Gospel music is a genre, or you can also call it a sub-genre of music. In this article, we will look at some of the best gospel singers in the industry.
But before that, let me tell you what gospel music is and who do you call a gospel singer. You might have heard of Christian music.
Gospel music is a sub-genre of Christian music in which the artist uses his talent to perform on various occasions.
In simpler words, there isn’t a perfect definition of gospel music. Basically, the gospel singer is someone who mainly performs in churches and other religious events.
However, gospel music is also used for marketing and entertainment purposes. So, let’s see who the best gospel singers are.
1 Kirk Franklin
I’ll begin things with Kirk Franklin, who is among the top gospel singers of the modern times. He is 52 years old.
His birthday falls on the 26th of January, and his birth year is 1970. His complete name is Kirk Dewayne Franklin.
Kirk Franklin’s hometown is Dallas, Texas, USA. When he was pretty young, his mom left him for some reason.
That is why he had to spend his early life with his aunt. His aunt used to work tirelessly to support the family and earn enough money for Kirk Franklin to get enrolled in piano classes.
He can’t thank his aunt enough for what she did for him when he was young. He started doing all this when he was four years old.
Three years later, he got an offer from a firm, but his aunt didn’t like the term; thus, she rejected the offer.
Later, he became a music director in a church when he was eleven. He didn’t like the strictness and discipline that were imposed on him, not even a single bit.
So what happened then? He developed rebellious behavior. This behavior brought him a lot of trouble, to be honest.
He used to go to school, and he also had a girlfriend, whom he impregnated after some time. This gospel singer’s rude behavior also got him expelled.
And, don’t forget that he was in his early teens during all this pregnancy and expulsion drama. He tied the knot with Tammy Collins in 1996, and they have three kids.
At the age of fifteen, he had to see a friend die in front of his eyes; this tragedy traumatized him. He came back to the church and became a choir director again.
He officially became a gospel singer in 1992, and the next year, in 1993, he released his debut studio album, “Kirk Franklin & The Family.”
“Kirk Franklin & the Family Christmas” and “Whatcha Lookin’ 4” are his second and third albums, which were released in 1995 and 1996, respectively.
“Love Theory” is considered to be his most famous song.
Kirk Franklin’s Instagram following: 2.5 million+
Spotify monthly listeners: 1.6 million+
SoundCloud following: 23,600+
2 Mercy Chinwo
Secondly, I present to you the “very talented” Nigerian gospel singer, Mercy Chinwo, who is around 31 years old as of May 2022.
Mercy Chinwo is also her complete/birth name. Her birth date is the 5th of September 1990, and her hometown is Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Her father died when she was young. It wasn’t easy for her to go through this tragedy, but she overcame all of that.
She is both a songwriter and actress. She signed a contract with EeZee Conceptz music label, and she is still working with the label.
Besides singing, she also does exceptionally well at acting, as she has worked in several Nigerian movies.
Mercy Chinwo also became a Nigerian Idol. She officially entered the music industry in 2012. She has released two studio albums so far.
Her first studio album was “The Cross My Gaze,” which was released in 2018, and two years later, she gave out her second album, “Satisfied,” in 2020.
Mercy Chinwo’s most famous song is “Excess Love.”
Her Instagram following: 2.5 million+
Spotify monthly listeners: 167,000+
SoundCloud following: 850+
3 Tamela Mann
This gospel singer is 55 years old, and she was born on the 9th of June 1966 in Limestone County, Texas, USA.
Tamela Jean Mann is her complete/birth name. She started her career with the famous gospel singer Kirk Franklin by joining their gospel group.
She was also born in the same city as Kirk Franklin, Fort Worth, Texas. She had thirteen other siblings as well. Thirteen!
Her family was a pretty religious Christian family, as she grew up in a religious environment. I think that is the reason she took the path of becoming a gospel singer.
From a young age, she began singing in churches with other fellow singers, and sometimes, she used to sing alone as a solo/lead gospel.
So, as I was saying, she became a member of the famous gospel group Kirk Franklin & The Family at the beginning of her career.
Tamela Mann also performed with singers like Yolanda Adams, R. Kelly, Celine Dion, Al Green, and some other gospel singers.
