The Best Black Gospel Songs for Gospel Music Lovers

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The best black gospel songs are those that have been performed by some of the most talented singers in the genre. These are the songs that have moved people to action and have inspired change.

What is black gospel music?

Black gospel music is a genre of Christian music that is rooted in the African-American church experience. It is a musical expression of the Gospel that uses various elements of the African-American musical and cultural traditions, such as the blues, jazz, and Leigh Scott.

Black gospel music has been a part of the musical landscape for centuries, with its origins dating back to the 18th century. In the early 20th century, black gospel music became a major force in the African-American church, with artists such as Thomas Dorsey and Mahalia Jackson leading the way. The genre continued to evolve in the following decades, with artists such as James Cleveland, Andrae Crouch, and Commissioned helping to define contemporary black gospel music.

While black gospel music has its roots in the African-American church, it is now enjoyed by people of all races and denominations across the world. Whether you’re a fan of traditional hymns or contemporary worship songs, there’s a black gospel song for you.

The history of black gospel music

Gospel music is a genre of Christian music. The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of gospel music varies according to culture and social context. Gospel music is composed and performed for many purposes, including aesthetic pleasure, religious or ceremonial purposes, and as an entertainment product for the marketplace. Gospel music usually has dominant vocals (often with strong use of harmony) with Christian lyrics. Gospel music can be traced to the early 17th century, with roots in the black oral tradition. Hymns and sacred songs were often repeated in a call and response fashion. Most of the churches relied on hand clapping and foot stomping as rhythm instruments along with tambourines until percussion instruments were introduced just before the Civil War. In the 1830s, composers created works that were intended to be performed by both professional singers/instrumentalists, written in large vocal/instrumental scores, which gave these works a ‘symphonic’ quality. As spirituals were shortened over time to fit into a set time frame for worship services each week (i.e., becoming ‘hymns’), this new genre of music was influenced by both traditional hymns and popular secular tunes of the day.

The influence of black gospel music

The influence of black gospel music can be seen in many different genres of music today. For example, rock n’ roll would not exist without the influence of black gospel music. The same can be said for blues, jazz, and even country music. All of these genres have been heavily influenced by black gospel music and the talented musicians who create it.

If you are a fan of gospel music, then you already know that there are countless great songs to choose from. But what are the best black gospel songs? This is a question that often leads to heated debates among fans of this genre.

There are so many great songs to choose from, but here are ten of the best black gospel songs of all time:
“Amazing Grace” by Mahalia Jackson
“Oh Happy Day” by Edwin HawkinsSingers
“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” by The Pilgrim Travelers
“I’ll Fly Away” by Albert E. Brumley
“Take My Hand, Precious Lord” by Thomas A. Dorsey
“Give Me That Old Time Religion” by James Cleveland
“Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior” by Fanny Crosby
“Just a Closer Walk With Thee” by Aaron Neville
“Blessed Assurance” by Kathryn Scott

The best black gospel songs

Gospel music is a type of music that is characterized by its religious lyrics and upbeat music. It is often sung by a choir or soloist and is accompanied by instruments such as the piano, drums, and guitar. Gospel music has been around for many years and has been a staple in the black community. There are many different styles of gospel music, but the one thing that all gospel music has in common is its ability to evoke a feeling of joy and happiness.

“Amazing Grace”

One of the most popular and well-known Christian hymns of all time, “Amazing Grace” was penned by English poet and clergyman John Newton. A former slave trader, Newton penned the lyrics as a reflection on God’s grace in saving him from a life of sin. With its simple yet profound message, “Amazing Grace” has become a staple of both black gospel and traditional gospel music, and has been covered by artists across multiple genres.

“Oh, How I Love Jesus”

There are many excellent black gospel songs that have become favorites among music lovers of all ages, but one that stands out among the rest is “Oh, How I Love Jesus.” Written by Frederick Whitfield in 1869, this beautiful hymn has been a staple in black gospel music for generations and continues to be one of the most popular gospel songs today.

“Oh, How I Love Jesus” is a simple yet powerful song that express the deep love and adoration that we have for our Savior. The lyrics are full of emotion and declare our overwhelming affection for Jesus Christ. This timeless song has been recorded by some of the most well-known names in gospel music, including Mahalia Jackson, James Cleveland, The blind Boys of Alabama, and many others.

If you are looking for a beautiful black gospel song to add to your collection, “Oh, How I Love Jesus” is a great choice. This classic hymn is sure to fill your heart with love and joy every time you hear it.

“He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”

“He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” is a classic black gospel song that has been performed by many artists over the years. The song is based on a biblical passage from Psalm 24:1, which reads, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” The song became popular during the civil rights movement as a way to express hope and faith in the midst of struggle.

The original version of the song was written by Rev. Marion Williams and first recorded by Mahalia Jackson in 1958. Jackson’s version is considered to be one of the best and most influential recordings of the song. Williams himself recorded the song several times throughout his career, including a version with Aretha Franklin in 1972.

Other notable recordings of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” include versions by Lead Belly (1949), Odetta (1957), Nina Simone (1964), and Marvin Gaye (1977). The song has also been covered by contemporary artists such as Alicia Keys (2001) and Casting Crowns (2009).

“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”

“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” is a black spiritual song written by Wallace Willis, a Choctaw Freedman who probably lived in the Indian Territory, sometime in the 1860s. It is one of the most popular Negro spirituals, and has been recorded by many artists. The earliest known recording was made in 1924 by Fisk University Jubilee Quartet.

“We Shall Overcome”

“We Shall Overcome” is a classic gospel song that has been sung by many different artists over the years. The lyrics to this song are based on the Bible verse from Galatians 6:14, which says, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it.” This verse is about continuing to follow Jesus even when things are difficult.

The original version of this song was created by Reverend Charles Albert Tindley in 1900. Since then, it has been adapted and recorded by many different artists, including Mahalia Jackson, Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen, and U2. This song has become an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement and is still sings today as a way to promote peace and social justice.

The future of black gospel music

There is no doubt that black gospel music has changed over the years. While some of the older songs are still being played, many newer songs are quickly becoming favorites. As the genre continues to evolve, it is important to keep an open mind about the future of black gospel music.

One of the biggest changes that has taken place in black gospel music is the way that it is being performed. In the past, most black gospel songs were performed by choirs. However, there has been a recent trend toward solo performances. This change has been led by some of the biggest names in black gospel music, such as Kirk Franklin and Donnie McClurkin.

Another change that has taken place is the way that black gospel music is being written. In the past, most black gospel songs were written by established songwriters. However, there has been a recent trend toward new songwriters emerging from the black community. This change has been led by artists such as Hezekiah Walker and James Moore.

The future of black gospel music is likely to be affected by both of these trends. As more artists experiment with new styles and methods of performance, we can expect to see even more innovation in this genre in the years to come.

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