Gospel Round Up: Aug. 17, 2022

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Israel Houghton and Adrienne Bailon Welcome Baby Boy Ever James

Just a week ago, TV personality Adrienne Bailon and husband singer Israel Houghton celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary, but now they have a new reason to rejoice and his name is Ever James. The couple, who welcomed their first child, shared the news about their baby boy on social media with a picture of the couple looking adoringly at the newborn. “He’s here and we have never been happier to lose sleep!” Ever James was born through a surrogate after a painful five-year battle with infertility. Bailon, who has been open about her desire to have children, spoke about the hurdles they faced yet maintained an optimistic vision for the outcome for her and Houghton who was already the father of five children.

COGIC Bishop Condemns Beyonce for New Song “Church Girl”

Bishop Patrick Wooden, president and CEO of the Upper Room COGIC in Raleigh, NC, made headlines recently after publicly condemning R&B superstar Beyonce for her use of a sample from Twinkie Clark’s 1981 gospel classic “Center of Thy Will” written for The Clark Sisters. The sample was used in a song titled “Church Girl” released on Bey’s latest project titled “Renaissance.” Some critics have slammed the song because of the lyrics like, “Drop it like a thottie” and “Soon as I get in this party, I’m gon’ let go of this body.” Others have even questioned whether Twinkie Clark had heard the song before posting her video thanking the star. Bishop Wooden who has been outspoken about the matter since the song’s release said to his congregation, “The only thing I can account to some of that stuff is, somebody done sold their soul to the Devil.” He then went on to describe the song as “a piece of trash not fit for consumption.” Clark has not addressed Wooten’s backlash of Beyonce.

Matthew West and Maverick City Music Lead 2022 GMA Dove Nominations

The nominees for the 53rd Annual GMA Dove Awards were announced last week during a live-streamed event on August 10th. This year’s forerunner was songwriter/producer Jeff Pardo with a total of nine nominations, followed by Matthew West and Maverick City Music tied with seven nominations apiece. For KING + Country, winners of the artist of the year award for the last two years, are nominated in the category again vying for a third consecutive win. The Australian brothers will be up against first-timers in this category, including CeCe Winans, who has a total of five nods and would be making her own firsts in the category as the second Black solo artist and first Black female artist if she were to win. This year’s nominees were chosen from more than 2,000 submitted entries.

Singer Amy Grant Postpones Fall Tour to Continue Recovery from Bike Accident

Singer Amy Grant announced that she would be postponing her upcoming North American fall tour prompting new concerns from her fanbase. The statement posted on her behalf on her social media page spoke of her recent hospitalization due to a bike accident. The statement read “Earlier this week Amy Grant was in an accident after hitting a pothole while riding her bicycle with a friend (note: she was wearing a helmet).” It also said, “Following a brief hospitalization where she was treated for her injuries, doctors have ordered additional recovery time at home for Amy, where she is now resting comfortably.” The statement continued, “Due to ‘doctor’s orders,’ the hitmaker was forced to postpone all concerts that were scheduled to take place in August, including shows in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Johnson City, and Wilmington.” The canceled shows will now take place in April and June of 2023.

Texas Church Slapped with Lawsuit for “Hamilton” Production

In Texas, a church found out the hard way that borrowing someone else’s production can come at a steep price. The Door, located in McAllen, TX, decided they would put on their own version of the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” with changes they claimed reflected Christian values. A video of the church production showed a sermon that compared homosexuality to drug addiction. Lin-Manuel Miranda the playwright of the Broadway show first released in 2015, initiated legal proceedings against the church citing that the reproduction was an unauthorized anti-gay misrepresentation of his original work. According to the copyright laws, there are some exemptions that churches are allowed but this does not include streaming, video, or distribution outside of a service. The Dramatist Guild, which represents playwrights, issued their own statement on their website backing Miranda.

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