Grammy Award-winning Gospel Choir Jubilation Commemorates “Black Music Month” with 20th Anniversary Reunion Gala

Every year since 1979, the month of June has been recognized internationally, though mostly in the western world, as “Black Music Month”. The month of celebratory recognition and historical enrichment was first established by the 39th United States President Jimmy Carter. It is still widely supported today as President Barak Obama described in his 2016 proclamation, the richness of culture that African-American artists and music have helped America “to dance, to express our faith through song, to march against injustice, and to defend our country’s enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all.”

After a terrible stroke, Rev. Dr. Stefanie R. Minatee, founder and artistic director of Grammy Award-winning gospel choir ‘Jubilation’, took a break from the choir without knowing when or if she could ever return. Well, God has bigger plans than any stroke or life-threatening incident. As there could not be a more opportune time for the Jubilation Gospel Choir to reunite with their founder, Minatee is back and ready for more of God.

In an interview with Billboard, Minatee shares how grateful she is to be alive and to still be able to spread God’s goodness in her life:

“God kept me here for a purpose. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be alive and still minister. Most stroke victims can’t talk or move, but he spared me. And I want to share with the world what he’s done.”

In honor of this great reunion, the famous gospel choir held a prestigious gala event at their home theater, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, on June 22nd, 2019. Not only was this event held to celebrate 20 years of incredible gospel music, but it was also the very first-time Minatee performed in that theater since before her stroke.

While Jubilation was always known throughout the gospel music scene, it was not until their featured debut on Queen Latifah’s 2009 compilation album called “Oh Happy Day: An All-Star Music Celebration” that the group was officially recognized for and awarded and Grammy. Following this, the group had the incredible opportunity to sing with Latifah in the 2010 Super Bowl. Latifah served as an honorary chair for the Jubilation reunion event, as her mother is a close friend to Minatee and member of the choir.

At the gala, Jubilation performed songs from over six albums and even sang a new song for honored guests called “It’s All About You”. This project captured the complete inspiration and witness of Minatee’s most difficult times since the stroke and how the Lord’s presence was always there for her. She states, “I’m talking on the single as I couldn’t sing the way I wanted to, but it’s a blessing.”

Minatee anxiously prepared for this celebratory night and all the joy that it will bring people. As she was joined on stage by singers from all over the country, she was overwhelmed with the support from all and looks forward to a new inspiring season with her beloved, Jubilation.

Clara Chukwurah Catches the Media’s Eye with New Instagram Post Promoting the Word of God

There is no denying that the Word of God spreads like wildfire. The world today is more exposed to the gospel than any other time in history and it’s not slowing down in any way. Whether its technology reaching the masses or the genuine power of God moving through your communities supernaturally, God is telling us the time to follow Him is now.

While God is touching lives all over the world, Nigeria is especially growing in knowledge and revelation of Jesus. Over the years famous celebrities have confessed a new life in Christ. From Charly Boy to Yul Edochie to Chris Okotie, accepting Jesus and being completely transformed by His love has made the headlines time and again.

80s actress, and mother to music director Clarence Peters, Clarion Chukwurah is our most recent celebrity to have accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. When a brother or sister with such a great influence as Chukwurah joins the kingdom of God, we cannot help but REJOICE! The name of God becomes like a flame that cannot be extinguished as thousands are exposed to the saving power of God through His son, Jesus Christ.

Photo of Clara and son, Clarence Peters
Photo by: Pulse.ng

On June 9th Chukwurah took the opportunity to share her testimony on her Instagram page. With more than twelve thousand followers, Clara Chukwurah (as referred to on Instagram) shared the following message of truth:

“My Testimony; As an Actress, I played the role of the Bitch and life was all about Glamour and Glitz, and though I was the Humanitarian, I didn’t realise that with CHRIST there are no half measures. But, Today, HE has saved me – John 3: 16 and like the Apostle Paul – Romans 1: 16 and I will Glorify His Name because HE has empowered me for others to be saved – Acts 1: 8. Jesus Christ is the ULTIMATE…do you know HIM? Are you saved? Do you have a one on one relationship with Jesus Christ today like I do? If so, what is your Testimony?”

Recently, the world has witnessed many stories of people coming to faith through a near-death experience or being physically rescued from something that was threatening them. In the many testimonies of the rich and famous, the commonality is the search for more out of life. When you have tasted all that the world has to offer you, just imagine how quenching the truth is!

These blessed celebrities are using their influence, following, and voice to show the world how much more there is offered in Christ. Join us in praying for all of your favorite icons, that they would be touched by the revelation of God and be truly transformed.

