With a whole new crop of Christian artists like Tasha Cobbs, Travis Greene and Tamela Mann making waves with millennials these days. It’s easy to forget some of the most formidable artists of our era, especially if they’ve been on the absentee list for far too long. Here are just a handful of names we desperately need to hear from. These 10 artists have been sitting on the sidelines and are overdue to drop another dime to destroy every yoke.
1. Mary Mary: This dynamic duo defined ministry-in-music for the millennial generation better than anyone. Erica Campbell & Tina Campbell, as a team, were sassy, serious and sold-out for the Lord. Yes, we still get them in smaller doses as solo artists but truth be told, it pales in comparison to the lightning and thunder these sisters spawned as Cali’s finest females. These two titans turned it on and made the Savior swanky among the secular crowd. It’s been 5 years since, Go Get It, a half-hearted farewell to their fanbase. Long enough. Let’s get these two sisters back in studio for a bit more blast-from-the-past.
2. Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers: A musical savant and vocal supervisor, Kurt Carr has always carried the torch for excellence in Gospel music. His league of accomplished soloists simply known as The Kurt Carr Singers were guaranteed show-stoppers. Once upon a time, a prolific recording artist, Kurt Carr is less copious these days and certainly overdue for another project that pushes the limit. Bless This House was wonderful. Time to bless the saints once again, after a prolonged absence.
3. BeBe & CeCe Winans: The most celebrated Winans‘ siblings, BeBe & CeCe, should consider another kick at the can, after an 8 year hiatus. Their last foray as a musical pair on Still was so very long ago but still ranks among their best collaborative venture. This trendsetting tandem was the tipping point for Contemporary Gospel music, in the 80s !!! That’s crazy. Any music from this pair will continue to impress and empower a new generation of believers. Hopefully these two, for the sake of ministry and memorabilia, will give us one more release to cherish.
4. Kim Burrell: With Kim keeping her name on everyone’s lips with the hit single, I See A Victory, and creating a firestorm from the pulpit, one would almost forget it’s been 6 years since her last project, The Love Album. The incomparable Kim is long overdue for an album that boldly displays the best of Burrell…creative, soulful and special. If rumors hold true, 2017 will mark the return of one of Gospel’s royalty to centerstage. Let’s hope so.
5. Yolanda Adams: Perhaps the most conspicuous absence from the limelight in recent years would have to be the inimitable Yolanda Adams. Her voice and wide grin was among the most recognizable for a generation of Gospel fans. But since the release of Becoming in 2011, an album that barely caused a ripple in the ocean of music, Ms Adams has been M.I.A. Yolanda is a national treasure that should be dusted off, put on display once again and appreciated and appraised for her unique quality as a songstress.
6. Donald Lawrence: It’s been 4 years since Donald Lawrence unveiled his latest masterpiece, Best For Last. For a music tactician like Lawrence, it’s 3 years too long. His enviable catalog of music serves as a blueprint for beautiful, sacred music to replay and rejoice. Whether it’s with The Tri-City Singers or The Company, it really doesn’t matter. As long as Donald is at the helm, we’re ensured of music that will resonate with hearts and minds for many more years.
7. Richard Smallwood: Another living legend that’s belated for another breakthrough album is the beloved Richard Smallwood. His mythical anthems are timeless. And though his last treasure – Anthology – hit the streets only 2 years ago, Richard’s contribution to the body of Christ is far too critical to wait any longer. We hold out hope at the possibility of another Total Praise on the horizon. If anyone can muster one up, it’s The Maestro. Bring it, Smallwood !!!
8. Marvin Winans: One of the most revered and relished vocalists in Gospel remains the immortal Marvin Winans. There is something so ethereal and earnest when he sings that it’s hard not to become enamored by his exquisite style to serenading. Ever since his Marvin lent his voice to Andrae Crouch‘s Let The Church Say Amen, saints and sinners alike have been eagerly awaiting his next recording. Of course, there’s been The Praise & Worship Experience in 2011 that primarily featured Perfecting Church. What the world needs is more Marvin bringing back the days of yeah and nay, for old times sake.
9. Tramaine Hawkins: It’s been ten tall years since one of the jewels of Gospel made music. What Shall I Do or say bout this misdeed? Let’s start by noting that I Never Lost My Praise was an exceptional Live recording that resonated well with connoisseurs of church music. How a music legend of her magnitude has managed to stay in the shadows for so long is beyond me. We can only hope that Tramaine really hasn’t lost her praise and proffers up another gem for the ages.
10. Commissioned: They were the original boy band for ‘believers’ from Motown, America, with a cast of star-studded names like Fred Hammond, Keith Staten, Mitchell Jones, Carl Reid, Marvin Sapp, Marcus Cole, Michael Brooks, Maxx Frank, Montrell Darrett, Eddie Howard, Jr., Michael Williams and Chris Poole, they were the voice and sound of Contemporary Gospel music. These deeply devoted men from Detroit were ahead of their time, too. Fastforward many decades later. It’s been a whopping 15 years since The Reunion Live album left us giddy with delight. Perhaps Fred and a few of his friends will appease the assembly of believers with a monster album millennials today will take note of.