Singer, songwriter, musician, producer, arranger, play writer, and film producer/Director and multimedia entertainment Fred Hammond has been a leading pioneer of Gospel music since 1985. As a progenitor of ‘Urban Praise & Worship’, Hammond has influenced Pop superstars such as Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Jamie Foxx, and more. Foxx explained in an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live how Hammond’s “No Weapon” had a profound impact on Quentin Tarantino and the cast of D’jango during the shooting of some of the film’s more intense scenes. Hammond named as Essence Magazine’s list of the 50 Greatest Males Singers of All Time, Fred Hammond has topped Billboard charts, sold millions of records, multi Grammy/Stellar/BET/N.A.A.C.P winner, and collaborated with Snoop Dogg and Kayne West. Hammond was also the founding member of seminal Gospel group Commissioned, Radical for Christ, Motor City Mass, and United Tenors.
Israel Houghton is a six-time GRAMMY®-winning gospel singer-songwriter, band leader, and innovator whose 20-year career with the musical collective NewBreed has taken him around the world, growing and adapting in surprising ways over a very transformative stretch of music and cultural history. Most recently, as the isolation and danger of a global pandemic rocked the music industry, Houghton, renowned for his live performance and live albums, became an early champion of the livestream format by sharing a regular livestream combining music and worship services for a stay-at-home audience alongside his wife Adrienne, co-host of The Real and his frequent musical collaborator. Now, the upcoming live album Project LA: Alive in Los Angeles immortalizes the stay-at-home NewBreed experience, breathing electricity into the intimate #WorshipWednesdays series with a communal vibe that blurs the lines between band, family, and audience.
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Gospel music legends and fans alike are abuzz about Anthony Brown, a young, urban, musically endowed and gifted songwriter and vocalist. With an artistic pedigree that is steadily strengthening his stature and distinction, Brown is quickly becoming recognized as an up-and-coming force in the gospel music industry and church music ministry.
Brown (and his background singers, Group TherAPy), were also featured on B.E.T.’s 2006, 2007, and 2012 Celebration of Gospel. He has worked with such artists as Donald Lawrence, Myron Butler, Stevie Wonder, Anthony Hamilton, Juanita Bynum, Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, the legendary Caravans and was featured on Bobby Jones Gospel in 2010 and 2011.
Gospel/worship artist Todd Dulaney is noted for his smooth classic soul delivery and contemporary arranging and songwriting styles. After singing backup for Smokie Norful and others, he released his debut album, Pulling Me Through, in 2013. He went on to top the Billboard gospel albums chart with both 2016's A Worshipper's Heart and 2018's Your Great Name. Dulaney's fifth full-length, Anthems & Glory, relied heavily on scripture for its message.
Born and raised in Maywood, Illinois, and singing from a young age, Dulaney spent much of his youth aspiring to a career in baseball, eventually playing for Wabash Valley College in Mount Carmel, Illinois. From college, he was drafted by MLB's New York Mets in 2002 and spent five (non-consecutive) years playing professional minor-league baseball. During that span, he continued to devote energies to ministry and singing. He ultimately accepted an invitation to tour with Grammy-winning gospel artist Smokie Norful as a backup singer, and built a performance résumé working with other artists including but not limited to Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, and Michelle Williams.
In 2011, Dulaney issued his solo debut, Pulling Me Through, which appeared on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart in 2013 after receiving a label release with Gold Street Gospel Entertainment. The album led to a record deal with Entertainment One, which released his gospel-charting version of "The Anthem" (already known to praise & worship fans as a hit by Australia's the Planetshakers) in 2015. The song appeared on his sophomore outing, A Worshipper's Heart, delivered in April 2016. It reached number one on Billboard's Top Gospel Albums chart. 2018 saw the release of Dulaney's third full-length, Your Great Name, which marked his second gospel number one.
