Gospel music is one of the most recognizable genres of music within African-American cultures. The genre has strong roots in our history and the deep connection and soul that came with worshiping.
Even today, Gospel music provides a platform for many people to dream about the day they will meet their savior in heaven. For many African-Americans having a strong faith in something that got them through some of the hardest times in our history, it has provided an outlet for them.
Some key characteristics of gospel music.
- A choir, with a lead vocalist and strong use of harmony
- A piano or organ
- More recently some electric and bass guitar.
Some Gospel Artist From the Past and Present
Thomas A. Dorsey was a Gospel singer in the 1930’s he was known for paring blues to secular texts. Which at the time was unheard of and thought of as offensive. But, by combining popular music with secular text, it brought more young people to church and his version of songs are still song in African-American church’s today.
Mahalia Jackson was a popular Gospel singer in the early 1900s. She was not only a gospel singer but civil rights activist and television personality. She was known for her soulful renditions of popular church music and one of her hits that are still known today “Move on Up A Little Higher”.
Kirk Franklin is a gospel singer, choir director and songwriter. He is widely known in the Gospel world since about 1992. He was part of Kirk Franklin and The Family from (1992-2000) before he broke out as a solo act. One of his hits “Hero” that came out in 2005 was certified platinum not even a month after it’s release.
Yolanda Adam is also known as the “Queen of Contemporary Gospel” is a popular modern-day gospel artist. She was also named gospel singer of the decade by Billboard. Her break out hit was “Moutain High..Valley Low” which gave her popularity.