A Salute to Gospel Music at the White House
- President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama host a celebration of gospel music in the East Room of the White House.
- The event features performances by some of the genre’s most well-known and respected artists, including:
- Yolanda Adams
- Shirley Caesar
- James Cleveland
- Kirk Franklin
- Marvin Sapp
- Donnie McClurkin
- Smokie Norful
- The blind Boys of Alabama
- The Clark Sisters
- Michelle Williams
- The event also features a special appearance by comedian and actor Steve Harvey.
- The Obamas welcome the artists and guests to the White House and express their love for gospel music.
- The artists perform a selection of gospel songs, including:
- “Oh, Happy Day”
- “Amazing Grace”
- “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power”
- “I Believe”
- “He Lives”
- The Obamas and guests enjoy the performances and express their appreciation for the artists and the genre of gospel music.
President Obama and the First Family hosted a celebration of Gospel music in the East Room of the White House.
President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama host a celebration of gospel music in the East Room of the White House.
The evening will feature a wide range of performers celebrating the enduring influence and richness of gospel music in America. Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, February 11, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host A Salute to Gospel Music at the White House. The concert will be held in the East Room and will feature a wide range of performers celebrating the enduring influence and richness of gospel music in America.
The program will feature remarks by the President and Mrs. Obama and performances by:
The Campbell Brothers
Dr. James Cleveland and The Gospel Music Workshop of America Choir
The Fairfield Four
and special guests.
The event features performances by some of the genre’s most well-known and respected artists, including:
The event features performances by some of the genre’s most well-known and respected artists, including:
– Fred Hammond
– Kirk Franklin
– Hezekiah Walker
– Smokie Norful
– Yolanda Adams
– Marvin Sapp
– Lee Williams
As one of contemporary gospel music’s most celebrated singers, Yolanda Adams has achieved commercial and critical acclaim. Born in Houston, Texas, on August 27, 1961, Adams began singing in her church choir at an early age. After graduating from high school in 1979, she attended Tuskegee Institute on a vocal music scholarship. After graduation, she worked as a teacher and a radio DJ before releasing her debut album, Just As I Am, in 1987. The album’s first single, “Someone Watching Over You,” became a hit on the gospel charts, and Adams began to tour extensively. Her subsequent albums title>
In 1998, Adams released her most commercially successful album to date, Mountain High…Valley Low. The album sold more than two million copies and garneredAdams a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album. In 2001, she collaborated with pop singer Whitney Houston on the song “The Battle Is the Lord’s” for the soundtrack to the film The Preacher’s Wife.
Adams has continued to tour and record throughout the 2000s. In 2009, she released her tenth studio album, Become a Better Me. The following year, she was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Shirley Caesar (born October 13, 1938) is an American Gospel music singer, songwriter and recording artist whose career has spanned over six decades. She has recorded over 120 albums and has won 10 Grammy Awards. Caesar was honored by the Gospel Music Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.
James Cleveland (December 5, 1931 – February 9, 1991) was an American gospel singer, musician, and composer. He was one of the originators of the urban contemporary gospel sound. He was sometimes referred to as “the King of Gospel Music” and is credited with bringing gospel music to the mainstream.
As the first contemporary gospel artist to be invited to perform at a White House Easter Egg Roll, Kirk Franklin brought his unique brand of faith-based music to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in 2006.
A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Franklin began his musical career as a teenager, singing with local gospel groups and leading his own choir. In 1992, he released his debut album, “Kirk Franklin & The Family,” which revolutionized the sound of contemporary gospel music and earned him widespread critical acclaim.
Over the course of his career, Franklin has won multiple Grammy Awards, sold millions of records, and been honored by the Gospel Music Association and the BET Awards. He remains one of the most popular and influential figures in contemporary gospel music today.
Marvin Sapp is an American gospel singer, songwriter and record producer. Sapp is also one of the best-selling music artists in the contemporary gospel music genre. In October 2010, Marvin Sapp was presented with a Gospel Music Association Dove Award for “Artist of the Year”.
Gospel singer and music producer Donnie McClurkin was one of many Christian leaders and performers who took part in a special event at the White House on February 28, 2019. The daylong celebration, which was held in the East Room, honored the history and contributions of gospel music to American culture.
McClurkin, who has won multiple Grammy Awards, was one of several artists who performed during the event. He was joined by singers Yolanda Adams, Tye Tribbett, and Marvin Sapp; choirs from Morehouse College and Howard University; and the Gospel Music Heritage Month Choir.
Following his performance, McClurkin spoke to reporters about the importance of gospel music and its ability to bring people together. “Gospel music is the backbone of American music,” McClurkin said. “It is the DNA of all that we are as Americans.”
The event was organized by the White House Music Series, a program that highlights different genres of American music throughout the year. Past events have featured jazz, country, and hip hop musicians.
Smokie Norful is an American gospel singer and pianist. He has released several albums, including his debut album I Need You Now in 2002. In 2004, he won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album for his album Nothing Without You. In 2006, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Gospel Vocal Performance for his song “Be Blessed”.
The blind Boys of Alabama
The Blind Boys of Alabama are a five-time Grammy Award-winning gospel group who first gained popularity in the 1940s. The group has been active for over 75 years and its members have included noted musicians such as Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter, and Ben Johnston. The Blind Boys have toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe, and their music has been featured in film and television.
