Year, for Ms. Winans' album, "Bringing It All Together."
Michael & Regina Winans - Singers, composers, and producers. Michael, a member of gospel music group, The Winans and his wife, Regina are a powerful gospel duo in their own right. Their debut album, "Always Remember," included vocal backgrounds from son, Michael Winans, Jr. (of Winans Phase 2) and daughter, LaShay.
Mom (Delores) & Pop (David) Winans - Musicians, gospel singers and heads of gospel music's First Family, the Winans. Married November 21, 1953, Mom and Pop Winans first met in 1949 in Detroit while in the Lucille Lemons Choir, which was directed by gospel music pioneer the Rev. James Cleveland. Mom & Pop Winans have released several projects together and as solo artists.
Elder Ronald Winans (June 30, 1956 - June 17, 2005) - The 2nd eldest of gospel's first family and member of Grammy, Dove, & Stellar Award winning gospel group, The Winans. In 2003, Elder Winans released a solo project titled, "The Best Of Ron Winans Family & Friends," on EMI Gospel. His final project, "Ron Winans Family And Friends, Vol. 5: A Celebration" was released shortly before his death in 2005, on the Entheos Record label. Ron was also co-owner of Gladys Knight and Ron Winans Chicken and Waffles restaurant in Atlanta, GA.
Vickie Winans (Born October 18, 1953 in Detroit, MI) - Award-winning singer, radio host, television host, playwrite, actress and a member of gospel music's dynasty by marriage, Vickie Winans has been called "the hardest working woman in gospel." Her most recent album, "Bringing It All Together,"was co-produced by son, Marvin Winans, Jr. (a member of Winans Phase 2), who also wrote, tracked, and sang on several album cuts. Vickie. Winans won (4) 2004 Stellar Awards for "Artist of The Year," "Female Vocalist of The Year," "Contemporary Female Vocalist of The Year," and "Music Video of The Year." She is also nominated for a 2004 Grammy Award for "Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album."
The Winans - This gospel quartet comprised of Marvin, Carvin, Ron, and Michael Winans, pioneered the contemporary gospel sound with the cross-over hit, "The Question Is." The Winans have received four Grammys, and a Dove and a Stellar Award, and have a certified Gold record to their credit. Most recently they have pursued solo projects, including an album by Michael and his wife, Regina, and a solo album by Ron. Carvin has been involved with Winans Phase 2 while Rev. Marvin Winans is the pastor of Perfecting Church in Detroit.
The Winans Phase 2 (Formed in 1998 in Detroit) - This third generation of the Winans gospel music dynasty is comprised of Marvin Winans Jr., Carvin Winans III, Juan Winans, and Michael Winans, Jr. Their Myrrh Records debut, "We Got Next," hit number one on Billboard's Top Gospel Albums in 1999 and garnered Grammy and Dove Award nominations.
Witness - Detroit-based contemporary female gospel group. Under the direction of founder and producer Michael Brooks, Pastor of Restoration Fellowship Church in Detroit, Witness is one of the pioneers of contemporary gospel music. Most recent ensemble members are sole-remaining original member, Lisa Page Brooks (wife of Pastor Michael Brooks), Lou Stewart, Natasha Page (Lisa's daughter), and Laeh (Page) Jones, (Lisa's sister). Their most recent album, "An Appointed Time," is Witness' ninth album since their debut in 1987.
Orlando Wright - Gospel singer and actor. At the age of 18 came to Detroit and met a member of the choir headed by the legendary Mattie Moss Clark. Wright joined the group for a year and after that began getting concert and recording work on his own. Has toured with Vickie Winans, sung in Detroit Praisefest concerts and starred in the gospel music productions "Perilous Times" and "The Fabric of a Man."
GIA Wyre - gospel vocalist. At the age of ten, Ms. Wyre sang at Carnegie Hall. In 1995 at a Summit held in Miami, Florida, GIA sang for former President Bill Clinton. Currently a featured vocalist with Antun Foster & Chemistry.