Dulaney's next long-player, To Africa with Love, was recorded live in Cape Town, South Africa and featured appearances from Nicole Harris, Illia Jackson, and South African gospel singer Lebohang Kgapola. Issued in 2019, it reached as high as number two on the gospel albums chart. With lyrics drawing from scripture, Anthems & Glory followed on eOne in 2021.
Every now and again, we are able to capture a genuine treasure in an earthly vessel whose exuberance is illuminated only by talent, unique ability, humility, and opportunity. Such an individual comes in the person of Michael McClure, Jr. who is known all over the world as Pastor Mike, Jr.In a short time, this gentle giant from the south has captured the hearts and minds of people from all walks of life, inspiring them to change their way of thinking and dream again despite the odds that appear devastating.
His Live Free album was an immediate success, making its debut atop the Billboard Gospel charts and garnering 2 coveted Stellar Awards in 2020. Billboard crowned his first single “B!G”,, the Gospel Airplay song for the year 2020, as it maintained the top spot at Gospel radio for 9 consecutive weeks. That was followed by the release of “I Got It” which won fans across multiple genres. The infectious single made its way to # 1 on the Gospel Charts and #17 on the HipHop radio charts.
Pastor Mike Jr. calls Birmingham home where he proudly and distinctly serves as Sr. Pastor of the Rock City Church, one of the fastest-growing congregations in the United States according to Outreach Magazine. Rock City Church services a congregation of over 8 thousand people weekly via online streams and owns the only black-owned fully accredited K-8 Christian School in the state of Alabama. With deep philanthropic roots, Rock City Church and Pastor Mike Jr. answer the call as “my brother’s keeper, spearheading programs and initiatives to benefit the underprivileged and underserved in inner city communities. The church annually pays bills for families in need and provides food, shelter, and clothing. Pastor Mike, Jr. partnered with RIP Medical Debt to pay off nearly $1M in medical debt in the city of Birmingham. As well as partnered with the Jefferson Co. Sheriff’s Dept. to provide toys and Christmas items for the children of incarcerated mothers in 2021.
On top of his community work, Pastor Mike Jr. uses his music to continue to promote the work of God and frequently has sold-out concert dates. Some of the standout performances have been Radio One’s Praise in the Park, TSU Homecoming Kick-Off, WXOK Anniversary Celebration, and iHeart Media’s annual Hallelujah Summer Jam.
His Stellar Awards and Dove Awards performances drew wide audience reactions and internet engagement. “B!G” the inaugural single from LIVE FREE, receives over 1.5 million plays a week on streaming platforms and has been #1 Most Added Song at Gospel and R&B Radio. To date B!G has received more than 20 million streams. Pastor Mike swept the 2021 Gospel Music award season by winning 3 Stellar Awards, including Artist of the Year at the 36th Annual Stellar Awards, and performed the groundbreaking hit, “Amazing”, a nod to Cee-Lo and Gnarls Barkley.
The movement did not stop there, Pastor Mike was a featured presenter and was nominated for Male Artist of the Year at the 52nd GMA DOVE Awards and headlined the Ronald McDonald House Summer Concert Series alongside Donald Lawrence, JJ Hairston and Cece Winans. Closing out the year I Got It was celebrated as the number one song on Billboard’s Year-End Gospel Radio chart.
2022 has been no different! Pastor Mike Jr. headlined TV One’s Super Bowl Gospel Celebration, in February 2022. He once again swept the 2022 award season garnering 6 more Stellar Award wins, including the coveted 37th Annual Stellar Award Artist of the Year, making him the first artist to receive the award back-to-back in over 15 years! He also co-hosted the Stellar Award Pre-Show. He has been featured on the cover of several publications and shows no signs of stopping now!
He will close out the year with his new EP, Winning featuring his very first Christmas song! 2023 is already slated to be another amazing year as he plans to release his sophomore album in early spring 2023 as well as numerous concert dates locally and abroad! He is definitely an artist to watch in 2023!