The Clark Sisters
The Clark Sisters are an American gospel vocal group consisting of five sisters: Jacky Clark Chisholm, Denise Clark Bradford, Twinkie Clark, Dorinda Clark-Cole, and Karen Clark Sheard. The sisters were born in Detroit, Michigan to Theola and George Duke; Jacky, Denise and Twinkie are biological sisters, while Dorinda and Karen are first cousins born to Mable Kane and Willie Mae Hardy, respectively.
Michelle Williams is an American gospel singer and songwriter. She is a four-time Grammy Award winner, a two-time Stellar Award winner, and a member of the group Destiny’s Child. In 2013, she released her fifth solo album, Journey to Freedom, which debuted at number one on the Billboard Gospel chart. She has also appeared on television shows such as The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Wendy Williams Show.
The event also features a special appearance by comedian and actor Steve Harvey.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature a wide range of gospel musicians, including Hezekiah Walker, Yolanda Adams, Shirley Caesar, Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Sapp, Karen Clark Sheard, and James Fortune. In addition to the musical performances, the evening will also feature special appearances by comedian and actor Steve Harvey, as well as former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.
The Obamas welcome the artists and guests to the White House and express their love for gospel music.
It’s been nearly two centuries since slaves were brought to America. And while they were denied their freedom, they held on to their faith. In time, that faith would give birth to a new sound. A sound that would lift up the spirit and bring hope to the soul. It’s a sound that we still feel today — the power of gospel music.
And tonight, we celebrate one of America’s greatest gifts to the world — gospel music. (Applause.) This music has lifted up the hearts of our people in moments of trial and triumph. It’s a music that has rhythms and blues and jazz and soul — all wrapped up in one powerful message of hope.
So it is fitting that we gather here in this house — (applause) — this house that was built by slaves; a house that knows something about hope; a house that has seen some pretty tough times itself; a house that belongs to every single American. (Applause.) We gather here to celebrate gospel music because this music has always been about more than just entertaining us. It is about testifying; it’s about bearing witness to the truth; it is about preaching.
And so tonight, we salute the Obamas for their love of gospel music, and we pray that this musical celebration will lift up the spirits of all who hear it.
The artists perform a selection of gospel songs, including:
The President and Mrs. Obama host a Salute to Gospel Music at the White House in celebration of Black History Month. The artists perform a selection of gospel songs, including:
-I Won’t Complain
-Oh, How I Love Jesus
-To God Be the Glory
“Oh, Happy Day”
The happy sound of “Oh, Happy Day” comes from the White House, where a gala concert is underway honoring gospel music and its impact on American culture. The program features some of the genre’s biggest stars, including Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams and CeCe Winans. Michelle Obama is hosting the event in the East Room, where she’s joined by her daughters Sasha and Malia.
“Amazing Grace” is a hymn with words written by English poet and clergyman John Newton (1725–1807), published in 1779. With the message that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of the sins committed and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the soul’s acceptance of God’s grace, “Amazing Grace” is one of the most recognizable songs in the English-speaking world.
“The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power”
“The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power” is a song written by Andrae Crouch in 1969. Crouch was an American gospel singer, songwriter, arranger, and record producer. He was a leading figure in the contemporary Christian music movement and is credited as being one of the pioneers of gospel music. The song became popular among both Christians and non-Christians alike and has been covered by many artists over the years. President Barack Obama referenced the song in his 2013 inauguration speech, saying that “the blood will never lose its power” is a “testament to the fact that each of us are made perfect in God’s image”.
It was a moment that brought the sold-out crowd to its feet, cheering and clapping along as President Barack Obama joined award-winning gospel singer Yolanda Adams onstage to belt out the gospel classic, “I Believe.”
The performance was part of “Salute to Gospel Music at the White House,” a concert celebrating one of America’s most cherished musical genres. The event featured some of gospel music’s biggest stars, including Hezekiah Walker, Kirk Franklin, Kim Burrell and Donnie McClurkin.
The concert was held in the East Room of the White House, where the Obamas have hosted a number of musical events over the years, from country to classical to Motown. In his remarks before the concert, President Obama said that hosting gospel music at the White House was “a particular thrill.”
“Gospel music has been such an important part of our history and our culture, lifting up the hearts and souls of generations of Americans,” he said. “And it is with that same spirit that we gather here today — to lift up our hearts and souls in praise.”
The White House has been filled with the sounds of Gospel music this evening, as some of the nation’s most celebrated performers come together to celebrate this uniquely American art form.
The evening’s entertainment will include a special performance of “He Lives” by the Grammy Award-winning Gaither Vocal Band. First performed at the White House in 1999, the song has become an annual tradition at Easter time.
The Gaither Vocal Band is one of the most popular Gospel groups in the world, and has been performing for more than 50 years. The group’s founder, Bill Gaither, is a prolific songwriter and performer who has written more than 600 songs, including such classics as “Because He Lives” and “The Old Rugged Cross.”
In addition to the Gaither Vocal Band, tonight’s performers include Gospel music legends like Mavis Staples, CeCe Winans, Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, and many others.
The Obamas and guests enjoy the performances and express their appreciation for the artists and the genre of gospel music.
The Obamas and guests enjoy the performances and express their appreciation for the artists and the genre of gospel music. The first couple is introduced to the stage by Dr. C.L. Franklin, and they receive a standing ovation from the crowd. President Obama thanks Dr. Franklin for his introduction, as well as the performers and everyone in attendance. He says that gospel music has always been a part of his life, and he is honored to have it being performed at the White House. Mrs. Obama expresses her own appreciation for gospel music, saying that it is one of her favorite genres. The Obamas then take their seats to enjoy the rest of the performances.