See more of Chukwurah’s motivational messages by following her at @clarachukwurah on Instagram and the Clarion Chukwurah Official Facebook page.

“Say Amen, Somebody” – A Classic Returns

The world is becoming increasingly more fascinated with the history of gospel music and the incredible performers that have made rise out of it. As the genre continues to make a name for itself in our culture today, the whole world can hear and enjoy the soulful praise that is lifted up to God in song.

Many historians are able to understand and piece together the historical context of culture and religion/faith by preserving the gospel music movement. Recently, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture has acquired rights to show the newly restored version of the classic film “Say Amen, Somebody”, a 1982 documentary on gospel history.

Project Funding

While the original film is still considered a product of support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the restoration of the film and rerelease is supported by the museums center for African American Media Arts (CAAMA), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences-Academy Film Archives, Milestone Films, and the Robert F. Smith Fund. Some of these donations have specifically gone towards the funding to digitize and preserve African American Stories, to which this rich historical account of gospel music from an earlier era is considered.

Meet: The Father of Gospel Music

One man to remember is Thomas A. Dorsey, also known and referred to as the “father of gospel”. You perhaps have recognized him from the classic song which he composed, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord”. From singing the old spiritual hymns to making a name for yourself in Blues, one must seek the balance and what makes sense to them. Dorsey did just that, as he states in the film, “They didn’t want that singing. I took spirituals and hymns, put rhythm to it to call it gospel.”

Throughout his career in gospel music and beyond, he composed over 400 songs that have captured the attention of the world and the music culture of that time. From Elvis Presley to actual church choirs, Dorsey’s music has transcended cultural and religious barriers. Dorsey’s contribution to the gospel music community did not stop at his skilled composition. During his time, he also went on to become the founder and first president of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, now serving the United States 85 years of annual conventions.

The complete restoration process was overseen by the original director of the film, George Nierenberg. In the original production, Nierenberg spent a year living with the gospel artists and capturing their lives; the struggles they face, the faith they have, and the obstacles they’ve had to overcome for the joy of singing for God.

Many in attendance at the screening for the restored project expressed an overwhelming thankfulness to Nierenberg for capturing and preserving the essence that was always there from the beginning. While there are no current plans for an official release, both George Nierenberg and Milestone Films plan to continue seeking further opportunities for showing the film.

If you have the chance to see the film, you must! It is an inspiring and moving reflection of a previous time of soul, culture and gospel music.

Award Winning Gospel Collaborative Project – Wilsongs by Dr. Wilson Muwanguzi

Music is a powerful source that can play a huge part in your mood, which can affect your whole day. Music can either be used to energize or to relax. It is also used as self-expression, both in creating as well as in sharing. Our capabilities for making and listening to music are constantly advancing and becoming more and more a part of our everyday life, although it’s been a centralized point throughout history and culture since the beginning of time.

Knowing that music has such a strong effect on our mindset, we can always use it to refocus ourselves and our attention to God and His ways. When we listen to Spirit-filled music, our eyes return to the Lord and we become instantly strengthened, as we claim the promises of God, singing them over ourselves and our situations.

One ministry that has grasped the true power that Spirit-filled music has over our situations and mindset is the ministry of Wilsongs, founded by Dr. Wilson Muwanguzi. After experiencing the overwhelming benefits and blessings that gospel music brings, Dr. Wilson was ready to create this experience for believers all around the world. He recently sat down with Uganda Christian News to share about their ongoing project. With leaders of the industry all around the world, ‘all bound by a common goal of giving a voice for the generation that is passionate about God and addressing society needs’. Dr. Wilson’s dream to see a generation penetrated by the power of God-inspired music began to manifest.

This project reaches beyond all barriers of culture, style, denomination, and genre to satisfy and uplift all believers from every walk of life. Holy Spirit inspired lyrics not only encourage and uplift, but they lead us to be knowers of God’s Word, which produces teachers of God’s Word.

Image result for Wilsongs
Wilsongs at Viga Music Awards by: Uganda Christian News

The Wilsongs group has received several awards over the course of their ministry work and most recently on May 31st at the Viga Music Awards ceremony in Kampala, in Uganda where they are based out of. Wilsongs group was the recipient of the Best Duo/Band/Group of the year, and Dr. Wilson received recognition for the Afri-Song Artist of the year 2019 award.

Dr. Wilson took the time to sit down with Uganda Christian News to share his thoughts on all the buzz:

“Winning at the Viga Music Awards 2019, has been a miracle of its kind: it came at a time when we had just released our new songs; “Yuza Eggulu”, ” Saawa Ya Kubotola”, “Waliwo Abisobola”, “Mulimu Ekipya” and “Praising You Jehovah (Tenda)” yet they had not yet received as much acclamation as expected, even though Wilsongs is generally loved within and across borders…. While winning awards is not the major aim, with this victory GOD has literally lifted us miles into the sky. We feel like stars shining high and bright. Surely; in such a time.”

