10 Most Popular Male Gospel Music Artists In The United States of America
Christian or Gospel music is both inspiring, motivating and reviving to the hearers. The world has produced thousands of gospel music artists who have established their names within the gospel industry in their own right and styles. They have overcome difficult situations in their lives while remaining committed to their artistry.
In the post, we will show you ten most popular male gospel music artists in the United State of America (USA), who have established themselves to be the voice of inspiration and sources of motivation and salvation in the world.
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1. Kirk Franklin:
Kirk Dewayne Franklin is an American songwriter, choir director, gospel singer, and rapper.
The “Reigning King of Urban Gospel” Kirk Franklin led a difficult childhood, being abandoned as a baby by his birth mother. He was raised by his aunt, who encouraged him to develop his musical talents.
At only four years old, he took piano lessons and learned to read and write music, both of which came naturally. Franklin’s exceptional talent earned him a recording contract offer three years later, although his aunt turned down the offer.
It was in 1992 that he got his first big break, forming a religious choir called Kirk Franklin & The Family, along with his close friends. The following year, they released their self-titled debut album.
The album went platinum in sales and took the #1 spot for 42 consecutive weeks on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart. The choir would go on to collaborate with big names in other genres, such as Cheryl from Salt-n-Pepa.
After several projects and accomplishments, they eventually disbanded in 2000. A year after their disbandment, Franklin began his solo career and was met with much success. His second album, Hero, was certified Platinum, featuring the #1 hit “Looking For You.”
He went on to record four more successful albums, and also led a prolific career as a TV show host for the gospel competition Sunday’s Best. In 2021, he was inducted into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame.
Franklin has received many awards, including Grammy Awards, GMA Dove Awards, BET Awards, Soul Train Music Awards and Stellar Awards. He received 19 Grammys and 22 Dove Awards.
2. Donnie McClurkin:
According to his Wikipedia page, “Donald Andrew McClurkin Jr. is an American gospel singer and minister. He has won three Grammy Awards, ten Stellar Awards, two BET Awards, two Soul Train Awards, one Dove Award and one NAACP Image Awards. He is one of the top selling gospel artists, selling over 10 million albums worldwide.”
Dubbed the “Reigning King of Urban Gospel,” Donnie McClurkin began to experience trauma very early on. At eight years old, he witnessed the death of his little brother, who was only two years old at that time.
He is also a survivor of child sexual abuse, and he lived a turbulent home life following the death of his brother. Things began to look up after McClurkin’s aunt, who sang backup for Andrae Crouch, introduced McClurkin to the legendary gospel singer.
It was then that McClurkin would start his career after Crouch became his mentor. Crouch helped to encourage McClurkin along his journey while also becoming closer to God in the process.
Eventually, McClurkin released his debut self-titled LP, Donnie McClurkin, in 1996. The album went gold and featured “We Fall Down” and “Stand,” which became instant hits and were played on almost every mainstream radio in the US.
3. Marvin Sapp:
Bishop Marvin Louis Sapp is an American Gospel music singer-songwriter who recorded with the group Commissioned during the 1990s before beginning a record-breaking solo career.
Gospel singer and pastor Marvin Sapp grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he started singing gospel very early on.
He began singing at four years old at church, and by the time he was a teen, he was singing with gospel groups.
Later in 1996, Sapp first began his journey as a professional contemporary gospel singer. It wasn’t until 2007, however, that he rose to fame with his song “Never Would Have Made It,” which was featured on his album Thirsty.
he gospel anthem made it to #14 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs, as well as #1 on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart, marking his crossover from gospel to R&B. In 2009, Sapp won seven Gospel Stellar awards for the album Thirsty. It’s currently a bestseller, selling over 700,000 copies.
Sapp also made history with his album Here I Am by becoming the only gospel artist to top the Billboards charts in its five-decade history.
4. Israel Houghton:
Israel Houghton is an American contemporary Christian music singer, songwriter, producer and worship leader. He is usually credited as Israel and New Breed.
