Famous Gospel Singers

The list of famous gospel singers is weighted toward Black gospel singers. However, there are are a few White singers listed, and for good reason. Gospel music is actually more of a Southern thing, than it is a Black or White idiom, anyhow.

  1. Mahalia Jackson. Many consider Mahalia Jackson to be the greatest gospel singer of all time. Her name is associated with the popular gospel song, "Take My Hand, Precious Lord," by Thomas A. Dorsey, who is a beloved songwriter..
  2. The Jordanaires. The Jordanaires backed up Elvis Presley onstage. Yet they also sang by themselves. They were the quintessential gospel quartet. They sang all those old songs the way they were meant to be sung. They were also an in-demand back-up vocal group for country recordings, working with everyone from Patsy Cline to George Jones. They have been called "one of the premier backup vocal groups in country music."
  3. Shirley Caesar. Shirley Caesar was a great shouter. If you want to hear a woman dig down deep into a gospel song, Caesar is your go-to-gal. She could really do it. Caesar has won eleven Grammy Awards and seven Dove Awards.
  4. Andraé Crouch. Andrae Crouch is unique, in that he bridges the old school black gospel with contemporary Christian music. He was there at the beginning of contemporary Christian music, where he mixed both the old and the new together beautifully. He's even won an Oscar for the film "The Color Purple."
  5. Thomas A. Dorsey. Thomas A. Dorsey  wrote, perhaps, the greatest gospel song of all time, "Take My Hand, Precious Lord." 
  6. Aretha Franklin. Before she was a legendary soul singer, Aretha Franklin grew up singing gospel in her father's church. Her father was Reverend Clarence La Vaughan "C.L." Franklin. She also recorded some great gospel music in later years. Do yourself a favor and pick up some of Aretha's gospel music.
  7. Elvis Presley. Did you know that Elvis Presley's only Grammy Awards were for gospel recordings? His three wins were for gospel recordings, the albums "How Great Thou Art" (1967), the album "He Touched Me" (1972) and his live Memphis concert recording of the song "How Great Thou Art" (1974)."
  8. Mighty Clouds of Joy. The Mighty Clouds of Joy represent the very best of the great black gospel groups. They also bridged the old with the new, finding new fans with contemporary Christian audiences.
  9. Blind Willie Johnson. Led Zeppelin may have had a rock hit with "Nobody's Fault But Mine," but this gospel blues singer wrote it. 
  10. Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Sister Rosetta Tharpe is said to be an early influence of Elvis, though she never attained pop stardom.
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