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In Celebration of Black Music Month, Gospel Artists Reflect On The Significance Of Gospel Music

In Celebration of Black Music Month, Gospel Artists Reflect On The Significance Of Gospel MusicThanks to former President Jimmy Carter, Black Music Month has been celebrated every June since its inception in 1979. In honor of the legacy and future of African American Music, gospel artists Percy Bady, Jonathan Butler, David M. Edwards, Tamela Mann, Dottie Peoples, and Bryan Popin share how African American Music has impacted their lives. Check out their thoughts on this historical month!

Bryan Popin
In Celebration of Black Music Month, Gospel Artists Reflect On The Significance Of Gospel Music“To me, more than any other style of music, it is birthed from life’s hurt, life’s pain and everything in between. It is felt, not just played, and not just listened to. It is what first inspired me to do music and what always drives me to make sure my heart is behind every note I play or sing.”


David M. Edwards

In Celebration of Black Music Month, Gospel Artists Reflect On The Significance Of Gospel Music“How wonderful to celebrate Black Music Month! So many artists and songwriters come to mind when I think of the powerful influence black music has had on my life as both an artist and a fan. The reach of these dynamic individuals cut across just about every musical genre imaginable. The soul, the passion, the rhythms, I love it all!”


Dottie Peoples

In Celebration of Black Music Month, Gospel Artists Reflect On The Significance Of Gospel Music“Over the past 30 years in gospel music I have been influenced by many great African American singers and musicians. Their groundbreaking artistry has inspired me throughout my career to create thought-provoking, life-affirming music that resonates deeply with audiences throughout the world.”


In Celebration of Black Music Month, Gospel Artists Reflect On The Significance Of Gospel Music

Jonathan Butler

“I want to salute all the pioneers from gospel to R&B to jazz for leaving a legacy to live up to and setting the stage for the next generation.”

In Celebration of Black Music Month, Gospel Artists Reflect On The Significance Of Gospel Music

Percy Bady

“As I reflect on this month I can truly say that the music I’m blessed to write is birthed out of experience and steeped in the traditional of those who have blazed the trail before me. Styles all change and fads fade, but a great song lasts forever.”


In Celebration of Black Music Month, Gospel Artists Reflect On The Significance Of Gospel Music

Tamela Mann

“There are so many artists over the years who have influenced and inspired me. Their work excites and motivates me to take my music to another level. I look at all of these musicians and think how God has blessed them, and blessed me through them, with the gift of music that brings hope and encouragement to everyone.”


ABOUT PERCY BADY: Bady, a talented musician, writer, arranger, artist, and producer, is undoubtedly one of the most well-known and well-respected names in Gospel and R&B music. His talent is coupled with prolific songwriting ability and is responsible for timeless #1 albums and hit singles effortlessly spanning genres in the secular and Christian arenas for over three decades. His body of work has garnered 26 Gold and Platinum albums. Bady has worked with notable names such as Smokie Norful, Kirk Franklin, Donald Lawrence, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child), Dionne Warwick, Michael McDonald, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Whitney Houston, Ronald Isley, Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin, Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp, Reverend Milton Brunson, The Thompson Community Singers, and R. Kelly. Bady currently serves as Creative Arts Director for New Life Covenant in Chicago and spearheads A&R for Maranatha! Gospel.

For more information on Percy Bady, visit www.maranathamusic.com/artist/percy-bady.

ABOUT JONATHAN BUTLER: Born and raised in Cape Town during Apartheid, Jonathan Butler started singing and playing acoustic guitar as a child. Racial segregation and poverty during Apartheid has been the subject of many of his records. His first single was the first by a black artist played by white radio stations in racially segregated South Africa and earned a Sarie Award, South Africa’s equivalent to the Grammy ® Awards. Butler is known for achieving chart-topping success, Grammy ® nominations and other accolades for his recordings. His self-titled debut album put him on the map internationally and garnered two Grammy ® nominations, which include the R&B-pop vocal statement “Lies” and the poignant instrumental, “Going Home.” Butler, a multi-talented musician, produces, arranges, and plays guitar, bass and keyboards. He has released several best-selling Gospel CDs, most notably “Gospel Goes Classical” and “Brand New Day.”

