Gospel Round Up: Sept. 7, 2022

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Dionne Warwick Blasts Rumors of Aunt Cissy Houston’s Death

Iconic singer Dionne Warwick lit up social media last Wednesday after timelines began flooding with the false news of the demise of her 88-year-old aunt Cissy Houston. In a now scrubbed post that was mistakenly publicized by gospel singer Earnest Pugh about the “passing” of the legendary singer, shocked fans reacted on Twitter and other platforms with an immediate outpouring of sadness and support for the family of the mother of the deceased superstar, Whitney Houston. Warwick, who seemingly threw shade on the gaffe, fired out a post on Twitter that was soon picked up by celebrity tabloid TMZ, saying, “My Aunt Cissy is very much alive. This Earnest Pugh needs to get a life and stay out of other peoples lives!”.  Kim Burrell, a fellow gospel artist and close friend of the Houston family, chimed in, also verifying Houston’s well-being in a post of her own, which said, “Please respect her life as she continues to live. “She’s home. Thank you all.”

Winner Announced in Lecrae’s Track Contest for Incarcerated Individuals

Grammy award-winning Christian rapper and Reach Records label owner Lecrae wants us to meet Carmela Mose, who goes by the artist name “Good.” She was the winner of the first-ever “Original Hip-Hop Track Contest” for individuals incarcerated in the U.S. Department of Corrections facilities. The contest, birthed from a partnership formed between Lecrae and Securus Technologies allowed inmates to showcase their musical talents and bring “hope through the power of lyrics.” The grand prize gave one inmate the opportunity to record an original song on his music label. Carmela who is from the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF), a maximum-security prison, won with her original song “I Think.” While her hardships led her into a life of crime, Carmela is now focused on rehabilitation at the corrections facility.

Rapper Eminem Released New Song Rapping About Jesus

Marshall Mathers, better known as hip-hop icon Eminem, seems to be singing a different tune these days. Eminem, known for his raunchy lyrics, surprised fans and industry insiders with a recent song about his faith in Jesus, the power of prayer, and his need for a savior. The song “Use This Gospel (Remix)” features the Grammy-winning rapper on DJ Khaled’s new album “God Did.” The original version of the song appeared on fellow rapper Kanye West’s 2019 album, “Jesus Is King,” which drew similar speculations. The song which is a far cry from the profanity-laced songs he is known for features a more pious Eminem rapping lyrics like “I’m holding on, but I don’t know if I can take it much longer; today’s the day that I put all of my trust and faith in You, Father,” 

Seattle’s First Lady of Gospel Has Died

Pastor Patrinell “Pat” Wright, 78, known as Seattle’s First Lady of Gospel, recently died after battling a long illness. Wright was the founder and director of Seattle’s Total Experience Gospel Choir for 45 years. She was an accomplished singer in her own right, known for her four-octave range. Before retiring in 2018, she directed the group in performances in about 38 states and 28 countries and won more than 150 national and global awards. Wright founded the choir in 1973 at Franklin High School for the school’s underserved Black students. The Total Experience Gospel Choir went on to become Seattle’s longest-running and most prominent community gospel choir. Wright also performed on her own at many historic events, including Jimi Hendrix‘s funeral in 1970 and for former President Barack Obama right after he was first elected. Wright spent much of her life helping people of all backgrounds understand the importance of African American gospel music in Seattle and around the world.  

Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church Hosts 95th Birthday of Dr. King’s Elder Sister

On September 11th at 4 p.m., the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta will be hosting the 95th birthday celebration of Dr. Christine King Farris, the eldest and only sister of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Ferris remains the longest-serving member of the church that was once co-pastored by her father, Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. and her brother, the famed civil rights activist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Ferris, a professor by trade, retired from Spelman College after 58 years and is credited with being the co-organizer of The King Center. Performers for the celebration will include Cassi Davis Patton of Tyler Perry’sHouse of Payne,” gospel legend Dottie Peoples, Angel Taylor Capehart of the platinum-selling gospel group Trin-i-tee 5:7, and gospel singer Lydia Pace of the Anointed Pace Sisters. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit leadership development and the Christine King Farris Scholarship at Spelman College.

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