Idols SA Yanga Sobetwa Takes Fans to the ‘Promised Land’ – NEW ALBUM!

Six months have passed since the exciting win for Idols SA Yanga Sobetwa. From graduating high school to becoming a millionaire in a matter of months, Yanga soon realized that God has a plan for her life, and it’s much more than she ever could have imagined for herself.

Yanga was the youngest contestant in season 14 of Idols SA but that never caused anyone to doubt her incredible vocals and presence throughout the competition. This historical win took all of South Africa by surprise as Yanga announced only after winning that she will be doing something different with her fame and success.

With an increasing amount of pressure and status, Yanga chose to glorify God with everything. She not only announced that she will continue her music career in Gospel music, but also that she plans to use her platform for so much more than just music.

Check Out the New Music Video “Promised Land” Here!

The long-awaited, newest single and first complete album, “Promised Land” was released earlier this month on May 10th. In just two weeks, “Promised Land” has made its way to the top of the iTunes Gospel charts and it hasn’t budged! However, Yanga is no stranger to being at the top. At the very release of her first debut, her single “Scars (All Over Me)” was at the top of the charts and the music video gained quite a lot of attention, as well.

“Promised Land” was a project that involved many amazing and inspiring talent from both the world of Gospel music and the Idols SA community. Grammy award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir and fan favorite Idols SA contestant Amanda Black joined Yanga for an incredible and collaborative production.

As Yanga continues to bless the world with her music, she looks forward to further finding her individuality and her sound. It is important to her that she inspires the world to find hope for a better world and future, as she has found in God.

Sitting in an interview with TshisaLIVE, South African Times, Yanga shared these words in response to her style and what she wants her fans to take away from her music, success, and fame:

“The song is inspired by harmony, peace and nation building. The song makes me feel like I am spreading a message of hope and I hope it touches someone’s life”

“I have definitely received great feedback from all over, people say my music brings them hope and peace and they are amazed at what the album does to their souls. That feels good, it gives me a tap on the back and encourages me to go forward.”

LoveWorld Worship on Good Gospel Playlist!

Good Gospel Playlist is here to bring you the latest and greatest news of all things relating to music, soul, and lifting the name of Jesus!

With hundreds of new songs coming out every week, this generation will never have a hard time finding great artists to listen to.

It’s not only secular music that has made a way for all genres and styles to be readily available for people to listen, subscribe, download, etc. Any good gospel playlist is sure to include artists like Sinach, Tori Kelly, Jeannine Zoe and so many more. With endless ways to stream and share music now, Gospel artists are popular both within and outside of the Church.

If you love Gospel music and worshipping the name of Jesus, you cannot miss out on the newest LoveWorld Worship Album Volume 1! All of your favorite LoveWorld musicians, praising the Lord in one place, under one name! There has been incredible Gospel music straight from the LoveWorld Music and ARTS Ministry (LMAM) but never anything like this! Be sure to download your LoveWorld Worship Album Volume 1 from the Pastor Chris Digital Library. The link to download is below!

Gospel music has become the sound of revival! Since the origin, Gospel Music has held popularity in the African and American cultures. The structure of Gospel music is intended to draw people into an experience in which they can worship freely. With lyrics that are simple, powerful, and repeated – we worship this way to usher in the presence of God, more than anything else, and we pray the Holy Spirit would inhabit our praises.

6 verses about praise and worship

1 Chronicles 16:25

“For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods.”

2 Samuel 22:4

“I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so, shall I be saved from my enemies.”

Psalm 66:1-4

“Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: sing forth the honor of his name: make his praise glorious. Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! Through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. All the earth shall worship thee and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah”

Psalm 35:27-28

“Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favor my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all day long.”

Psalm 150:3-6

“Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with psaltery and harp. Praise Him with the timbral and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high-sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord, Praise ye the Lord.”

Psalm 146:1-2

“Praise ye Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul. While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.”

When the powerful Word of the Lord has all the authority in Heaven and on Earth, how can we help but sing of His praises all the time?

God is in the business of changing lives and winning souls by His Word and the testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s join in the glory and bring our praises to Him, the one who is most worthy!

DON’T FORGET to download your recording of the LoveWorld Worship Album Vol 1 — here! 

