Miami Mass Choir Is Bringing Back The Choir

Miami Mass Choir Live at the Adrienne Arsht Center album coverThe Miami Mass Choir hopes to bring back the popularity of choir music with the release of its latest album, Miami Mass Choir Live: At The Adrienne Arsht Center. The choir’s first project in fifteen years is an eclectic mix of Gospel, Praise and Worship, Contemporary Christian and Latin music sounds. The single “Lord Everything” is getting radio airplay, according to the choir’s founder and director Pastor Marc Cooper of Upper Room Ministries in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Recorded in December 2015, Miami Mass Choir Live: At The Adrienne Arsht Center the album features special guest vocalists Beverly Crawford, Betty Wright, Zacardi Cortez and Tony LeBron. It is the choir’s fourth album. The single, “Lord Of Everything” is gaining traction at radio.

The choir’s first album, It’s Praying Time (Savoy) was recorded in 1995 when choir music reigned supreme. It spawned the 1997 hit, “It Is For Me.” That song solidified the Miami Mass Choir as arguably one of the best choirs in the nation. Cooper said, “We still hear it on the radio. We see it all over the Internet…even some reality star actors have quoted it on TV shows…its amazing the power and impact of that song.”

Since its debut, the choir has become more diverse in its song offerings and with its multi-cultural membership. Being able to work across genres and reach people from all sorts of backgrounds and races is what has sustained the choir and opened up doors to opportunities beyond gospel.

One of those opportunities was working with HBO. Cooper said, “Being here in Miami…there’s a lot of production…a lot of TV shows. We just did Ballers on HBO…I’m seen in a marching band…and the song that we’re doing is and original song that we wrote just for the show…I’ve enjoyed all that’s been coming. And it’s just a great re-birth of the choir and what God is doing in our lives.”

Staying in the entertainment mix of things while remaining true to the church and gospel in Miami helped the choir obtain its resident ensemble position with the Adrienne Arsht Center. The choir also performs at the center on Free Gospel Sundays series.

Miami Mass Choir Live: At The Adrienne Arsht Center recording. Miami-Dade County, FL

Miami Mass Choir Live: At The Adrienne Arsht Center recording. Miami-Dade County, FL. Photo courtesy The Bellamy Group.

Cooper believes since the 1990s choir music has almost disappeared from the airwaves. “Now on radio you hear a lot of solo artists and groups…. before the birth of the Miami Mass Choir in the 1995 there were more choirs than groups…you had Mississippi Mass Choir…Georgia Mass…John P. Kee… you had choir music that was really out there…you go into a lot of churches today and you don’t really see choirs anymore…you see…more worship teams.

There was a lack of material out there and so that’s what radio played…And what ended up happening, is guys who were producers and songwriters who wrote choir material began to change what they wrote to try to continue to stay alive in their craft…and it shifted….However, I believe there is a revival of the choirs. The Miami Mass Choir, with our single, “Lord of Everything”… hopes to be a part of this revival.

We’re looking to find that place again on the radio again that will help to rebirth and continue to pave the way for great choirs to record and produce great music,” said Cooper.

Cooper feels Miami Mass Choir Live: At The Adrienne Arsht Center is their best album to date. Besides the single, his favorite songs include “I Will Rejoice,” a song inspired by his wife Evangelist Joy Cooper and featuring them both; “That’s What He Is” with Betty Wright (with a mean guitar riff); “Good News,” a Latin flavored song with Contemporary Christian artist Tony LeBron singing in Spanish, and the churchy “Calvary” featuring gospel powerhouse Beverly Crawford.

“Calvary” was co-written by Donald Lawrence. Cooper sought Lawrence’s help when he got writer’s block. “I couldn’t finish it…so I picked up the phone and I called the one and only Donald Lawrence…I said, ‘Hey bro’ I have this song but I can’t figure out any verses to it. He said, “Send it to me.” I sent him the song. And…in 45 minutes he was sending me a voice note by way of text message where he wrote the leads for that song,” remembers Cooper.

He added, “I just pray that this new offering from the Miami Mass Choir will help bring back choir music to the level it was, that it energize local church choirs across the nation with material they can sing on Sunday mornings and in concerts.”

The Miami Mass Choir, with its diverse group of talented singers offers and fresh inspirational song offerings may do just that.

Miami Mass Choir Live: At Adrienne Arsht Center is available on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon. You can also find them on Facebook or check out their website www.miamimasschoir.com

Listen to interview with Marc Cooper of the Miami Mass Choir.