Contemporary gospel singer Israel Houghton was born to a mixed race couple in 1971. His parents eventually separated because of the societal stigma back then, and his mom later on married a pastor named Henry Houghton, giving him is his current surname.
Growing up, he was hevily influenced with music by his mom, who was a concert pianist. By the time he was six years old, he was already playing drums and piano, and he was involved in the chuch choir too.
He got his start in the gospel industry when he formed his ministry band, New Breed, in 1995. The group was later renamed to Israel & New Breed when they released their debut album two years later, Whisper It Loud.
5. Travis Greene
Gospel singer and pastor Travis Greene was born in Delaware, Texas, and faced tribulations the moment he was born.
Greene in his life story said he was thought to be stillborn, but he was brought back to life and credited this to his parents’ praying. Four years later, he had another brush with death, falling from a four-story building, but was fortunately resuscitated.
6. William McDowell
William David McDowell is an American gospel musician. He started his music career, in 2009, with the release of, As We Worship, by Entertainment One Music. This album would chart on three Billboard charts Gospel Albums, Independent Albums and Heatseekers Albums.
7. James Cleveland
Reverend James Edward Cleveland was an American gospel singer, musician, and composer. Known as the King of Gospel, Cleveland was a driving force behind the creation of the modern gospel sound by incorporating traditional black gospel, soul, pop, and jazz in arrangements for mass choirs.
James Cleveland died on 9 February 1991 in Culver City, California at the age of 59. Some reports list the cause of death as congestive heart failure stating that the singer had fallen into a coma shortly before his death.
8. Deitrick Haddon
Deitrick Vaughn Haddon is an American gospel singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, record producer, pastor, and actor. He is best known for progressive gospel, and contemporary styles of music. He was also one of the cast members in Oxygen’s reality television show Preachers of L.A.
Multitalented gospel artist Deitrick Haddon was introduced to the world of gospel at a young age. His mother and father are both pastors, leading Deitrick to begin preaching at only 11.
He began his music career as part of a gospel group, Voices Of Unity, in 1995. Together, they earned much success and received numerous awards, including New Artist of the Year and Album of the Year.
In 2002, Haddon went solo and landed on the Billboard charts with his debut album, Lost & Found. It even reached #1 on the Billboard Gospel hits. Haddon went on to help produce albums for other gospel artists and worked with the likes of Mary Mary, Moses Bliss and Ruben Studdard.
9. Jonathan McReynolds
Jonathan Caleb McReynolds is a Grammy-winning American gospel musician. He began his music career in 2012 with the release of Life Music via Entertainment One Music.
Award-winning gospel singer Jonathan McReynolds was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, by a single mother. However, he and his mom were very much loved and supported by their church, where both of them were actively involved.
At a young age, he showed much promise in his musical abilities, being able to play multiple instruments. He shared his talents at church, although he has always been too shy to sing.
Little did he know that he would go on to become one of the best gospel singers in the US. In 2012, he released his first single while he was still in college, “No Gray.” The song became an instant chart-topper, and its album Life Music ranked #3 on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart.
Since then, he has released three additional albums and two extended plays (EPs). His third album, Make Room, made quite a splash as it earned him two Grammy nominations and eight Stellar Awards. It also made the #1 spot on the Billboard Gospel charts.
10. Fred Hammond
Frederick William Hammond is an American gospel singer, bass guitar player, and record producer. He is regarded as one of the most popular figures in contemporary gospel music. He is known for using a variety of different styles in his music such as R&B, hip-hop, and disco.
The group later became known as The Commissioned, and eventually, Hammond left to go solo. During this time, he was a part of the Radical for Christ church group.
The group sold millions of copies; however, Hammond made his way back to The Commissioned in 2002. The group recorded a reunion album, and this led Hammond working with big names in R&B, including Kenny Lattimore, Chante Moore, and Sean Combs.