The Crusader Gospel Corner

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Marvin Sapp/Hezekiah Walker 

While the Gospel music genre is churning out exciting new artists every year, there are some voices that remain timeless and relevant within an industry that is constantly reinventing itself. One of those artists is Marvin Sapp, who this week heads to Las Vegas for the Billboard Music Awards. He is nominated in two categories: Top Gospel Artist and Top Gospel Album (You Shall Live).

“It is always an honor to be nominated among your peers, and I am grateful for the continued support of the music industry and Gospel music fans,” says Sapp who was Billboard’s Top Male Gospel Artist of 2015.

“You Shall Live” is Sapp’s 10th album, and his fourth consecutive #1 debut. “You Shall Live” was inspired by the last words Sapp heard from his late wife, MaLinda: “honey if you want me to be happy in my transition, promise me after I transition that you will live.” Her compassionate and sincere words make up the mantra that he lives by, as well and the overall theme of the album.  The current single, the title track, is Top-10 at Gospel Radio, and is an inspiration to anyone encountering life’s most difficult moments “No matter how crazy it looks…God is declaring you to live…” he says, as he talks about the important meaning of the song: Marvin Sapp Inspires with “You Shall Live.”

With the words of his late wife and the grace of God fueling him, Sapp dexterously makes the most of each and every day – pouring his all into his preaching ministry, his music ministry and his business ventures. A Bishop in the Global United Fellowship, Sapp oversees 75 churches in 10 states in the Fellowship’s North Central Province, and travels around the country weekly for preaching engagements. He continues to oversee Lighthouse Full Life Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan and rarely misses a Sunday there. On May 25, he begins the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour that will travel to 13 cities, and this summer will open a unisex day spa in Grand Rapids. All of this is in addition to his hands-on leadership of the pre-K – high school academic institution he founded with his late wife: The Grand Rapids Ellington Academy of Arts & Technology (GREAAT).

“No matter what comes our way, we can survive and even thrive if we are determined to LIVE,” says Sapp.

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Also, the historic recording career of Gospel superstar, composer, choir leader, pastor, and radio host Hezekiah Walker reaches new heights as the multiple GRAMMY® winner’s thirty-year worldwide influence in Gospel was feted at this year’s 3rd Annual GMA Honors, with Walker inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame.  Celebrating that honor in addition to three other inductees this year, the Gospel Music Hall of Famer’s powerful music ministry of enduring hits rocked the stage during his induction’s performance tribute, with a revered lineup of talent that included James Hall, Kim Burrell, Maurette Brown-Clark, Tasha Page-Lockhart, Tye Tribbett, VaShawn Mitchell, and Ricky Dillard delivering a medley of such hits as “Clean Inside,” “Souled Out,” “Every Praise,” Walker’s latest hit single “Better,” and more.

“Better” is Walker’s lead hit anthem from his upcoming new album, elevating the unifying experience of worship with the sensational choir sound and praise that fans love.  Leading the charge with the refrain “It will get better/God is in control,” “Better” continues to climb on the Gospel charts, hitting #9 in Gospel radio airplay, and remaining a hit across Gospel digital sales and Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart. Catch Hezekiah Walker’s Hall of Fame induction on the GMA Foundation’s 3rd Annual GMA Honors celebration, airing June 5th and June 8th on JUCE TV, and check out his single “Better,” available at Gospel radio and digital retailers.

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Lastly, DEMONSTRATE, the fifth album from GRAMMY® nominated acclaimed singer William Murphy is available for pre-order now through all digital outlets.  Out on June 24th, the powerful album will feature the tracks off of Bishop Murphy’s recently released EP, ARISE, including the single “Arise (You Are Good),” “Your Love,” “Free In Deed,” and comprise 14 tracks in total.

With songs that will touch the hearts of its listeners and resonate in providing strength, fans will receive all songs from the EP instantly upon pre-ordering the album via iTunes, with new songs “Everlasting God” to be released as an instant grat track on May 20th and “Lies” to be released as an instant grat track on June 10th.  A digital deluxe version of DEMONSTRATE, featuring 17 tracks, is also available for pre-order now.

William Murphy recorded DEMONSTRATE last May at The Church at Chapel Hill in Douglasville, GA in front of a live audience and gets the crowd moving with the opening track “Alive.”  The whole album is a demonstration of the outstanding songwriting and vocals Murphy is known for, with the poignant messages of faith that he brings forth to fans, and also features appearances from Bishop James Morton, Tasha Cobbs, and Nicole Binion.

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