Dondre’ T. Whitfield Hosts Special Night of TV One’s Verses and Flow

Dondre' T. Whitfield, actor and hostofTV One special Lexus Verses and Flow.

Dondre’ T. Whitfield, host of Lexus Verses and Flow TV special. Photo courtesy of TV One.

Dondre’ T. Whitfield hosts the Lexus Verses and Flow special tonight 11pm ET/10pm CT on TV One. The 90-minute show features a combination of music and thirteen of slam poetry’s best and brightest spoken word artists.

Setting the atmosphere with music for the NAACP Image Award nominated Lexus Verses and Flow will be Grammy nominated singer Joe, Ro James, Lloyd, Dreezy, Kevin Ross and Lion Babe.

Daytime Emmy Nominated Lexus Verses and Flow host Whitfield brings his suaveness to the fifth season of the show. The veteran actor began acting in his teens with roles on The Cosby Show, and the hit daytime dramas Another World and All My Children. In addition to dramas, Whitfield has starred in five comedy series: The Crew, Living in Captivity, Between Brothers, Secret Agent Man and Hidden Hills. Whitfield currently has a role in the Oprah Winfrey Network hit drama series, Queen Sugar produced by Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey.

For a closer look at Lexus Versus and Flow, visit the show’s YouTube Channel and or go to www.tvone.tv. Viewers can also join the conversation by connecting on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@tvonetv) using the hash tag #VERSESANDFLOW. To interact with Lexus Verses and Flow through its website, visit www.versesandflow.com and follow @versesandflow. Be sure to tune in tonight, it will be worth it.

 

 

Willie Moore Jr, Kirk Franklin and Tasha Cobbs Present at 2016 Dove Awards

Photo of Willie Moore, Jr.

Willie Moore, Jr.
Radio/TV Host. Photo Courtesy Faltout TV

Willie Moore, Jr., Kirk Franklin and Tasha Cobbs will serve as presenters at the 2016Dove Awards. The 47th Annual Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Awards will honor the best Christian and Gospel music recording artists for their contribution to Gospel on Tuesday, October 11, 6:30 p.m. CT at the Allen Arena on the campus of Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. The show will air exclusively on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), October 16.

Grammy award winning Gospel artist/TV host Tye Tribbett (BET – Joyful Noise) will share Dove Awards hosting duties with award winning Australian brothers Joel and Luke, better known as Contemporary Christian Music recording duo for KING & COUNTRY

Tye Tribbett

Tye Tribbett

Artists scheduled to perform at this year’s show come from a mix of genres within Gospel, including Jonathan McReynolds, TobyMac, Anthony Brown and Group TherAPy, Steven Curtis Chapman, Travis Greene, Hollyn, Hillsong UNITED, Natalie Grant and Tamela Mann.

Royce Lovett, Seth and Nirva, The Bowling Family, Todd Dulaney and the writers of Chris Tomlin’s “Good, Good Father” are set to perform at the pre-telecast.

Gospel recording artist Tasha Cobbs.

Gospel Recording artist Tasha Cobbs

Dove Awards presenters also span genres and denominations. Besides Willie Moore Jr., Kirk Franklin and Tasha Cobbs, others slated to present include Lecrae, Donald Lawrence, CeCe Winans, Jacqui Velasquez, David Mann, Hezekiah Walker, Janice Gaines, LeAndria Johnson, Priscilla Shirer, Jonathan Butler, Chris Tomlin and Bill Gaither.

Kirk Franklin is among the top artists nominated for a Dove Award. To see the full list of nominees, click here.

If you can’t make it to Nashville for the live show taping, be sure to watch the Dove Awards October 16 on TBN. Check your local TV listings for times and channels in your community.

Entertainment One Music Nashville Promotes Gina Miller to VP/GM of Urban Inspirational

 

Gina Miller, Vice President and GM Eone Music Nashville - Vice President Urban Inspirational

Gina Miller, Vice President and GM Eone Music Nashville – Vice President Urban Inspirational

Entertainment One (eOne) Music-Nashville announced the promotion of Gina Miller to Vice President/General Manager of Urban Inspirational music. Before that she served as Vice President of Promotions.

Miller’s promotion follows the departure of Phil Thornton from that position this past summer. Thornton is currently Senior Vice President/General Manager of RCA Inspiration-Nashville.

