5 Questions With ... Mary Mary

GRAMMY-winning gospel duo visits The Recording Academy
  • Photo: Maury Phillips/WireImage.com
    Mary Mary's Tina Atkins and Erica Campbell
September 23, 2011 -- 1:24 pm PDT
GRAMMY.com

(A portion of the proceeds from The Recording Academy Los Angeles Chapter's GRAMMY Block Party benefitted PATH, a Los Angeles-based organization dedicated to ending homelessness for individuals, families and communities.)

GRAMMY-winning gospel duo Mary Mary were the recent guests for an installment of The Recording Academy's 5 Questions With … series. Held during The Recording Academy Los Angeles Chapter's GRAMMY Block Party at The Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., Mary Mary discussed music education, what it means to be a GRAMMY winner, working as a sister duo, and their latest album, Something Big, among other topics.

"On the creative side it's beautiful," said Erica Campbell regarding working as a duo with sister Tina Atkins. "Singing in choirs allowed our voices to blend in a really cool way, and that's what makes the Mary Mary magic."

The sisters grew up in Inglewood, Calif., with gospel-singing parents. They began performing in their local church choir and eventually landed a spot on BET's "Bobby Jones Gospel" show. While writing contemporary gospel material, the duo met GRAMMY-winning producer/songwriter Warryn "Baby Dubb" Campbell, who would later go on to marry Erica, and landed a publishing deal. In 1998 their song "Dance" appeared on the soundtrack to Dr. Doolittle, and additional songs were recorded by artists such as 702 and fellow GRAMMY winner Yolanda Adams.

In 2000 Mary Mary released their debut album, Thankful, which topped Billboard's Gospel Albums chart and earned the duo their first GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album. Incredible followed in 2002, topping the Gospel Albums chart again and cracking the Billboard 200 at No. 20, and featured a cover of Stevie Wonder's "You Will Know." In 2005 Mary Mary earned a nomination for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album for their self-titled release, which shot to No. 8 on the Billboard 200. Produced by Warryn Campbell, The Sound was released three years later and earned the No. 7 spot on the Billboard 200, their highest-charting album on the chart to date. The album featured "Get Up," which earned the duo their second GRAMMY Award for Best Gospel Performance. The duo teamed with Campbell once again for 2011's Something Big, reaching the Billboard 200 Top 10 for the third time in their career.

Come back to GRAMMY.com next week to view performances from Mary Mary's set at the Los Angeles Chapter's GRAMMY Block Party.

Click on the "5 Questions With ... interviews" tag below for links to other GRAMMY News stories in this series.

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