(For a complete list of 54th GRAMMY Awards nominees, click here.)
I remember where I was in April 2011 when I first heard what turned out to be Mary Mary's GRAMMY-nominated track "Sitting With Me" from the duo's Best Gospel Album GRAMMY-nominated Something Big. There was just something about that song — its infectious lyrics and chorus — that compelled me to keep it on repeat and soak in every note. It's as if they took everything they'd done on their previous albums and stood it on its ear. It was just different than anything I'd ever heard from them.
Yes, the song was telling a story, but in a different way. That's what made 2011 such a great year for gospel music. "Sitting With Me" is just one example of how a gospel artist went out of their way to create a unique sound. They took their time and came up with a different approach to giving praise.
The quality of the music and originality and variety of each artist is even more present among this year's nominees in the Gospel Field.
That's what made 2011 so special — an even mix of veterans and newer artists continuing to raise the praise bar, bringing gospel further into the mainstream. Their contributions made it even more acceptable for those listening to give thanks as they saw fit, incorporating their life stories into the music and making it more relatable to the masses.
A tribute to how far gospel has come as a genre took place this past fall when GRAMMY-winning recording artists BeBe and CeCe Winans were recognized by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce with their very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Now that's something big!
Indeed, it's been an incredible year with so much diversity and uniqueness, and less than a month from now, on Music's Biggest Night, another group of talented, deserving artists will begin their year as GRAMMY winners.
I can't wait.