The Top 5 Modern Gospel Music Artists

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Here are the top 5 modern gospel music artists that are making a huge impact in the music industry and beyond.

Kirk Franklin

Kirk Franklin is an American gospel musician, songwriter, choir director, and author. He has been active in the music industry since 1990 and has released thirteen albums. Kirk Franklin has won twelve Grammy Awards, forty-eight Stellar Awards, twenty-two Dove Awards, and has had his music charted on the Billboard 200. He is also the founder of the record label Fo Yo Soul Entertainment.


Kirk Franklin (born January 26, 1970 in Riverside, Texas) is an American choir director, songwriter, and musician. He is best known for his work with the contemporary gospel group The Family, which he founded in 1992. Franklin has won numerous awards throughout his career, including twelve Grammy Awards and forty-seven Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. He was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2015.

Early life and career

Franklin was born in Riverside, Texas, to Gospel singer Evelyn “Gibson” Franklin and minister Joseph Hartwell Franklin Sr. Kirk’s father died when he was only two years old. Kirk’s mother remarried when he was four and the family moved to Fort Worth, Texas. When Kirk was eight years old, his mother started a choir called The choir at Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church named after its pastor, Rev. James L. Rose Sr., who later became his stepfather. The choir began to travel around the country touring different churches and conventions. They recorded a live album called Mount Rose Baptist Church Presents Songs That Will Move You written by Joyce Eilers-Williams and produced by Michael Gatorrea of GatorreaMusic Company in Dallas TX (currently President of Word/Warner Publishing). At this time Kirk Franklin was only eleven years old but often helped with backing vocals on many of the tracks (mostly ad libs).

The album started selling well causing the label to take notice of young Kirk’s vocal talents and eventually led to him singing lead on various tracks including songs like “Every Day With Jesus” and “Jesus Use Me”. At the age of twelve he became music director of Mount Rose Baptist Church which gave him even more opportunities to flex his musical muscles by leading the choir and playing keyboards during services as well as continuing to tour with them around the country. It wasn’t long before he caught the eye of record label executives who saw potential in signing him as a solo artist

Music Style

Kirk Franklin’s urban contemporary gospel style Forumla One has topped the Gospel music charts for two decades. A prodigiously talented songwriter and producer, Franklin has won thirteen Grammy Awards, numerous Dove Awards, and a BET Award for Best Gospel Artist. In addition to his work with the Family and God’s Property, he has released a number of successful solo albums, including Hello Fear (2011) and Losing My Religion (2015).

Major Accomplishments

Kirk Franklin is an American gospel singer, songwriter, record producer and author. He is known for leading urban contemporary gospel choirs such as The Family, God’s Property and One Nation Crew (1NC), and has won numerous awards, including twelve Grammy Awards. Franklin’s work often features elements of hip hop music and his songs cross multiple musical genres. Kirk Franklin founded The Family in 1993 with six other artists over a mutual love for gospel music and desire to bring young people into the genre; the group released its debut album Kirk Franklin & the Family on January 6, 1993. The album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1999. It remains his best-selling album to date, having been certified 3x Multi-Platinum by the RIAA in 2015.

Tamela Mann

Gospel music has been around for many years and has evolved over time. It is a genre that is full of soul and emotion. The modern gospel music artists listed below are some of the best in the genre. They have all made a name for themselves and have a large following.


Tamela Jean Mann (born June 9, 1966) is an American gospel singer, songwriter and actress. She started her career singing background vocals for Dallas Fort Worth area record label T.D. Jakes Music Group from 1996-2000. In 2000, she released her album “Gotta Have Hope”, which was produced by Kirk Franklin. The album spawned the single “Praise The Lord”, which debuted on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart in February 2001 and peaked at number two. She has released nine albums overall, including live albums and compilations. Her 2009 album “Best Days” debuted at number one on the Billboard Gospel chart and earned her a Grammy Award for Best Gospel Album. Her fourth studio album, “One Way”, was released in 2012 and reached number one on both the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart and the Billboard Top Christian & Gospel Albums chart, becoming her first album to top both charts..

Music Style

Modern gospel music is a genre that has evolved over time, incorporating elements of both traditional gospel music and contemporary R&B. Tamela Mann is one of the most popular modern gospel music artists, with a career that spans over two decades.

Mann began her career singing background vocals for Kirk Franklin and the Family, before striking out on her own with the release of her debut album in 1996. Since then, she has released eight studio albums, including the Grammy-nominated Best Days in 2012. Mann’s music is characterized by its uplifting, positive message and its soulful, R&B-influenced sound.

Other popular modern gospel music artists include Yolanda Adams, Shirley Caesar, Donnie McClurkin, and Hezekiah Walker. These artists have all achieved significant success in the genre, with multiple Grammy awards and hit songs to their credit.

Major Accomplishments

Tamela Mann is an American gospel singer and actress. She started her career in music as a teenager, singing lead vocals for the local gospel group Kirk Franklin and the Family. In 2007, she began her solo career with the album I Can Do Bad All by Myself. The album’s lead single, “Take Me to the King,” peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart.

Mann has released eight studio albums, all of which have peaked within the top five of the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart. She has also won four Grammy Awards, nine Stellar Awards, three Dove Awards, an NAACP Image Award, and a BET Award. In 2015, Mann starred in her own sitcom on BET, The Manns.

Tasha Cobbs

Tasha Cobbs is a gospel singer, songwriter, and record producer. She has won numerous awards and is one of the most popular gospel music artists today. She is known for her powerful voice and her ability to connect with her fans.


