Gospel Roundup

From Left to Right: DMX, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ne-Yo

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Age 90 Passes Away

South African, Anglican Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu the man who became a central figure in the fight to abolish apartheid in South Africa died on Sunday, December 26 at the Oasis Care Centre in Capetown, South Africa. Archbishop Tutu, who was 90 years old at the time of his death, was diagnosed with prostate cancer during the late 1990s.  He had since undergone numerous treatments and hospitalizations to try to combat infections he suffered from the disease. Archbishop Tutu served as the Bishop of Johannesburg for a year in 1985, then became the Archbishop of Capetown in 1986. He held the latter role for the next 10 years and in both instances, he made history as the first Black person to hold those titles. Archbishop Tutu, the man whose voice ultimately helped end apartheid on April 27, 1994, received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 in recognition of his non-violent stance and opposition to separatist practices within South Africa. Archbishop Tutu will lie in state in St. George’s Cathedral in Capetown on December 31st, the site where he led countless protests and marches to end apartheid. His funeral will be held Saturday, on New Year’s Day at the Cathedral at 10 AM. The service will be livestreamed on Facebook.

Sunday Best Alumni Creates Reality TV Show

Maurice Griffin, finalist from Season 2 of BET’s Sunday Best recently shared news regarding the production of “Life After Sunday,” a “where are they now?” reality-based episodic television show that highlights the afterlives of fellow singers who have also competed in the gospel competition. The upcoming reality series has already completed tapings in Atlanta, GA, Los Angeles, CA and Houston, TX.  “I’ve seen so many accomplishments of my fellow Sunday Best alumnus, they should be celebrated and have a spotlight to show their amazing careers to date” Maurice said. Griffin has already tapped Sunday Best alumnus Alexis Spight(Season 5) and Kefia Rollerson (Season 6) for the premiere tapings.  “Life After Sunday,” is a triumphant follow up on the careers of some of Sunday Best’s most beloved contestants, who although may not have taken home the coveted title prize, continued to forge success. Like many aspiring artists, they’ve had their share of ups and downs, and true to most reality TV show formats, “Life After Sunday” will incorporate those dramatic moments as well. Griffin’s current single “Love Peace Happiness,” from album of the same name released September 2020, is continuing to ride high on the Gospel Billboard Charts as he’s preparing new music to release in 2022.

Urban One Honors Names 2022 Icon Recipients

Urban One Honorspresented by T-Mobile will be telecasting “The Soundtrack of Black America,” their theme for the upcoming two-hour special premiering on Monday, January 17, 2022, on TV One and Cleo TV. The MLK Day special, that will be hosted by Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Ne-Yo.  Urban One Honors promises to be an inspiring night of recognition, celebrating an esteemed group of individuals who have made substantial contributions within their respective industries. Urban One Honors will feature musical performances and collaborations by a variety of artists including gospel artist VaShawn Mitchell and Kelly Price. “Every year Urban One Honors continues to raise the bar as a showcase to uplift and inspire our audience,” stated Cathy Hughes, founder of Urban One. “We are excited to acknowledge the undeniable impact this crop of superstar talent has made across the globe by breaking barriers and continuously moving culture forward.” Grammy-winner, and multiple gospel award winning artist Tasha Cobbs-Leonard, will also be among the performers and will be honored that evening as a 2022 Icon Recipient for Inspirational Impact.

Late Rapper DMX’s Plan to Release a Gospel Album Now Revealed

Seven months after the passing of Earl Simmons, better known as DMX,  new details have surfaced about a gospel project he completed in 2008. Pat Gallo, who produces under the alias Divine Bars, worked alongside DMX and an unknown singer named Janyce to produce several tracks of the 2008 unreleased gospel album “Walk With Me Now and You’ll Fly With Me Later.”  The album, which was recorded in a single night, was never officially released due to a series of mounting legal struggles the deep-voiced rapper faced during the late 2000s while in Arizona including an arrest for animal cruelty along with probation, traffic, and drug possession violations. A source close to DMX revealed that earlier this year prior to his passing, DMX began shopping the gospel album to record labels, but the current fate of the album remains uncertain after Howard Mann, a Canadian businessman and one-time business partner of Katherine Jackson, matriarch of the Jackson family, is claiming to have rights to the songs he discovered on a hard drive, he purchased at an auction along with the rights to the Seven Arts’ catalog. DMX who was 50 years old at the time of his death, was a transitional deacon.

Gospel Singer Titus Showers Announced Engagement

There were Christmas bells and wedding bells ringing for one member of the gospel sibling group, The Showers. Titus Showers, an award-winning gospel singer and songwriting based out of Hammond, Louisiana popped the question on Christmas Eve during a family holiday celebration. Showers surprised his longtime girlfriend, Grace with a large box containing a sweatshirt with the singer’s logo and various other gifts before she finally pulled out the cylindrical box, with blue wrapping that hid the engagement ring that Titus cleverly disguised as perfume. The engagement was welcome news for a family that like many others in Louisiana had endured challenges resulting from Hurricane Ida earlier in the year. The couple has not yet announced a wedding date, but the proud groom-to-be posted a video that captured the loving moment on his Instagram page.