Thursday, April 26, 2007

In Memory of Kayla Parker

"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:
Funeral Arrangements
Saturday, April 28, 2007
11:00 a.m.
Faithful Central
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

Kayla Parker
(Official Site)
Kayla Parker (

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Celebrate Easter With Israel & New Breed

CBS will air a very special presentation of powerful praise-and-worship and gospel music featuring Integrity Gospel's Israel & New Breed on an exclusive special airing of the CBS Morning Show on Easter Weekend (Saturday) at 7 a.m.-9 a.m. EST. The live performance will feature cuts from their recent album release and RIAA-certified gold "Alive In South Africa". The album also picked up a victory at the 49th GRAMMY Awards for Best Traditional Gospel Album.

Their "Live From Another Level" propelled them to extreme popularity; landing at the #1 spot on the Billboard Gospel charts and #5 on the Christian charts.

Not much information has faced the light of day in the media world regarding this event, but according to, the information is valid and current. Check local listing for air times in your area.

For more information contact:
Erma Byrd at (323) 965-5551 or

Luther Comes Alive

Darwin Hobbs, since he debuted as the gospel crooner with the rich velvet voice, has always been compared vocally to the late R&B legend Luther Vandross. And on ABC's "The Next Big Thing" this May, the former EMI Gospel recording artist will get his national opportunity to show and prove to the world how he bears a stylish resemblance with the great Luther.

"For years and years I've always been compared to Luther Vandross,” says the Atlanta-based crooner. “Finally, I'm able to act on the comparison by actually competing as Luther himself! What better way to honor this legendary icon in our industry than to sing his songs during a primetime slot on ABC!"

Hobbs will appear on the show - which debuts on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. EST. The reality-TV show conducts a national search in finding the best celebrity impersonators in the country. The show is hosted by Michele Merkin with celebrity judges: Jeffery Ross, Elon Gold and Lisa Ann Walter. Hobbs is expecting his fan base to support him on this groundbreaking opportunity and is publicly inviting them to the show's taping on April 28 at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, CA.