Aretha Franklin’s Live Gospel Album Finally to Reach the Cinema – “Amazing Grace”

On August 16th we will remember one year since Aretha Franklin left our world and imprinted our hearts forever. A day that will remain in history as a day we all lost a bit of soul. Imagining a world of music without such an incredible talent has in no way become any easier with time. She was not only an astounding vocalist, but a lover of many with an infectious spirit, and a timeless icon in gospel music.

Whether you are a believer in Christ or not, some performers carry a sense of godliness in them that comes from their spirit when they sing. Franklin was one of those vocalists that causes you to look to God because of the richness of the soul in everything she did and in each performance.

In 1972, at the age of thirty years old, Aretha Franklin was hosted by the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church of Los Angeles, California for a two-night special performance. However, no one could have believed this would become the biggest selling live gospel album in history. Altogether, the production was set to be a powerful and moving expression of art and media but was left untouched (for the most part) and unseen by most of the world, until now.

The art of Reconstruction

The new film titled Amazing Grace is one of its kind. The phenomenon of mixing media and arts to produce something wonderful that has never been done before is not simply creating something that is new but rather an entire experience that has never been had. Oscar winner Sydney Pollack was brought on to direct multicamera footage of the entire two-day performance, all taking place in the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church.

Due to the quality and abilities of filmography from the early 1970s being much less advanced than what we consider to be ‘workable’ now, the footage sat unedited for decades. It was not until very recently that the correct digital editing technology was even created to reconstruct the footage. Producer Alan Elliot became interested in the project that was becoming more relevant as film production became more advanced.

The Worship Experience

The Guardian describes Elliot’s work on the film by Pollack to capture both the hive of musical activity and fervor or religious ecstasy that thronged through that church all those years ago. There is always a greater sense of intimacy between the artists and listeners when there is a raw visual performance, much like the experience of going to a concert versus listening in your headphones. Amazing Grace brings us directly into the intimacy of that worship experience that took place almost 50 years ago.

Overall, the project is one of its kind that has never been done before. The art of bringing an audience into such an intimate and spirit-filled experience that was had so long ago and giving it new power and strength constitutes an utter masterpiece. The film has had a gradual release, as it has been featured throughout 2018 in various film festivals across the US. It officially released in the UK last week, with additional scheduled releases in other countries throughout the summer. Check out the official trailer for Aretha Franklin’s new tribute film “Amazing Grace”

#BETSundayBest is back!

You have probably heard the names Kierra Sheard, Mary Mary, Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin, Bebe and Cece Winans, and Kirk Franklin. But what do all these incredible talents have in common? Black Entertainment Television (BET) Gospel music singing competition called Sunday Best is hosted and judged by each one of these brilliant artists and personalities. BET released the first episode of the inspiring reality series in October of 2007.

http://myhoustongospel.com/2019/01/bet-sunday-best-to-return-spring-2019/

Since the original release date, the series has produced and aired eight consecutive seasons. Sunday Best was on the air, and doing well, through the summer of 2015. Finale winner, Dathan Thigpen, was a familiar face to all who were following the competition from the 3rd season. Though Thigpen was voted off at the time, he returned to give the competition his all in the final season – he took the stage and all of our hearts! The series rounded out with an overwhelming response from fans and such a strong presence of God, as all glory and praise throughout the competition was given to Him.

After taking what was thought to be their final bow, judges and host, Kirk Franklin never would have imagined the competition to start up again for a ninth season. Yet, here we are. It is 2019 and BET recently announced the show’s return to the network, coming June 2019. You can expect some familiarity but look out for a total revamp of the complete design and production. Judges will include, again, the one and only Erica Campbell from Mary Mary, along with Kelly Price and Jon McReynolds.

While each season has started out with ten contestants in the past, the new season will gather a group of twenty aspiring Gospel singers from all over the world. The audition locations include Dallas, Atlanta, Johannesburg, and London. You can expect to see amazing talent come out, from both near and far. With so many other reality television programs clouding the networks today, it is encouraging to see the Lord’s name lifted high in the media, across so many varying audiences. These upcoming stars will be recognized and known for their praise, and while the competition will be strong between the contestants, God is the One to receive all the glory.

Make sure to get caught up if you have not yet seen the older seasons and tune in on June 30th for the premiere of season 9! Watch Sunday Best on BET every Sunday night and vote for your favorite Gospel singers. In previous seasons, the winner received a national recording contract, a cash prize and the esteemed title of “Sunday Best”. It has not yet been confirmed if the rewards will be the same for the winners this time around, but we are sure it will be something you do not want to miss!

If you want to follow the performances and updates on Instagram and Twitter, check out #BETSundayBest and don’t forget to vote!