She even created her own music label, “Tillymann Music Group.” She and her husband gave out many musical projects with this label.
This gospel singer is also a great actress, besides doing great at singing. She tied the knot with David Anthony Mann Sr. in 1988, and they are still together.
David and Tamela Mann have five kids. She stepped into the industry in 1992, and she released her first album, “Gotta Keep Movin’,” in 2005.
She has released six studio albums so far. Her 2nd album was “The Master Plan,” which came out in 2009.
“Best Days,” “One Way,” “Us Against The World: The Love Project,” and “Overcomer” were her 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th, albums, released in 2012, 2016, 2018, and 2021, respectively.
Her most popular song is “Take Me To The King.”
Tamela Mann’s Instagram following: 2.6 million+
Spotify monthly listeners: 329,000+
SoundCloud following: 7,300+
4 Tasha Cobbs Leonard
Tasha Cobbs Leonard’s complete name is Natasha Tameika Cobbs Leonard. She was born on the 7th of July 1981.
Her hometown is Jesup, Georgia, USA. As of May 2022, she is 40 years old. Her dad was a practicing Christian and established several New Life Ministries.
It is just a mere assumption that she had seen a lot when she was a kid, and those events traumatized her to the point she went into depression.
That is why she disclosed that she had to suffer from depression when she was 26 years old. But she overcame all of that.
One year later, she hosted a private party and invited all of her close and loved ones, and tied the knot with her love, Kenneth Leonard.
She stepped into the industry in 2010, and she gave out her 1st album the same year, named “Smile,” by working with Tasha Cobbs Music label.
“Grace,” “One Place: Live,” and “Heart. Passion. Pursuit.” were her 2nd, 3rd, and 4th albums, which were released in 2013, 2015, and 2017, respectively.
“Break Every Chain” is considered to be her best song.
Tasha Cobbs Leonard’s Instagram following: 2.2 million+
Spotify monthly listeners: 1 million+
SoundCloud following: 16,500+
This gospel singer was born on the 30th of March 1972 in Afikpo South, Ebonyi State, Eastern Nigeria. She is around 50 years old.
Her complete/birth name is Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu. She remained on the top of Christian Billboard for three months consecutively.
She had six other siblings. Singing was not her passion but her hobby at first; however, her passion later developed into a passion.
Egbu did a master’s in physics from a university in Nigeria. Post-graduation, she thought of moving abroad from Nigeria, but she had to reconsider her decision.
She tied the knot with Joseph Egbu in 2014. She says that she used to have dreams about her singing in front of huge crowds.
In 1994, she officially became a gospel singer, and 14 years later, she released her first album, named “Chapter One,” in 2008.
“Way Maker” is among his most popular songs.
Sinach’s Instagram following: 1.5 million+
Spotify monthly listeners: 219,000+
SoundCloud following: 650+
6 Chris Tomlin
You can also call him a Christian singer as well as a gospel singer, and as mentioned earlier, gospel music is actually a part of Christian music.
So is Chris Tomlin, a Christian and gospel singer. He is a 50 years old artist who has been in the music industry for more than 25 years.
Chris Tomlin’s complete/birth name is Christopher Dwayne Tomlin. He began doing it in 1993. Chris Tomlin hails from Grand Saline, Texas, USA.
His dad gifted him a guitar when he was a teenager, and over time, he got pretty good at playing the guitar.
He has worked with three music labels so far. Those labels are Sparrow Records, EMI Group Limited, and Passion Conference.
During his 25+ year-long career, he has released ten studio albums and dozens of songs so far. He has sold more than 7 million records during his career.
“The Noise We Make” was his first studio album, which came out on the 1st of March 2001 by working with Sparrow and sixsteps Records.
Chris Tomlin’s most famous song is “How Great Is Our God.”
His Instagram following: 1.2 million+
Spotify monthly listeners: 2.7 million+
SoundCloud following: 17,100+
7 Jonathan McReynolds
His complete name is Jonathan Caleb McReynolds. This gospel singer is renowned and among the most decorated artists in the USA.
