Contemporary Gospel Music to Uplift Your Soul

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


At a time when the world is filled with so much negative news, it’s important to have music that will uplift your soul. Contemporary gospel music does just that. It’s a genre of music that is full of hope and inspiration.

What is Contemporary Gospel Music?

Contemporary Gospel Music can be defined as a genre of Popular African-American music that is musically rooted in the gospel tradition, but also incorporates elements of R&B, hip hop, and pop.


Contemporary gospel music is a subgenre of gospel music that includes elements of pop, soul, R&B and hip hop. The genre first emerged in the 1960s with artists such as James Cleveland, Mahalia Jackson and Andraé Crouch, and has since diversified to include artists from a wide range of backgrounds and styles.

Contemporary gospel music is characterized by its use of modern production techniques, its incorporation of elements from other genres, and its focus on themes of social justice, personal faith and spiritual growth. The genre has been popularized by artists such as Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams and Marvin Sapp.


Contemporary gospel music is a style of Christian music that is typically upbeat and inspirational. It often includes elements from other genres, such as pop, R&B, and hip-hop. While it is typically performed by Black artists, contemporary gospel has appeal for people of all races and religions.

There are many different subgenres of contemporary gospel, each with its own unique sound and style. The common thread that ties all of these subgenres together is the message of hope and positivity that they convey.

Some of the most popular subgenres of contemporary gospel include:
-Urban contemporary gospel: This style is characterized by its smooth R&B sound and inspirational lyrics. Popular artists who perform urban contemporary gospel include Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, and Fred Hammond.
– Contemporary Christian: This subgenre is similar to pop music, but with Christian lyrics. Contemporary Christian artists include Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, and CeCe Winans.
-Gospel rap: This style combines elements of hip-hop and rap with traditional gospel music. It often has a message of social justice or religious faith. Popular artists who perform gospel rap include Lecrae, NF, and Trip Lee.

Contemporary Gospel Music Artists

There are many different types of music out there that can uplift your soul. However, if you are looking for something that is a little more contemporary, you may want to consider gospel music. Gospel music is a type of music that is rooted in Christianity and often has a positive and uplifting message.

Kirk Franklin

Kirk Franklin is an American gospel musician, songwriter, choir director, and author. He is best known for his role as choir director of the urban contemporary gospel choirs The Family and God’s Property. He has won multiple Grammy Awards, and his 1993 debut album Kirk Franklin & the Family became the best-selling gospel album of all time.

Franklin was born in Riverside, Texas, the fourth of six children of Othelma Loyce (née Harris; died 1998), a homemaker, and Joseph Benjamin Franklin (died 1999), a steel mill worker. Franklin’s father was a deacon who brought the family to Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Aliquippa every Sunday. Othelma would teach her son how to sing harmony parts from the hymnals when he was only four years old.

As a child, Kirk Franklin learned how to play piano and saxophone in addition to singing in the choir. He later joined James Blackwood’s Legendary drawers Quartet as their pianist when he was only fourteen years old. By age nineteen, Franklin had started his own group called The Heralds which sang at churches and weddings throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

In 1992, after being hired by Bobby Jones to direct music at two Dallas-area churches – Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Arlington and Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Cedar Hill – Franklin organized a thirty-member choir of church members called “The Family” which performed during worship services at both churches as well as at various gospel events around the country including Jones’ Nashville Network television show Bobby Jones Gospel.

The recording was nominated for Best Gospel Album at the 1994 Grammy Awards.. After releasing his fourth album The Nu Nation Project in 1998 (which featured the popular single “Lean on Me” featuring Bono, R Kelly, Mary J Blige & Crystal Lewis), Kirk Franklin appeared on several TV shows including The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno In 2000 he published a book entitled Fight of My Life which details his struggles with pornography addiction.. In 2001 he founded The Staple Singers Scholars program at Tougaloo College intended to help African-American students attending the historically black college pay for their education expenses..

Yolanda Adams

Yolanda Yvette Adams is an American gospel singer, record producer, actress, and radio host of her own nationally syndicated morning gospel show. As a gospel artist, Adams has won multiple awards, including seven Grammy Awards. Contemporary Gospel music is a genre of Christian music sometimes referred to as urban contemporary gospel, black gospel, or African-American gospel. It has been influenced by other genres such as soul and hip hop.

