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    The 20 Best Gospel Musicians of All Time


    The music industry has been a prime source of entertainment especially since the last century. The wide range of genres have given people a myriad of choices from which to enjoy. A popular genre that continues to gain in popularity is gospel.

    Whether you are extremely religious, or just like the sound, gospel music has a message. It can be relaxing, stress relieving, good for meditation, faith confirming, soul strengthening, praise and worshipful, and it entices you to sing along. Todays’ gospel music reaches a broad listening audience.

    The gospel music artists sing and perform for general audiences, not just for a specific type of person. Gospel performers range in all ages from the very young child to the older adult. The music is universal, and is often covered by people of many nationalities.

    Gospel favorites include those who were pioneers in the field, and are still relevant today, Gospel music is timeless. Even an old song can stand against the new gospel hip hop styles. The various styles of gospel include old time gospel, Christian music, contemporary gospel, gospel rap, country gospel, new day gospel, alternative gospel, hymns, cross over gospel, and much more.

    Old time and new day gospel singers and musicians provide the gospel music entertainment that is enjoyed by millions today. From the new and very young to the old familiar, gospel musicians continue to satisfy the desire for this genre of music. The endless list of singers and musicians include the following:

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    1. Mahalia Jackson

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    A name that is synonymous with gospel music is Mahalia Jackson. This African American gospel superstar broke color boundaries with her strong renditions of songs like One of These Mornings, How I Got Over, Trouble of This World, Move on up a Little Higher, Didn’t it Rain, Take My Hand Precious Lord, and many more.

    She was a critically acclaimed songstress who performed before many people including dignitaries. From the early part of the 20th century until today, Mahalia is still a prominent name in the gospel industry.

    2. Amy Grant

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    Amy Grant is a popular contemporary Christian singer/songwriter who was born in 1976. She is a cross-over artist who still performs today. Her music has been played on gospel and adult alternative radio stations during her tenure.

    Among her greatest hits are Simple Things, Take a Little Time, Every Heartbeat, Baby, Baby, Lead Me On, I Will Remember, and the list goes on. She is still singing and performing lending favor to her gospel genre.

    3. Kirk Franklin

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    Kirk Franklin is a large name in gospel music. He is a singer, songwriter, and producer who has provided hundreds of contemporary gospel recordings for himself as well as others. He may be remembered from his joyful and soulful song “Joy” when he was with the Georgia Mass Choir, Since then, he has recorded numerous songs that rose to popularity on the gospel charts.

    His background support groups included The Family, God’s Property, and One Nation Crew. He has won 16 Grammy Awards, and has been named The King of Urban Gospel by Variety. His music includes The Reason Why I Sing, Rain Down On Me, Stomp, Now Behold The Lamb, Smile, Brighter Day, Wanna Be Happy, Revolution, and scores more.

    4. Marvin Sapp

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    Marvin Sapp is a gospel artist who first became known when he was with the group Commission. He is a Bishop who records and writes gospel music, and started his solo career in the mid 1990s. Bishop Marvin Sapp has recorded the songs Praise Him in Advance, You Saw The Best In Me, He Has His Hands On You, Not The Time Not The Place, Never Would Have Made It, and many more singles.

    5.  Shirley Caesar

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    Shirley Caesar is one of the most revered female singers in the gospel industry. From the time she was with The Caravans to the present, she has amazed and awed people with her strong voice, and her ability to move a room. Shirley still gives a stellar performance wherever she may be.

    She is a Pastor, and also holds a political office in her native Durham, N.C. The Rev. Shirley Caesar had performed with many other singers being featured in her music. Some favorites from her are No Charge, I Remember Mama, Hold My Mule, This Joy That I Have, Jesus I Love Calling Your Name, It’s Alright It’s Okay, just to name a few among many.

    6. Yolanda Adams

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    Yolanda Adams has soared on the gospel charts for many years. She started with the young peoples choir at her church when she was very young, and recorded Mu Liberty which was a favorite then and now. Besides being a solo artist, Yolanda Adams has recorded many songs with Donnie McClurkin, and Kirk Franklin over the years.

    She performed during the inaugurations of President Joe Biden in January 2021. One of her most memorable songs is The Battle is Not Yours It’s The Lords.

    7. Michael Smith

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    Michael Smith is more than just a great singer. He is a humanitarian who has been involved with fundraising to help fight AIDS in Africa, and has helped start Rocketown in Tennessee which is a safe haven for young people. His song, All Above, is a classic praise and worship rendition from his 2001 CD, Worship.

    8.  CeCe Winans

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    CeCe Winans became popular with her brother BeBe Winans as they soared to chart topping levels as an amazing duo. CeCe continued her popularity as a solo artist with such hits as Alabaster Box, Goodness of God, I Found Love, Worthy, Mercy Said No, and No Greater.

    9. The Rev. Donnie McClurkin


    The Rev. Donnie McClurkin is a gospel singer with a very distinctive voice who is also known for being an amazing speaker. He has won 10 Stellar Awards and 3 Grammy Awards. He has sold more than 13 million records globally.