Jonathan McReynolds’ birthday falls on the 17th of September, and his birth year is 1989. Moreover, he hails from Chicago, Illinois, USA.
He is 32 years old. He was a bright kid from a young age… there’s a term – what do we call it? Yes! “Precocious.” He was a precocious kid.
There isn’t much information about his father, only that Jonathan McReynolds’ mother brought him up alone.
He became interested in music from a young age; he learned to play piano and drums when he was a toddler.
This gospel singer entered the industry in 2012, and in the same year, he gave out his first album, named “Life Music.”
“Life Music: Stage Two,” “Make Room,” and “People” were his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th albums, which were released in 2015, 2018, and 2020, respectively.
“Movin’ On” is said to be his best song, which also got him a Grammy.
Jonathan McReynolds’ Instagram following: 1.1 million+
Spotify monthly listeners: 345,000+
SoundCloud following: 3,300+
8 Frank Edwards
Frank Edwards was born on the 22nd of July 1989 in Enugu State, Nigeria. He is 32 years old. Frank Ugochukwu Edwards is his complete name.
You can also call him FrankRichBoy. He didn’t much like the idea of signing a contract with another music label, so he created his own music label.
That label is Rocktown Records. Besides Frank Edwards himself, some other musical artists are also working with this label.
Some of those artists are King BAS, Divine, Nkay, Nicah Heavens, and others. When he was ten years old, he started singing and songwriting.
Later, his dad taught him to play the piano correctly. As he learned more and more about music, he came closer to religion and got a rebirth as a Christian.
Frank Edwards joined the music industry in 2007, and one year later, he released his 1st studio album, named “Definition.”
He has released 12 studio albums so far. “No One Like You” is the latest album given out by this gospel singer.
“We Got To Get Together” is among his top songs.
Frank Edwards’ Instagram following: 906,000+
Spotify monthly listeners: 85,200+
SoundCloud following: 3,100+
9 Marvin Sapp
He was born on the 28th of January 1967 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. Marvin Sapp’s complete name is Bishop Marvin Louis Sapp Sr.
At first, he was a member of the famous gospel music group, Commissioned, with whom he released several musical projects.
He stayed a member of this group for some time but then decided to pursue his solo career and go off on his own.
Marvin also established the Lighthouse Full Life Center Church. He stepped into the music industry in 1990.
He has been doing this since he was just, and I repeat, just four years old. At the age when many of the kids struggle to even speak, he was singing.
This gospel singer released his first album in 1996, named “Marvin Sapp.” “Grace & Mercy” and “Nothing Else Matters” were his 2nd and 3rd album, which were released in 1997 and 1999, respectively.
“Standing On The Rock” is among his most famous songs.
Marvin Sapp’s Instagram following: 870,000+
Spotify monthly listeners: 454,000+
SoundCloud following: 7,000+
10 Tye Tribbett
This gospel singer is 46 years old. Tyrone “Tye” Tribbett is his complete name. His birth date is the 26th of January 1976.
He hails from Camden, New Jersey, USA. He also had big plans for his own future; thus, he created his own gospel group, named “Tye Tribbett & G.A.”
This group was nominated for Grammy Awards and won a Stellar Award. His dad was a pastor, and his mom was a disc jockey.
During his career, he has worked with several great artists from Hollywood and Music Industry, like Will Smith and Justin Timberlake.
Tye Tribbett’s wife’s name is Shanté Tribbett. Tye Tribbett had an affair with his co-worker; after knowing this, his wife got in a relationship with someone.
But both of them got together again, leaving past all their differences and marital issues. He joined the industry in 1996.
“Ideas & Concepts” was his first studio album, which was released in 2000. “Life,” “Victory Live!” and “Stand Out” were his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th albums, coming out in 2004, 2006, and 2008, respectively.
“If He Did It Before…Same God” is among his top songs.
Tye Tribbett’s Instagram following: 824,000+
Spotify monthly listeners: 268,000+
SoundCloud following: Almost 10,000.
11 Israel Houghton
Israel Houghton’s stage name is the same as his birth name. His birthday falls on the 19th of May, and his birth year is 1971.
He is a great singer, songwriter, and music producer. His dad was an African-American, and his mother was white.