Tasha Cobbs is a American gospel musician, singer and songwriter. She started her music career by singing background vocals for Kirk Franklin. In 2010, she released her live album entitled “Smile”. The album was nominated for a Grammy award. In 2013, she released her breakthrough album “Grace” which topped the Billboard 200,Top Gospel Albums and Top Christian Albums charts. The albumearned her four Grammy awards. She has released two more albums, “One Place Live”(2015) and “Heart. Passion. Pursuit” (2017).

Music Style

Tasha Cobbs is a singer and songwriter who specialize in the modern gospel music genre. She is known for her soulful and powerful voice that touches hearts and ministers to souls. Her music style is a combination of traditional gospel, contemporary worship, and urban pop. Some of her popular songs include “Break Every Chain”, “Put a Little Love in Your Heart”, and “For Your Glory”.

Major Accomplishments

Tasha Cobbs has enjoyed a successful career in gospel music, with several hit singles and albums to her name. She has won multiple awards, including a Grammy Award for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance, and has been nominated for several others. She is also a popular live performer, having toured extensively both in the US and internationally.

Marvin Sapp

Marvin Sapp is a world-renowned Gospel music artist whose work has spanned over two decades. Marvin is best known for his soulful voice and his ability to connect with his fans through his music. He has won numerous awards, including a Grammy, and his work has been featured in films and television shows.


Marvin Sapp (born January 28, 1967) is an American Gospel music singer-songwriter who recorded with the group Commissioned during the 1990s before beginning a record-breaking solo career. Sapp is also the founder and senior pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2010, Sapp was both the BMI and Gospel Music Association’s Dove Award for Songwriter of the Year, and received his first Grammy nomination for Best Gospel Album for There I Go Again. There I Go Again was also nominated for a Stellar Award for Album of the Year.

Sapp’s first album, Always & Forever was released on Diadem Records in 1995. The album reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart, spending 33 weeks on the chart. The album featured the hit songs “You Are God Alone” and “Give You Praise”. In 1997, Sapp joined with Fred Hammond, Michael Sweetney, and Keith Staten to form the group Commissioned Reunion Tour. The group toured throughout the country until 1999. After Commissioned Reunion Tour ended, Marvin began working on his second album entitled Intimacy: My Heart Belongs to You which was released in 2001 by Verity Records/Jive Records/Zomba Label Group. The album featured guest appearances from Zimbabwe native Oliver Mtukudzi on the song “Mighty to Save”, as well as Commissioned members Michael Brooks and Keith Staten.

Sapp’s third studio album by Verity/Jive/Zomba was entitled Thou Shalt Not Bow Down which was released in 2002 and featured such songs as “‘Tis So Sweet”, “No Matter What”, “I’ll Never Bow”, “Keep Knocking (The Answer Will Come)”, and more.” This would be Sapp’s last project with Jive/Verity/Zomba as he would later sign with Motown Gospel/Universal Music Group Distribution for his fourth studio albumBe Exalted which was released in 2005 and features such tracks as “Under an Open Heaven”, “Praise Break”, “Worship Medley: Awesome Wonder/You’re Worthy”, and more.” Be Exalted would debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart making it Sapp’s second consecutive No. 1 debut on that chart.” The album would spend 46 weeks on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart.”

Music Style

Marvin Sapp is an American gospel music artist who has achieved commercial and critical success both as a solo artist and as a member of the group Commissioned. He is known for his unique style of contemporary gospel music, which fuses elements of pop, R&B, hip hop and jazz. His best-selling album, Here I Am, was released in 2001 and has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In addition to his solo work, Sapp is also a member of the Gospel supergroup Commissioned, which he joined in 1992. The group has released eight albums, including the gold-certified reunion album reunited (2000).

Major Accomplishments

Marvin Sapp is a Gospel music singer, songwriter, preacher and record producer. He has won several awards, including three Grammy Awards, two BET Awards, two Soul Train Music Awards, one Dove Award and one Stellar Award. Sapp is also the founder and lead pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

James Fortune

James Fortune is a gifted musician with a heart for worship. His music is a mixture of contemporary R&B and gospel, and he has a unique ability to lead people in worship. Fortune is a worship leader at powerhouse church, Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church, in Houston, Texas.


James Fortune (born December 11, 1977) is an American gospel singer, songwriter, and producer. He is best known for his hit song “I Believe,” which topped the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart for 11 weeks in 2015.

Fortune was born in St. Louis, Missouri and raised in Houston, Texas. He began singing in his church choir at a young age and went on to study music at Prairie View A&M University. After college, he worked as a music producer and engineer for several years before releasing his debut album, You Saved Me, in 2002.

Fortune’s career took off with the release of his second album, Encore (2005), which included the hit single “I Believe.” The song became one of the most popular gospel songs of the decade and helped propel Fortune to stardom. He has since released several more albums, including Identity (2010), Favor: Live In Music City (2013), and James Fortune & FIYA – Live At Lakewood (2015).

Fortune has won multiple awards throughout his career, including five Stellar Awards and two Dove Awards. In 2015, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance/Song for “Hold On.”

Music Style

James Fortune is a renowned Gospel music singer, songwriter, and producer from Texas. His musical style could be classified as modern Gospel, which is a blend of traditional black Gospel with contemporary R&B, soul, and Hip Hop elements. Fortune is widely celebrated for his unique ability to fuse these genres together in a way that still feels authentically Gospel. He has released seven studio albums and has won several awards, including four Stellar Awards and a BET Award.

Major Accomplishments

James Fortune is a contemporary gospel music artist who has achieved significant success in the genre. He has released six albums, three of which have topped the Billboard Gospel charts. He has won multiple awards, including a Grammy Award and five Stellar Awards. He is also a popular songwriter and producer, working with other artists in the gospel music industry.

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