[REVIEW] 2013 Grammy Predictions x Gospel/Contemporary Christian

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The gospel and Christian Grammy category is probably one of the only few categories that truly awards based on overall talent and recognition. Since the genre is usually not open for interpretation, artists within the Christian music realm are awarded because of their devotion for spreading words of inspiration.


Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance (Category 36)

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Casting Crowns – “Jesus, Friend Of Sinners”
Tamela Mann – “Take Me To The King”
Mary Mary – “Go Get It”
Matt Redman – “10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)
Marvin Sapp – “My Testimony”

Who Should Win: Tamela Mann’s “Take Me To The King”
Known primarily for her lead vocalist role in the multi-Grammy award winning group Kirk Franklin and the Family as well as her starring roles in several Tyler Perry plays, Tamela Mann’s voice is beyond legendary. On her third studio release, “Take Me To The King” brings her empowering voice to the musical mainstream and has topped the ‘Billboard Gospel Songs’ chart twice in 2012.

Who Will Win: Marvin Sapp’s “My Testimony”
Ever since his platinum selling single “Never Would Have Made It”, I’ve been a huge fan of Marvin Sapp’s voice. It’s the kind of soul that flows like electricity through your body. His strong, commanding vocal presence has strangely never won a Grammy, but “My Testimony” is strong enough to change gospel music award history.


Best Gospel Song – Songwriters Award (Category 37)

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Mary Mary – “Go Get It”
(songwriters: Erica Campbell, Tina Campbell, Warryn Campbell)
James Fortune and FIYA (feat. Monica and Fred Hammond) – “Hold On”
(songwriters: Cheryl Fortune, James Fortune, Terence Vaughn)
Fred Hammond – “I Feel Good”
(songwriters: Phillip Feaster, Fred Hammond, Jonathan Miller, Calvin Rodgers)
Marvin Sapp – “My Testimony”
(songwriters: Aaron Lindsey, Marvin Sapp)
Bill Winston and Living Word (feat. Donald Lawrence) – “Released”
(songwriters: Donald Lawrence)

Who Should Win: Marvin Sapp’s “My Testimony”
As previously stated, there’s no denying Sapp’s voice whether it’s with his group Commissioned or solo. But it’s Sapp’s self-written testimonies that makes his music a true gem in gospel music.

Who Will Win: Fred Hammond’s “I Feel Good”

Fred Hammond, also from R&B group Commissioned, has already won a Grammy in 2008. His catalog includes over 20 solo releases to date, but the songs on his latest release ‘God, Love, and Romance’ are written with a poignancy that cannot be denied.


Best Contemporary Christian Music Song – Songwriters Award (Category 38)

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Casting Crowns – “Jesus, Friend Of Sinners”
(songwriters: Mark Hall, Matthew West)
Matt Redman – “10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)”
(songwriters: Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman)
Rhett Walker Band – “When Mercy Found Me”
(songwriters: Jeff Pardo, Rhett Walker)
Passion and Chris Tomlin – “White Flag”
(songwriters: Jason Ingram, Matt Maher, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin)
Israel and New Breed – “Your Presence Is Heaven”
(songwriters: Israel Houghton, Micah Massey)

Who Should Win: Israel and New Breed’s “Your Presence Is Heaven”
I came across this song at the beginning of 2012 and have been listening to it ever since. Israel’s voice is great for radio and his arrangements never disappoint. But the “Your Presence Is Heaven” verses (and chorus) is enough to inspire anyone.

Who Will Win: Casting Crowns’ “Jesus, Friend Of Sinners”
Christian rock band Casting Crowns are also previous Grammy winners who are likely to repeat their streak again. The acoustic sounding “Jesus, Friend Of Sinners” is so stripped-down that the only thing you can hear are the band’s powerful words – ones that have dominated contemporary radio for most of the past twelve months.


Best Gospel Album (Category 39)

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James Fortune and FIYA – ‘Identity’
Israel and New Breed – ‘Jesus At The Center Live’
Lecrae – ‘Gravity’
Marvin Sapp – ‘I Win’
Anita Wilson – “Worship Soul’

Who Should Win: Lecrae’s ‘Gravity’
Contemporary Christian rapper Lecrae has made a huge following in the mainstream hip-hop world, and luckily his success has been as equally heralded in his own genre. His album ‘Gravity’ has been referred to by critics as one of the best albums for both hip-hop and contemporary music and rightfully deserves all of the recognition it can achieve.

Who Will Win: Marvin Sapp’s ‘I Win’
Every one of Marvins solo releases are albums that you listen to from start-to-finish. The messages are clear and everlasting – and Sapp’s voice is truly angelic. Grammy voters would be unbecoming to miss out on heralding ‘I Win’ as the year’s top gospel album.


Best Contemporary Christian Music Album (Category 40)

bestcontemporaryalbum

Casting Crowns – ‘Come To The Well’
Kari Jobe – ‘Where I Find You’
Britt Nicole – ‘Gold’
TobyMac – ‘Eye On It’
Matthew West – ‘Into The Light’

Who Should Win: Britt Nicole’s ‘Gold’

The first time I heard Britt Nicole’s “Gold”, I was blown away by how good the assumed pop single was. When I found out it was actually a contemporary Christian track, I was shocked by the level of crossover appeal the song carried. The album is filled with what I like to call #massappealtracks and makes me excited to call myself a fan of hers.

Who Will Win: TobyMac’s ‘Eye On It’

On the heels of his fifth album, contemporary rock artist TobyMac took a different route by exploring dubstep. The result is a brave mix of genres that’s sure to be awarded at this year’s Grammys – both for his creative elements and risk taking.

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