Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mary Mary Makes Big Presence at BET Awards

Besides all eyes being glued to the special dedications in memory of the late King of Pop Michael Jackson on June 28's airing of the BET Awards, gospel music lovers were treated with a special stage performance from gospel duo Mary Mary. The two were recently added to the line-up of performers for the award show held at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. They performed their latest radio hit, "God in Me," which included a cameo appearance from actress and rap diva Queen Latifah who filled in for an absent Kierra Sheard.

The L.A. Times covered the events' performances and had this to say about Mary Mary's performance:

Mary Mary: “God in Me.”Foxx introduces Mary Mary as “the new Queens of Gospel,” but they sound an awful lot like standard run-of-the-mill queens of R&B. With a skittering electronic beat, it’s mid-tempo R&B with a smattering of hip-hop. A midpoint appearance from Queen Latifah picks things up, but not by much. C

Mary Mary also took home the BET Best Gospel Artist award. The nominees in that category included Regina Belle, Shirley Caesar, Smokie Norful and Trin-i-tee 5:7.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gospel Greats Pay Tribute to Obama

Still in celebration mode, the gospel music community proceeds in releasing A Gospel Tribute to President Barack Obama. Distributed through Central South Distribution, the compilation contains new and original material from a heavyweight assortment of artists including GRAMMY-award winner Israel Houghton, Marvin L. Winans, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, pop/blue-eyed soul crooner Michael McDonald, Dottie Peoples, Micah Stampley, Donnie McClurkin and Kelly Price. The lead single, "This Is Your Cue" by Benita Washington, has already been serviced to gospel radio and is making strong strides on the radio charts. The album, slated for a June 9th nationwide release, is currently available for purchase via the Internet at http://www.ilovegospelmusic.com/.

The gospel tribute isn't the first of its kind that pays respect to this historical chapter in American history. Though tons of records and musical tributes have been released since the 2008 presidential campaign in support of Obama, the Hidden Beach collection Change Is Now: Renewing America's Promise stands out as the strongest. The collection, which contains excerpts from Obama's landmark speeches, features performances from Maroon 5, will.i.am, James Taylor, India.Arie, BeBe Winans, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Robin Thicke, Jennifer Hudson and Stevie Wonder with "All About Love Again" (which was performed on American Idol and Ellen). This special collection is available for purchase at: http://www.hiddenbeach.com/love.

View the cute concept video of Stevie Wonder's "All About the Love" from the Change Is Now compilation.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Introducing J. Matt's Attic

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A new music-oriented blog, designed by PRAYZEHYMNOnline.com editor J. Matthew Cobb, was introduced this summer. J.MATT'S ATTIC is a portal into the vast music world, spanning decades of multiple music genres including R&B, soul, funk, jazz, disco, gospel and pop. "I felt it was time to introduce to my followers and friends another side of my music tastes," commented Cobb. "It's not all gospel for me - 24-7. There's a world of great music out there and I hope to spark curiosity in those who have never heard some of the great music I've experienced." Some of J.MATT'S ATTIC's features include easy clicks to listen to posted music mp3s which allows listeners to download songs to their computer for their listening pleasure. The blog plans to post new music - from a strong list of veterans and newcomers - and hopes to upload new content each day.

Since its debut in early June, the blog has already posted material from George Benson, Elliott Yamin, the Supremes, K.C & the Sunshine Band and jazz musician Bobbi Humphrey. This year, the blog plans to post additional coverage of Motown classics in celebration of Motown's 50th anniversary.

J. MATT'S ATTIC is just one of J. Matthew Cobb's ventures into mainstream music, since he recently joined forces with SoulTracks.com as a contributing writer. Cobb remains the chief editor of PRAYZEHYMNOnline.com and moderator of its blog, THE PRAYZE Report.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Oleta Adams Unplugged at PRAYZEHYMNOnline.com

In 1990, she teased us with the pop hit "Get Here." Almost twenty years later, she is still here as she launches her new album Let's Stay Here on the world. With a background of music covering jazz, R&B and even gospel (with the 1997 GRAMMY-nominated Come Walk With Me project), Oleta Adams talks with PRAYZEHYMNOnline.com exclusively about her success, her marriage, the new album and her future plans in both mainstream and gospel music.

To read the two-part interview and to hear new music from her new album, click the following links: PART 1 and PART 2

Oleta Adams
[Official Website]
Oleta Adams Unplugged [PRAYZEHYMNOnline.com]

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Light Announces New CDs from Coko and Youthful Praise

Light Records is prepping for new radio singles and new album releases for 2009 from Coko and Youthful Praise.

Coko, who released her gospel debut and her follow-up holiday project, is gearing up for The Winner in Me. The former lead singer of popular R&B trio SWV is getting big buzz from her first single, "Wait," and expects to make a bigger entrance on the gospel charts later this year on July 14. The album boasts a colorful line-up of special guests including Canton Jones, Kelly Price and Israel Houghton.

Youthful Praise, led by choir master JJ Hairston, is getting ready to release their sixth project Resting on His Promise on August 11. According to early reports, the half-gospel, half-worship offering hopes to merge both familiar styles of Youthful Praise into one project. Recorded earlier in March, the live recording boasted an incredible line-up of guests including Dorinda Clark-Cole, Myron Butler, Deon Kipping, Donnie McClurkin, Stephen Hurd, Bishop Eric McDaniel and Pastor Shirley Caesar. The title cut is already reaching radio and media outlets and is the official kick-off for the choir's national tour beginning this summer. Confirmed dates include performances in Newark, NJ, Cincinnati, OH, Knoxville, TN and Annapolis, MD.

Light Records [Official Website]
Coko's Place [Official Website]
Youthful Praise [Official Website]
Youthful Praise [MySpace]