Women in the Christian Entertainment Industry

PROCLAIM19 DISCUSSES WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY

National Religious Broadcaster recently wrapped up their annual International Christian Media Convention, Proclaim 19. The convention took place in Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California from March 26-29, 2019

ChristianWomeninEntertainment

This gathering included the most talented and successful producers, organizers, directors, and musicians in the Christian entertainment industry, making for an enriching experience for all creative leaders worldwide. In addition to the amazing networking opportunities when you gather so many creative minds together in one space, you may also find yourself amongst some of the most important and necessary players in the industry. Sometimes, when it comes to ministry, things can require reaching for resources more outside of the box; the lawyers and the advertisement companies, the webmasters and travel agencies, came together to learn more about the industry in which they are all so uniquely intertwined between faith and profession.

With endless knowledge being shared at such an event as this one, there is also an opportunity to open the floor and shed light on specific issues in the industry by facilitating a healthy and educated conversation around them. One of the several panel sessions at Proclaim 19 was titled ‘Women in Entertainment’. The panel was moderated by Evy Baehr Carrol, host and director of creative content at Movieguide, and the first of its category at the annual convention.

One of the panelists, “War Room” actress Priscilla Shirer, speaks about the balance that working in the industry requires of her. For a Christian woman, this balance is not between fame and success, but rather in Priscilla’s case, it is all about prioritizing and seeking God’s face. “There are seasons to a woman’s life, and certain things the Lord calls you to prioritize in one season are going to shift in another season,” Shirer said. “Our task is to tune in and ask the Lord, ‘What will honor You in this particular season of my life? What do I need to prioritize so that my priorities align with Yours during this season?’ And I give myself to those fully.” All the panelists could agree on one thing, it takes constant turning to and relying on God’s direction and discernment when choosing what and how much to take on in the film industry.

Here is a trailer for the movie ‘War Room’:

On the other side of this unwavering devotion to remain in God’s will and continuously seek Him first is the side of the industry. With trusting in the sovereignty and omnipotence of God, producers and directors find themselves to be quite satisfied with the work but must remember just as well to hold it loosely, trust in the Lord and always be willing to let go of something for Him to take it away.

In closing words, Carrol spoke of the encouragement that came from this session and states “[God] has shown us His faithfulness and hope in the entertainment industry. This is exactly our desire at Movieguide, to help encourage women and men to make great faith-filled content in the entertainment industry and fulfill God’s purpose in their lives.”

 

 

Sinach Goes Viral

Groundbreaking Gospel Starlets

Known around the world as the first lady of gospel music, Sinach, according to ‘All Africa’ news, has broken the record by being the first gospel artiste in the country of Nigeria “to amass over 100 million views on YouTube.”

The record-breaking event reflects the increasingly word-wide appeal held by some of Nigerian gospel singers. Millions of gospel singers around the world are turning to these inspirational musicians who create uplifting beats, as well as minister the Word of God.

Sinach is not the only gospel star to receive such attention. In the same article, All Africa news reported about other musicians that are gaining similar success. According to the article “Sinach became the first Gospel singer from Nigeria to record over 100 million views on a single video on Youtube, and the third Nigerian to achieve that feat, next to Davido and Yemi Alade, who achieved the same feat in December 2018. She achieved this with her song, WayMaker which was published 30th December 2015, amassed over 100,166,641 (a hundred million) views on YouTube.

Beyond the catchy tunes of these massively popular gospel songs, a reason for their appeal is that these artistes seem to put forth the message and spirit of Loveworld International. Sinach, who is a senior worship leader at Loveworld has “an anointing to her song and this has taken her to three continents and major concerts including an event in 2016 by the revered healing evangelist, Benny Hinn.

Loveworld Music & Arts Ministry
Loveworld Music & Arts Ministry

According to All Africa “It is a testimony that Osinachi Joseph (her name having been married to Joe Egbu in 2014) has catalyzed a vibrant music ministry at her church and helped developed the now rested Love World Records which has produced the likes of Joe Praize, Ada Ehi and so many others to mention a few.

Sinach has produced seven albums namely Chapter One, I’m Blessed, Shout it Loud, From Glory to Glory, Sinach at Christmas, Sinach Live in Concert- The Name of Jesus, and Waymaker- Live. She has also written and performed an array of tracks including “You Lord”, “Rejoice”, “He Did It Again”, “Precious Jesus”, “The Name of Jesus”, “This Is my Season”, “Awesome God”, “For This”, “I Stand Amazed”, “Simply Devoted” and “Jesus is Alive”.

In 2016, Sinach was the first recipient of the LIMA Songwriter of the Decade Award, recognizing her contribution to gospel music in the previous decade