Saturday, 15 June 2013

Black Gospel Music Phenomenal Growth from 1996 to 1997 Part 2


 “Alone In His Presents” 
was CeCe Winans'    
first platinum certified album of her 
career  as a solo artist.  

Kevin Bond was appointed VP of A&R at Gospo Centric, a major black record producer and top studio musician responsible for many of Kirk Franklin’s gold and platinum records and other top selling black  gospel artists.  In 1997 we witnessed CeCe’s album “Alone In His Present” achieving certified gold for week ending 5th July 1997 and finally certified platinum by 17th December 2001 for over million copies sold in America


“God’s Property” album reached number one   on both the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop  Chart and the Billboard Top Gospel  Albums Charts in America. The album sold over three million copies in America.

This was the first gold certification by a black female artist since Kirk’s recording projects and “The Preacher’s Wife” featuring Whitney Houston on the soundtrack. “The Preacher’s Wife” soundtrack was certified double platinum by that time. “The Preacher’s Wife” is the only gospel soundtrack to be certified platinum in Europe for one million copies sold according to The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) with international office based in London England.

 In 1997 same time when black was having massive growth, Bob Carlisle, a white recording artist and songwriter achieved his first major success crossover hit  with the album  “Shade of Grace” which went to  number one for 11 weeks on the Top Contemporary Christian chart  and achieved double platinum  for over two million copies. In the live entertainment concert sector had tremendous success with The Tour of Life which was the most successful gospel tour of it time,  featuring Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams and Fred Hammond. Kirk’s “God’s Property” was number one for 10 weeks and  was certified platinum week ending 16th August 1997,with Kirk’s “Whatcha Lookin’ 4” album at the number three position, for two weeks. Since “God’s Property” release, it was number one for 16 weeks out of 17 weeks on the Top Gospel Albums chart as of the 27th September 1997 and finally by 20th December 1997 remained at number one for total 28 weeks. 

In addition gospel tracks were beginning to have increase present on secular soundtracks participating gold and platinum albums certifications. For example CeCe Winans teamed up with Whitney Houston for a duet titled “Count On Me” on the “Waiting To Exhale” soundtrack mainly produced Babyface on his LaFace Records label (black record label) and distributed by Arista Records. The album sold seven million copies in America and over one million copies in Europe. On television, Shirley Caesar became the first gospel artist featured QVC Home Shopping Network in the month February 1996 an arrangement between Word Records’ parent company Thomas Nelson Publishers. 

Artist such as Fred Hammond also achieved major success during that period with his studio album entitled “The Spirit of David” (Radical for Christ), released on 20th August 1996 and which become a gold certified album in 19th September 2002 according to RIAA.   

Fred Hammond’s first studio 
album of his career 
to receive gold certification
in America.

The late Jheryl Busby, former President and CEO of Motown Records once quoted by saying, “Vicky Mack Latailade is the Berry Gordy of gospel music. Before anyone else, she had the vision to take gospel music into the mainstream, and her (Gospo Centric) company’s phenomenal success has led the way for an entire industry.” 

She is indeed one of the most outstanding entrepreneurial black women in the music industry internationally. The recording artist Kirk Franklin who she signed in the early 1990s has become the second best-selling gospel recording artist with 20 million units sold internationally behind Amy Grant ahead with 25 million units according to Gospel Music Association (GMA) based in Nashville, America. With this remarkable and phenomenal growth has helped the America gospel industry to experience a 41% growth from $381 million in 1995 to gross earning in excess of $538 million by 1996 in North America! No other music industry sector had experienced such tremendous growth in such a short time.

           The soundtrack was certified platinum in Europe according  to IFPI ( International Federation of Phonographic Industry) for over one million copies sold. The soundtrack was recorded and released LaFace Records

                 Written,researched and compiled 
                          by Kevin Tomlin Music Historian



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About Me

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Old Harlow, Essex, United Kingdom
Kevin Tomlin has over 34 years of teaching experience in Jamaica, England and America, including 15 years teaching music history of black origin and visual art in South Florida, U.S.A., through Arts in Education. Tomlin created special training programmes and workshops for music teachers in South Florida schools, using music history as the foundation, to build exciting programmes of study and support materials for education professionals. Since 2000, he’s taught music history, geography, religious education, history, visual arts and performing arts at schools in Hertfordshire and Essex, at both primary and secondary levels. He conducts research and provides consultancy services for multi-media organisations, schools, recording artists, cultural and faith-based groups and entertainment professionals.

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