For more information on Jonathan Butler, visit www.jonathanbutler.com/pressroom.

ABOUT DAVID M. EDWARDS: His new CD Heart Full of Soul dropped May 21 on Maranatha! Gospel. David is the creative director for the International Center for Worship at Regent University and has lead panels at the Gospel Heritage Conference this year.

For more information on David M. Edwards, visit www.davidmedwards.com.

ABOUT TAMELA MANN: Few entertainers can match the excitement and creative passion that Tamela brings to her musical performances. Her album, Best Days, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Gospel charts in 2012, remaining in the top spot for 9 weeks and in top 5 since its debut. Her first single from that album, “Take Me To The King,” clinching the #1 Gospel Radio spot for 25 weeks and earning her a 2013 Grammy Award nomination for “Gospel Performance of the Year,” and a 2013 BET Award nomination for “Best Gospel Artist.” Tamela’s phenomenal stage presence has not only made her one of Gospel music’s greatest stars of today, but she has also captured the attention of Hollywood’s film and television elite with her starring role in TBS’ #1 television series and Medea film franchise, Tyler Perry’s “Meet The Browns” as “Cora.” From there she has gone on to co-star alongside Whitney Houston and Jordan Sparks in the 2012 movie, “Sparkle,” and along with her husband, David, Tamela co-hosts the exciting new TV show, “Hanging With The Manns,” which follows the dynamic couple as they cook-up delicious recipes in the kitchen and go on hilariously funny and wild adventures together. Tamela has made numerous appearances on award shows over the years, as both a performer and a presenter, including the Grammy’s, Stellar, and GMA Dove Awards. Tamela has also been a recurring guest on popular news, talk and radio shows, such as CNN Starting Point, Bobby Jones Gospel, and Sirius radio. Most recently, USmagazine.com gained the exclusive rights to photos of Tamela and David Mann as they reaffirmed their vows during her ultimate dream wedding. The online feature article has already garnered a record number of “likes” for US Magazine’s website.

For more information on Tamela Mann, visit www.tillymannmusic.com.

ABOUT DOTTIE PEOPLES: Dottie Peoples is a three-time Grammy®-Award nominee and the winner of numerous Stellar, Dove, Soul Train, NAACP, and GMWA awards. Known for her classic hits, “On Time God,” “Testify” and “Do It!,” she stays busy on the road with electrifying performances at churches and concert halls all over the country. Known as the gospel “Pattie Labelle” during her live concerts, her reputation for warmth and compassion precedes her, as she routinely embraces fans with the love and sincerity of a close friend. Born one of 10 children, and growing up in Ohio, Dottie’s mission and principle focus remain intact; her ministry is people. Dottie has been featured in hit stage plays “God Don’t Like Ugly” and “A Fool For Love,” and in feature films, “Dirty Laundry” and “Kudzu Christmas.” She has been the National Spokesperson for The American Heart Association/The Ambassador for The Power To End Strokes and a National Spokesperson for Speaking of Women’s Health.

For more information on Dottie Peoples, visit www.dottiepeoples.com.

ABOUT BRYAN POPIN: A native of Middletown, NJ, Popin began paying piano by ear when he was 11 years old. Popin studied with such noted teachers as Julliard’s Dr. Sammuel Mammel and Rutgers University’s Dr. Joseph Accurso. Early in his career, the legendary Stevie Wonder nicknamed him “Little Boy Wonder” and he’s continued to impress with his songwriting skills and vocal prowess. He has collaborated with R&B legend Chaka Khan and highly respected worship leader Martha Munizzi. He has opened for Israel Houghton, Deitrick Haddon, Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Sapp and American Idol alum Danny Gokey. At the height of their popularity, ‘NSYNC recorded one of his tunes on their multi-platinum album Celebrity. You Can Make It is available in October and is Popin’s first national release in partnership with eOne Worship.

For more information on Bryan Popin, visit www.bryanpopin.com.

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