Miller worked her way up the ranks in the music business, starting with being an intern at Light Records (now part of eOne), to National Director of Promotions, all the way to her current position. During her decade plus career at eOne music, the member of Delta Sigma Theta has been instrumental in the promotion and marketing of hits by top selling artists from both the gospel and urban music genres. Some of the artists she has worked with include Shirley Caesar, Hezekiah Walker, Lalah Hathaway, Erica Campbell, Deitrick Haddon, Jonathan McReynolds, William McDowell, Tweet, Donald Lawrence, Todd Dulaney and Karen Clark Sheard.

Congratulations to this woman on the move who truly loves what she does and gives back. She is the founder of BE, a movement and conference that inspires women from high school to fifty years plus.

Family Time Returns for Fourth Season to Bounce TV

Family Time returns to Bounce TV for its fourth season Tuesday, October 4 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT. Omar Gooding and Angell Conwell play husband and wife, Tony and Lisa Stallworth on this family entertainment series.

Cast of Buonce TV's Family Time sit-com.

Family Time Cast. Photo courtesy of Bounce TV.

The sit-com chronicles the challenging life of struggling, general contractor and dad Tony, and stay at home wife and mother who-desires-more-out-of-life-than-she’s-getting Lisa, and their precocious children, Devin (Bentley Kyle Evans, Jr.) and Ebony (Jayla Calhoun).

Rounding out the cast is Tony’s financially challenged best friend Donnie (Clayton Thomas), and Lisa’s strong-willed sisters, Rachel (Tanjareen Thomas) and Lori (Paula Jai Parker).

Headed by Tony, The Stallworth family never fails to find itself in serious situations that teach life lessons and make you laugh all at the same time. Lisa and Tony have a full life, constantly bombarded with their own issues, their children’s antics and the woes of a host of family, neighbors and friends always showing up with “more problems” to add to the Stallworth’s heavy load. Yet, they always solve their problems by the end of each episode and bless your family with a bit of relief from life in the form of comedy.

Family Time sit-com stars Omar Gooding and Angell Conwell.

Family Time stars Omar Gooding and Angell Conwell. Photo courtesy Bounce TV.

In this season’s opener, Lisa visits the barbershop and gives relationship advice to Tony’s friends. Of course, drama and comedy ensues. Rodney Perry guest stars. Other guest stars this season include A.J. Johnson (House Party), Glenn Plummer (Speed, South Central), Gloria Govan (Basketball Wives) Michael Colyar (Black-ish), Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Chante Moore (R&B Divas L.A.), Nicholas Turturro (NYPD Blue) and Langston Fishburne (Laurence Fishburne’s son in his debut). The new 13-episode season will also feature holiday themed episodes: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

According to the show’s creator, Bentley Kyle Evans (The Jamie Foxx Show, Martin), Family Time will tackle some of every kind of issue that effects the daily lives of people in general, including finance, hard to handle children and relationships of all kinds.

Family Time was created by Bentley Kyle Evans The hilarious series is produced by Evans and his production partner Trenten Gumbs (Love That Girl). The two also produce Bounce TV’s hit original series In The Cut.

Tune in and check out all the fun that is suitable for the entire family on Family Time, tonight on Bounce TV.

Willie Moore, Jr. To Present At 2016 GMA Dove Awards

Photo of Willie Moore, Jr.

Willie Moore, Jr.
Radio/TV Host. Photo Courtesy #FlatoutTV

Willie Moore, Jr. has been added to the list of artist performers and presenters at the 2016 Gospel Music Association’s (GMA) 47th Annual GMA Dove Awards. The taping will take place 6:30 p.m. CT, Tuesday, October 11 at the Allen Arena on the campus of Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. The show will air exclusively on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), October 16.

The Dove Awards will be hosted by popular artists form both the Christian and gospel music worlds. Sharing hosting duties will be For KING & COUNTRY and Grammy Award winning Gospel recording artist/TV host (BET’s Joyful Noise – premiere’s October 9) Tye Tribbett.

Moore, a Youtube sensation with a social media following of approximately two million, host of Reach Media’s The Willie Moore, Jr. Show and TBN’s youth channel – JUCE TV’s, #FlatoutTV joins fellow presenters Kirk Franklin, Jekalyn Carr, Chris Tomlin, Jordan Feliz, Tasha Cobbs, Kari Jobe, Priscilla Shirer, Ryan Stevenson and Kirk Franklin on this prestigious awards show that celebrates Christian and Gospel music artistry in all of its diversity.

Honored to be a presenter at the Dove Awards, Moore said, “It feels amazing, and I am so honored to be a part of such a prestigious, kingdom building show that elevates gospel music in all of its forms.”

