Home / Features / Articles / THE 2017 GRAMMY WINNERS: GOSPEL SPOTLIGHT by Christopher Heron


The 2017 Grammy Awards had its monumental moments for sure. Adele botched her big tribute moment. Bruno Mars danced & delighted the audience to oblivion and Beyonce magnetized millions as a sovereign, celestial singer. The headliners held it down without a doubt.
For Gospel music fans, there were 2 outstanding questions to be answered. Who would win best song of the year? And who would walk away with best Gospel album of the year? So let’s take one last look at the nominees and winners.
Hezekiah Walker collaborated with Jason Clayborn and Gabriel Hatcher to produce another jubilant anthem with loads of juice called Better. The song was worthy of a nod but unfortunately fell shy of the trophy.

Azusa The Next Generation 2 – Better

For more than thirty years, Stellar and GRAMMY® Award winner, Hezekiah Walker, has a track record of delivering music that serves as anthems of hope and inspiration for the church. His catalog of songs has garnered national and international acclaim and his upcoming release Azusa The Next Generation 2 – Better is no different. The …

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Jekalyn Carr teamed up with her sister, Allundria Carr to write one of the year’s most popular songs, You’re Bigger, an inspirational ode to The Almighty. The song was a winner with the public but not with The Recording Academy.
The ‘First Lady’ of Gospel music, Shirley Caesar & Anthony Hamilton performed a keeper that caught many by surprise called, It’s Alight, It’s OK. This smooth, sacred song penned by Stanley Brown & Courtney Rumble struck a nerve among Gospel fans but fell just short on Grammy night.
Travis Greene had a remarkable 2016, culminating with his performance at the presidential election, so it wouldn’t have come as a surprise if his popular hit, Made A Way, earned him a Grammy. Surprisingly enough, his catchy chorus couldn’t collect him the coveted prize of the night.

Travis Greene : Made A Way

Music video by Travis Greene performing Made A Way. (P) 2017 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

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No. That honor went to Gospel’s ‘leading lady’, actress & artist Tamela Mann and her soulful song, God Provides, a beautiful ballad drafted by one of Gospel music’s greatest composers, Kirk Franklin
William Murphy produced another powerful Praise & Worship album with the release of Demonstrate. His ability to bring a bona fide worship encounter to an album is simply amazing. Regrettably, the release wasn’t a winner in 2017.
One of the bright spots of 2016 was the talented and tantalizing Tim Bowman Jr and his vivacious project called Listen. This Detroit native delivered a rousing release that mesmerized millennials. Sadly, the album couldn’t win enough votes within The Academy.
Another new voice of the 21st century, Todd Dulaney, delighted Gospel fans from coast-to-coast with his awe-inspiring album called A Worshipper’s Heart. This project personified the worship experience through songs. Unfortunately, the album missed the mark at The Grammys.

Todd Dulaney – A Worshipper’s Heart

The definition of a worshipper s heart is One that thirsts for any and every opportunity to be in the presence of God Almighty , quotes worship leader and song writer Todd Dulaney. His new release A Worshipper s Heart delivers a perspective of worship that will reach an array of cultures. Dulaney ushers in …

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Shirley Caesar certainly made her mark at the Grammys, receiving yet another nomination for her upteenth and arguably best album to date, Fill This House. Surprisingly, one of America’s music treasures couldn’t walk away with her 12th Grammy award.
The Grammy award for Best Gospel Album would invariably go to Mr Kirk Franklin for his atypical, entertaining, exhilarating album, Losing My Religion. Kirk is a certified hitmaker. And the professional went to work on this project and delivered a stack of goodies for Gospel fans to relish. No surprise here with the winner.

Kirk Franklin – Losing My Religion

On his 11th album, Kirk Franklin once again establishes himself as the frontrunner in Gospel music. The 13-song project explores timely themes and classic sentiments, while offering renewed testimony to Kirk?s status as a GRAMMY-winning songwriter and producer.Kirk collaborates with a wide array of music luminaries, including stellar performances from Kim Burrell, Lalah Hathaway, Tamela …

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Shirley Caesar - Grammy
Shirley Caesar
Pastor Shirley Caesar was honored by The Recording Academy’s National Board Of Trustees for her outstanding artistic contributions in recording. The First Lady of Gospel was one of the recipients of the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Grammys.

Shirley Caesar – Fill This House

Shirley Caesar is The Reigning Queen of Gospel! In a career that spans over 60 years, Caesar is arguably the most beloved and celebrated Gospel artist of our time. Caesar started out in the early 60 s singing with the legendary group, The Caravans. From there, she ventured into a solo career in 1966. Since …

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The 26 million listless viewers who stuck it out to the end were given an animated, alternative performance of the Gospel by self-proclaimed Christian, Chance The Rapper, performing How Great / All We Got, with Kirk Franklin, Tamela Mann, Francis & The Lights and the token Gospel choir. The result was a rousing number the electrified the crowd, while turning the attention to the Almighty.

About Christopher Heron