Adams was born in Houston, Texas on August 27, 1961. After graduating high school at age 17, Adams started her music career singing background vocals for various blackQUINN sheperd artists including Sammie Okposo and Dwayne Wiggins of Tony Toni Tone. In 1985 at the age of 24, Adams was discovered by producer Ben Tankard and signed her first recording contract with Sound of Gospel which yielded her debut album Just As I Am in 1987. The album’s title track “Just As I Am” became a hit on contemporary black radio stations and the single eventually peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart in 1988 making it the first ever single by a female artist to do so.

Marvin Sapp

Marvin Sapp is a contemporary gospel music singer, songwriter, and record producer. He started his music career as a member of the gospel group Commissioned. He later released several solo albums including “Thirsty”, “Problem”, and “I Win”. Sapp is known for his chart-topping singles including “Never Would Have Made It” and “The Best in Me”. He has won several awards including multiple Grammy Awards and BET Awards.

Contemporary Gospel Music Albums

There are many different types of Contemporary Gospel Music Albums available to choose from these days. You can find Contemporary Gospel Music Albums that feature a wide variety of artists, styles, and sounds. There is something for everyone when it comes to Contemporary Gospel Music Albums. You can find albums that are upbeat and lively, as well as albums that are more mellow and introspective. No matter what your mood, there is a Contemporary Gospel Music Album that is sure to uplift your soul.

Kirk Franklin – Hello Fear

Released in 2011, Kirk Franklin’s twelfth studio album, Hello Fear, topped the Billboard 200, making it his first number one album. The three-time Grammy Award winner collaborated with several other artists on the album including Marvin Sapp, Mali Music, and Sonny Sandoval of the rock band P.O.D. The title track was inspired by a conversation that Franklin had with a scared little girl at an airport. Through his music, Franklin seeks to encourage others to face their fears and live their lives with purpose.

Yolanda Adams – Becoming

Yolanda Adams – Becoming
The album was released on June 17, 1997, by Elektra Records. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Top Contemporary Gospel Albums chart. The album includes the singles “Spirit”, “In the Midst of It All”, and “Open My Heart”.

Adams said of the album, “I went through a lot during the making of this record. I was going through a divorce, I was having problems with my son’s father, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. But through it all, God was there for me.”

##Heading: Kirk Franklin – The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin
Kirk Franklin – The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin
The album was released on August 27, 2002, by GospoCentric Records. It peaked at number two on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart and number one on the Top Contemporary Gospel Albums chart. The album includes the singles “Looking for You”, “I Smile”, and “Lean on Me”.

Franklin said of the album, “This is an album about hope and about how no matter how bad things may seem, God is always there for us. Sometimes we just need to be reminded that He has not forgotten about us.”

Marvin Sapp – Here I Am

Here I Am is the eighth studio album by American gospel singer Marvin Sapp. The album was released on August 21, 2007, by Verity Records. The album features the singles “Never Would Have Made It” and “The Best in Me”. Newsboys provide background vocals on track nine, entitled “You Are Everything”.

Contemporary Gospel Music Videos

There are few things more soul-stirring than Contemporary Gospel music. The powerful melodies and moving lyrics can lift your spirits and fill you with hope. These Contemporary Gospel music videos are some of our favorites.

Kirk Franklin – I Smile

Franklin’s message is clear in this video — no matter what life throws your way, you can still smile. The video features people of all ages and walks of life, including a little girl with cancer, a soldier returning home from war, and a woman dealing with domestic violence. The lyrics are interspersed with inspiring quotes about smiling through difficult times.

Yolanda Adams – I Believe

I Believe by Yolanda Adams is a heart-wrenching ballad about having faith through tough times. The powerful music video features Adams singing in front of a cross made of barbed wire, with scenes of struggling people in the background. The message of the song is clear – no matter how hard life gets, we must never lose faith.

Marvin Sapp – Never Would Have Made It

Released in 2007, “Never Would Have Made It” is a powerful ballad by Marvin Sapp. The music video features Sapp and his family, as well as footage of him performing the song live. The lyrics are uplifting and inspirational, making this a perfect choice for a contemporary gospel music video.

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