Tye Tribbett

Gospel recording artist Tye Tribbett.

Artists scheduled to perform at this year’s show include Bethel Music and Phillips, Craig & Dean, TobyMac, Anthony Brown and Group TherAPy, Steven Curtis Chapman, Hollyn, Hillsong UNITED, Natalie Grant and Tamela Mann.

Royce Lovett, Seth and Nirva, The Bowling Family, Todd Dulaney and the writers of Chris Tomlin’s “Good, Good Father” are set to perform at the pre-telecast.

Kirk Franklin is among the top artists nominated for a Dove Award. To see the full list of nominees, click here.

Kirk Franklin, gospel recording artist.

Kirk Franklin, Gospel Recording Artist.

One special artist will be honored with the SoundExchange Digital Radio Award. This award is presented to the artist who has received over one billion digital radio spins since SoundExchange started 13 years ago. SoundExchange’s President and CEO, Michael Huppe will present this award. To date, only three artists have received this honor: Pitbull, Justin Timberlake and Garth Brooks.

Huppe said, “We are honored to be part of the 47th Annual GMA Dove Awards, where we will present our prestigious SoundExchange Digital Radio Award to one of gospel music’s enduring artists.”

The GMA Dove Awards show is a hot ticket. According to GMA, tickets are currently sold out, but you could be added to the wait list by calling (615) 966-7075. For more information visit www.gospelmusic.com

To learn more about Willie Moore, Jr. visit www.williemorejr.org

Queen of Katwe In Theaters Friday September 30

Poster of Walt Disney Movie Queen of KatweWalt Disney Pictures’ Queen Katwe opens in theaters nationwide this Friday, September 30. The movie stars Golden Globe nominee Daniel Oyelowo as Robert Katende – chess teacher of unlikely chess star – Phiona Mutesi; Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o as Phiona’s mother  – Nakku Harriett, and newcomer Madina Nalwanga as Phiona Mutesi.

Queen of Katwe is based on the real life story of Phiona Mutesi, a young girl from Katwe, Uganda,a very poor community where dreams can get lost in everyday life. She learns the game of chess, rises above poverty, amazing herself and others in her community.  With her family and community support, Phiona gets the empowerment and confidence she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.

Directed by Mira Nair, the film’s screenplay is by William Wheeler. The Queen of Katwe was produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher and John Carls. Will Weiske and Troy Buder served as executive producers.

Queen of Katwe’s soundtrack is on Walt Disney Records. It features Grammy award winning recording artist/songwriter Alicia Keys’ new original song, “Back to Life. ” The uplifting “Back to Life” was written by Keys, Carlo Montagnese and Billy Walsh. The tune was produced by Illangelo and Keys.

Queen of Katwe is family entertainment film that will encourage you to go after your dreams, no matter where you come from. It is a great film for the whole family to see.

 

19 Year Old Jekalyn Carr’s Gospel Hit “You’re Bigger” Charts On Billboard R&B Chart

Jekalyn Carr, gospel recording artist performing.

Gospel recording artist Jekalyn Carr. Photo courtesy the J. Hardy Agency.

Jekalyn Carr’s gospel hit “You’re Bigger” has crossed over from gospel to mainstream music charts. The song is doing exceptionally well at radio. As of September 24, it rests at the number 33 position on Billboard’s Adult R&B Radio Airplay chart – right between Drake and Tory Lanez.

“You’re Bigger” remained at the number two position on the radio chart for thirteen weeks before garnering Carr her first-ever number one spot on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart. (reaching 3.2 million weekly).

The song is from Carr’s third album, The Life Project. The August 2016 release debuted at number one on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart. “You’re Bigger” also stayed on Billboard’s Gospel Digital Songs chart for two consecutive weeks (for most digital downloads).

The powerful singer, evangelist and West Memphis, Aransas native received numerous accolades this year, including being named as a Power 100 by EBONY magazine, a distinguished list of some of the most influential people in the world. Others on that list include BeyonceBishop T.D JakesKanye West and Quincy Jones. Additionally, Carr was named one of the 16 New Faces in Gospel by P Diddy’s Revolt TV. ESSENCE named her as One To Watch, and JET Magazine also recognized her artistry.

Jekalyn Carr is making a positive impact on society and young people through her life changing music. And, for a teen in today’s fast-paced world, that’s always a good thing.

Kenny Lattimore Guest Stars on In The Cut Finale

KennyLattimore guest stars on In The Cut on Bounce TV

Kenny Lattimore guest stars on Bounce TV’s In The Cut. Photo courtesy Bounce TV.

