So many secular musicians in the music industry today were once gospel artist leading songs in their local choir and have always expressed their gratitude to the church for the role it played in grooming them to become the professionals they are today.
A lot of these musicians from different genres of music ranging from raggae to hip hop, blues and even rock music have at one point in their early years work in the church as choristers, music directors, praise and worship leaders and so on.
These superstars do not shy away from the fact that the church contributed to their development as others may do. In a way of going back to their root, Some of these musicians even release gospel albums and tracks just to appreciate the church and to let people know that they still have a personal relationship with God.
So i’m going to tell you of
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16 American And Nigerian Secular Artist Who were Once Gospel Music Ministers.
The American singer, song writer, music producer and actress was a lead actress in the comic gospel movie ‘Fighting Temptations’. She started singing at the age of 5. At that age she was enrolled in dance classes because she showed a lot of interest in dancing. Her singing talent was discovered when her dance instructor Darlette Johnson began humming a song and she finished it and was also able to hit high notes.
Beyonce was a member of the choir at St. John’s United Methodist Church as a soloist for two years. Beyonce’s appearance on the comic gospel movie ‘Fighting Temptations’ saw her perform some gospel tracks like ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ and ‘He Still Loves Me’ ft Walter Williams.
2. Nicki Minaj
Onika Tanya popularly known as Nicki Minaj is an american pop singer. Her father was a part time gospel singer and her mother was also a gospel singer. She grew up in a christain home and was taught gospel songs by her parents. She was already a member of the Baptist church choir at the age of 11 and was already leading choir songs at that age.
3. Ed Sheeran
Before he became the ladies choice, Sheeran was a member of the choir in his hometown of suffolk, England. Just recently, he took on a role as the new patron of the choral foundation for St Mary-le-Tower in ipswich, promoting singing at the church and the wider coomunity.
In a recent interview with EADT, he said ‘ It’s my pleasure to be asked to be a patron. As a former chorister myself, I appreciate the benefits which singing brings to young people both physical and emotional.
Singing teaches us a lot of skills and provides many opportunities which will help sustain you throughout life. There is nothing equal to the joy of performing wonderful music with other like minded people’.
The Nigerian singer, song writer and actress started her career as a gospel singer, releasing her debut solo album in 2008, titled Ogaju. When she was a kid, she was a dancer and also a member of her local church’s choir. Simi wrote her first song at the age of 10.
Her professional music career started in 2008 following her debut studio album ‘Ogaju’.
Before he met P. Diddy who took him under his wings to stardom in the American music industry, young Usher Raymond IV used to perform solos in their local church at the age of nine. He said he was an active member of the local church choir when he was nine.
But how he went from ‘Thank you Jesus’ to ‘Sing For Me Baby’ we have no clue.
The Nigerian singer started singing at the early age of 11 in their local church choir with his stage name ‘Lil Prinz’. He started recording music at the age of 11 and he manage to release a collaborative album with his glorious five, a group he and a couple of church friends formed.
7. R Kelly
Robert Sylvester Kelly grew up in a musical family who were all Christians. He began singing in his local church at the age of eight. His mother was a professional singer, and she raised her children in the Baptist church where she sang and lead the choir, same church R Kelly was groomed as a musician at a tender age.
His second self tilted album was fill with a number of songs with gospel-infused lyrics.
When Toolz interviewed Timaya on Ndani TV’s ‘The Juice’, he said he began grooming his talent from the church before he started singing as a backup for Eedris Abdulkareem for three years before exploring his music career.
Chinedu Okoli, popularly known as Flavour N’abania is a Nigerian songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and performer. Flavour began his music career as a drummer for a local church. Flavour began his music career at the age of 13 when he started playing the drums for his church choir in Enugu. The resident pastor at his church introduced him to a friend, Chris I. Ordor, CEO OF sound city.
10. Katy Perry
American singer who use to go by the name Katy Hudson, was raised in a strict household. Her parents who were pastors, banned her from listening to secular music and always took her along to their church choir instead.
She started her professional music career as a gospel artist, but later fell into pop and found chart fame when she collaborated with producer Dr Luke on ‘ I kissed a Girl’.
The Nigerian musician and song writer began singing at the age of 6. When she was 10 she joined their local church’s choir. Before her famous victory on the MTN Project Fame Music Show, she was a chorister at the Foursquare Gospel Church.
12. Justin Bieber
The Canadian born singer attended a French- Language immersion elementary school in Stratford, the Jeane Sauve Catholic School. At a very young age he learned how to play the piano, drums, guitar and trumpet.
Justin Bieber has never shy away from his christian faith even after his rise to stardom. He is still an active member of Hillsong Ministries and have performed some live song with them in church on a Sunday. Justin do post quite a number of bible verses on his social media accounts advising his followers to always do the things of Jesus.
The video below shows Justin Bieber performing Bishop Mavin Sapp’s song ‘Never Would Have Made It’ in his childhood church last year on a Sunday.
13. Darey Art Alade
Darey was born into family of performers. At the age of 8, he joined the children’s choir in their local church and even led his school choir. Darey was also a member of the choir of the Cathedral Church of Christ and took lessons at Musical Society of Nigeria.
The Nigerian musician has described herself as always been playful, energetic, intelligent and extremely talented. She was already a lead vocalist in the children’s choir of Foursquare Gospel Church at her hometown in Warri at the age of 8.
15. Justin Timberlake
Before Justin’s famous music career, he was just a boy singing in his local church choir of which his father was a music director.
His father was a Baptist Church Choir director, His family circle includes a number of musicians, His grandfather introduced him to music from popular country artist like ‘Johnny Cash’. Performing as a child, Justin sang gospel songs at the age of 11.
16. Snoop Dogg
Calvin Cordozar Broadus popularly known as Snoop Dogg. His Father was a Vietnam veteran singer. His father left home just three months after Snoop was born so he was named after his stepfather. He was nicknamed Snoopy by his parents because of his love for the cartoon.
At a very young age, he began singing and playing piano at the Golgotha Trinity Baptist Church. He released his first gospel titled ‘BIBLE OF LOVE’ on march 16, 2018. His album won the ‘Gospel Album of The Year’ awards at the ‘Stellar’ awards. He has performed live with gospel singers like Kirk Franklin and Tye Tribett.