"My music is definitely inspirational. I can identify with people who've been through hard times because I've been there myself and have come through it.” - Kayla Parker-Tolbert
Kayla Parker-Tolbert was a rare talent; capturing the sweet contemporary musical elegance of the Detroit waters while showcasing a jazzy interpretation that was uniquely her own. Of course, her influences may have ranged from Stevie Wonder to the Winans Family, but Kayla Parker found her authentic sound and allowed listeners to discover and embrace her.
She began her career with the discovery of Special Gift (a female group formed in the traditions of Witness) and doors began to open for the emerging vocalist and songwriter. Even though she remained a prominent force in the local Detroit community, her biggest break appeared on the Marvin Winans & the Perfected Praise Choir (“Introducing Perfected Praise”) debut album on Selah Records. She penned and sung the phenomenal and pinnacle hit “Now Are We” - a song that became a favorite in urban churches across America. Throughout the 1990s, Parker-Tolbert managed to work with such artists including CeCe Winans, Vickie Winans, Anthony Hamilton, Donnie McClurkin, Fred Hammond, Anointed Pace Sisters, Brandy, Mark Kibble of Take 6, Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child and the late Ron L. Winans. She also provided background vocals for a number of projects, including her loving support on the posthumous Thomas Whitfield album; “Tribute to the Maestro”. She is highly known for writing CeCe Winans’ recent hit, “He’s Concerned”; off of her “Purified” album release.
Tolbert-Parker also tied the knot with popular gospel play screenwriter and producer David A. Tolbert and made her transition to Hollywood, California for greater opportunities as she began work on her very first solo project. But that reality was altered with a serious bout with breast cancer. That bout would later claim her life on April 21, 2007.
The gospel music industry loses a star today. Kayla Parker-Tolbert never reached her greatest potential, but she made a great impression on her listeners and those that experienced her wealth of experience and musical input.
The Homegoing Service is as follows:
Saturday, April 28, 2007
321 N. Eucalyptus Ave
Inglewood Ca, 90301
(Send all flowers to the Church)
Internment: Forest Lawn Memorial Park
21300 Via Verde Drive
Covina, CA 91724800-204-3131