Kenny Lattimore guest stars on the season finale of In The Cut tonight, 9 pm ET/8 pm CT on Bounce TV. G.G Townson  (Zoey 101) also guest stars.

On this episode, R&B crooner Lattimore’s character (Parker Jones – owner of a chain of shops) opens a new rival barbershop that begins to lure business away from stars Jay (Dorien Wilson), Kenny (Ken Lawson) and Smitty’s (John Marshall Jones) barbershop, Jay’s Chop Shop.

Photo of cast of Bounce TV's In The Cut.

Cast of Bounce TV’s In The Cut. Photo courtesy Bounce TV.

G.G. Townson and Ken Lawson on Bounce TV's In The Cut. Photo courtesyBounce TV.

G.G. Townson and Ken Lawson on Bounce TV’s In The Cut. Photo courtesy Bounce TV.

Also, Smitty’s daughter Stella (G.G. Townson) moves into town to attend medical school. She is beautiful and intelligent. And Kenny falls for her. This totally freaks out Smitty.

Lattimore (Parker Jones ) offers a ton of money to buy out Jay’s Chop Shop and Cheryl’s Beauty Salon owned by Kellita Smith’s character, Cheryl. Of course mayhem ensues.

I’ll be checking out all the fun and laughs tonight on In The Cut, September 20 on Bounce TV and you can too.  You can also join the conversation by using the hashtag #InTheCut on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram.

Motown Gospel Adds Two VPs to Staff

Monica Coates, VP of A&R for Motown Gospel

Monica Coates, VP A&R, Motown Gospel

Motown Gospel has added two Vice Presidents to its executive staff. Ken Pennell, President of Gospel at Capital Christian Music Group (CCMG) announced the appointment of gospel music industry executives Monica Coates and EJ Gaines to the new positions of Vice President of A&R (Artists and Repertoire, division at record company that scouts and signs talent) and Vice President of Marketing, respectively. Both will report to Pennell. They will assume their positions on October 3 at Motown Gospel/CCMG’s headquarters in Nashville, TN.

Coates will preside over A&R, Creative and Promotions. Gaines will oversee Commercial Partnerships, Publicity and Events, Digital Marketing and Content Creation/Monetization, Sync and Business Affairs.

EJ Gaines, VP of Marketing at Motown Gospel

EJ Gaines, VP of Marketing, Motown Gospel

Both Coates and Gaines will work with CCMG Publishing to discover, sign and develop songwriters and expand the company’s existing roster of Gospel writers and producers, including Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Tasha Cobbs, Aaron Lindsey  and its vast catalog of owned and administered songs like Tamela Mann’s hit “Take Me to The King”, Tosha Cobbs’ “Break Every Chain”, “You Are Good” by Israel Houghton, “Soon and Very Soon” from Andrae Crouch, Richard Smallwood’s “Total Praise”, Fred Hammond’s “No Weapon” and Marvin Sapp’s mega hit – “Never Would’ve Made It.”

Monica Coates is a 24-year veteran of the Gospel Music industry. She has held positions in artist management, promotion, publicity and A&R. Prior to joining Motown Gospel, Coates was General Manager at Kirk Franklin’s Fo Yo Soul Recordings/RCA where she oversaw campaigns for Franklin, The Walls GroupTasha Page-LockhartGeoffrey Golden, and Christon Gray. She began her career at Fred Hammond’s Face to Face production company. Additionally, she worked at Verity Records (now RCA Inspiration) as Senior Director of A&R working with great artists like Donnie McClurkin and Hezekiah Walker. Coates published her first book, The Beginners Guide To The Gospel Music Industry in 2009.

Before coming to Motown Gospel EJ Gaines was an entertainment attorney and artist manager who guided the careers of top charting artists such as Jonathan McReynoldsWilliam McDowellMary MaryDonald LawrenceIsaac Carree and Natalie Grant. He began his career at Jive Records and Verity Records. Gaines also served as an executive assistant to platinum-selling Gospel artist Donnie McClurkin.

Pennell said, “We are so excited to be naming Monica Coates and EJ Gaines to these important positions within Motown Gospel. They both bring a wealth of experience to their respective roles, and our artists will benefit greatly from their diverse skill sets, passion for music and belief in how Gospel Music can enrich the lives of its listeners. All of us within Motown Gospel and CCMG wholeheartedly welcome Monica and EJ to our family.”

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