This gospel singer tied the knot with Meleasa Houghton in 1994, and after staying together for 21 years, they filed for a divorce and officially got divorced in 2016.
He has two kids. In the same year he got divorced, he married the famous singer Adrienne Bailon. These two have been in a serious relationship for some months.
I think their affair led to Israel Houghton’s divorce. He became a singer in 1997, and in the same year, he gave out his first album, “Whisper It Loud.”
“You Are Good” is among his most popular songs.
Israel Houghton’s Instagram following: 627,000+
Spotify monthly listeners: 332,000+
SoundCloud following: 1,500+
12 CeCe Winans
CeCe Winans was born on the 8th of October 1964 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Her age is around 57 years old as of May 2022.
Her birth name is Priscilla Marie Winans Love. This gospel singer had nine other siblings, and she belonged to a middle-class family.
Her family, while being a middle-class one, was also pretty religious. In other words, CeCe Winans grew up in a religious environment and was highly inspired by gospel music.
CeCe Winans sang her first song when she was just eight years old. But, she entered the industry at the age of 17 in 1981
She released her solo debut album in 1995, named “Alone In His Presence,” by working with Sparrow Records.
“His Strength Is Perfect” is among his best songs.
CeCe Winans’ Instagram following: 625,000+
Spotify monthly listeners: 892,000+
SoundCloud following: 2,700+
13 John P. Kee
Besides being a great gospel singer, John P. Kee is also a pastor. His birth date is the 4th of June 1962, and his hometown is Durham, North Carolina, USA.
His mastery is in merging the typical gospel music and modern gospel music. His fans also call him the “The Prince of Gospel Music.”
John P. Kee developed an interest in gospel music, and he began learning to play piano, drums, guitar, and other musical instruments.
After living in North Carolina for around 14 years, he and his family went to California. But he could not fit in the Californian society (apparently).
What then? He came back to North Carolina. But his problems didn’t leave him here either, as the area he moved into was full of violence and gang-related activities.
He also had to see his friend getting murdered by a rival gang. These events changed him and brought him closer to God.
John P. Kee decided to become a gospel singer in the 90s. “Yes Lord” was the 1st album of this artist in 1987.
Among his most famous songs is “Jesus Is Real.”
John P. Kee’s Instagram following: 494,000+
Spotify monthly listeners: 107,000+
SoundCloud following: 2,400+
14 Darlene Zschech
This gospel singer’s birth name is Darlene Joyce Zschech. She was born on the 8th of September 1965 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
She is the first Australian on this list and perhaps the only one. Initially, she appeared on the popular kids’ show “Happy Go Round” when she was just 10.
Also, she had to see her parents getting divorced at the age of 13. Because of all this, she developed an eating disorder, AKA bulimia.
Soon after her marriage, she and her husband went to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, where she began her musical career.
1989 was the year she became a gospel singer. “Make The Choice” was her first music project which was released in 1987.
“Shout To The Lord” is among his top songs.
Darlene Zschech’s Instagram following: 439,000+
Spotify monthly listeners: 305,000+
SoundCloud following: 1,900+
15 Donnie McClurkin
And lastly, I present to you Donnie McClurkin, whose real name is Donald Andrew “Donnie” McClurkin, Jr. He is 62 years old.
He is among the most decorated gospel singers in the world, as he has won three Grammys, ten Stellars, and other top awards as well.
Donnie McClurkin has sold around ten million+ records worldwide. You can also call him “Reigning King of Urban Gospel.”
He was born on the 9th of November 1959 in Copiague, New York, USA. He officially joined the industry in 1980.
This gospel singer’s first album was “Donnie McClurkin,” which came out on the 29th of October 1996 by working with Warner Alliance.
“We Fall Down, But We Get Up” is among his most famous songs.
Donnie McClurkin’s Instagram following: 338,000+
Spotify monthly listeners: 242,000+
SoundCloud following: 5,000+
You can also consider gospel music as the most spiritual music, and gospel singers leave no stone unturned in providing us with the best music and songs.
Among them, my favorite gospel singer was Chris Tomlin. Let me know in the comments about your favorite artist. Thanks.