    His songs include Days of Elijah, Stand, Great is Your Mercy, I Call You Faithful, Speak To My Heart, and Only You Are Holy. He has a great following as he ministers through song.

    10. Lauren Daigle

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    Lauren Daigle was born in 1991, and is a contemporary Christian singer. She is a seven time recipient of the Billboard Music Award, has won a Grammy Award twice, and has won the American Music Award four times.

    Her music single, How Can It Be, won the 2015 GMA Dove Award as New Artist of the Year. Her accolades are numerous due to her unique talent and ability.

    11. Kierra Sheard

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    Kierra Sheard is a talented singer/songwriter who can be said to have gotten her talent from her mother, who is Karen Clark Sheard of the well known Clark Sisters. Kierra started as a young singer who wanted to sing music that young people would enjoy.

    Her latest music touches the heart of people of all ages. The song she recorded during the Pandemic, Something Has To Break, earned her Song of The Year by the BET Awards.

    12. Tasha Cobb

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    Tasha Cobb Leonard became the voice behind the popular song Break Every Chain, and has been providing chart climbing gospel music since then. She has a sultry, soul stirring voice, and her ministry shines through her songs.

    You Know My Name, For Your Glory, Your Spirit, I’m Getting Ready, and Loyalty, have earned her the love and respect of gospel music listeners, as well as other singers. She performed with Kierra Sheard on the award-winning song, Something Has To Break.

    13. Richard Smallwood

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    Richard Smallwood is a well known gospel singer.songwriter/musician who formed the group, The Richard Smallwood Singers. He has performed in the United States and globally, and recorded gospel hits like, Jesus You Are The Center Of My Joy, Holy Thou Art God, I Love The Lord, I Shall Wear A Crown, and Anthem of Praise.  A most popular song, Total Praise, was written by Smallwood during a time when he was going through a crisis in his life.

    14. Tye Tribbett

    best selling gospel artist

    Tye Tribbett exploded onto the gospel scene in what could have been said to be a radical experience for many. He proved himself sincere to the genre with such songs as If He Did It Before, What Can I Do, Victory, Bless The Lord, Work It Out, and Worship Medley.

    Ty Tribbett is an energetic performer who gets his audience involved in his performance. He has become a well love and respected gospel singer.

    15. Bishop Hezekiah Walker

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    Bishop Hezekiah Walker is a gospel music artist, and the Pastor of a megachurch in Brooklyn N.Y. He has been performing and recording gospel music for many years. Known as the hip hop Pastor, he has brought many young people into the gospel choir music.

    He is well known for his recordings of I Need You To Survive, Better, Every Praise, Souled Out, Power Belongs To God, God Favored Me, Grateful, Amazing, and much more.

    16. Toby Mac

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    Toby Mac, born Kevin McKeehan, is a contemporary Christian hip hop singer, an author, producer and songwriter. He has had 20 singles on the Billboard Christian song list.

    His songs include Help Is On The Way, Love Broke Thru, I Just Need U, Speak Life, Til The Day I Die, and Me Without You. His audience is mostly younger listeners.

    17. Erica Campbell

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    Erica Campbell is one of the gospel duo Mary Mary. She and her equally talented sister decided to have solo careers, and Erica came out with a powerful recording titled I Need Just a Little More Jesus. This became a big hit for her in the gospel circle.

    She continues to record songs of Faith that can be heard globally. Included in her repertoire are I Luh God, Changes, and I’m A Fan.

    18. Jekalyn Carr

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    Jekalyn Carr is a gospel artist who released her solo album in 2010 after she performed in Shout, and Rejoice. Her debut album, Promise was released independently. Her popular songs include You’re Bigger, It’s Yours, Stay With Me, and I See Miracles, Jekalyn started singing in church with her mother when she was only 10 years old, and her fame has only grown.

    19. Deitrick Haddon


    Deitrick Haddon became popular with his recording of A Sinners Prayer. He has since become a Pastor who still records. Among his songs are Well Done, Complete Me, and Complete Me.

    People enjoy his music, and that keeps his popularity enhanced as a gospel musician. Dietrick is also a producer and an actor which places him in the broad scope of popularity.

    20. Tamela Mann

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    Tamela Mann has become a gospel superstar who started singing with Kirk Franklin and The Family. She launched her solo career, and made an explosive entrance onto the gospel top songs chart. She released Take Me To The King with Kirk Franklin, and it became a huge hit for her.

    There was no stopping this golden voice lady who also released Touch From You, I Can Only Imagine, God Provides, and Help Me. Her biggest hit stayed on the chart for 87 weeks which is a great achievement for any gospel artist/musician.


    These are just a few of the most popular musicians and artists on media air today. The list is numerous, and new artists are making themselves known, and taking their place on the charts. Being a popular musician means that the singer must give their audience what they want to hear, and that is music, or a song, that touches the soul.

    Gospel musicians are well aware that their music will often help the troubled and down trodden. It can be a feel good answer to uncertain situations. Gospel musicians are popular for a reason, and that is because they put themselves whole- heartedly into their music.

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