WHITNEY HOUSTON, TINA TURNER, BEYONCE, AND CHRISTINA AGUILERA: POP QUEENS AND GOSPEL MUSIC
The word “gospel” means good news. As is clear from the origin of the word, it refers to Christian cultural traditions. And so it is: the gospel genre originated in American church Protestant culture. It had the strongest influence on all American popular music of the 20th and 21st centuries, but it is also interesting on its own. Gospel began to develop in America in the late nineteenth century in the African-American cultural milieu, and gospel hymns were called Christian hymns. The music of these hymns was a fusion of many popular cultures. Charles Tindley, a Methodist minister who wrote the lyrics and melodies of the hymns, is considered to be the official founder of this art of music.
In many American movies, you can see worship services where the choir (usually consisting of black performers) sings very energetically, and emotionally, clapping their hands and dancing. This is the typical gospel choir. The lyrics of these choral hymns are very positive and spiritually uplifting. They talk about divine support and love, about not giving up and losing heart. Here are some great examples of gospel music in pop musical compositions.
Can you remember the brilliant comedy “Sister Act” with the incomparable Whoopi Goldberg leading a gospel choir? Watch it, and you’ll be in a good mood! The peculiarity of gospel music is that it combines many different features. It can even be outside of the church, in your spare time when you relax at home, read a book or enjoy best sports betting site.
Another example of a gospel chorus is a scene from the film “August Rush” with a gospel chorus and a lovely girl soloist. The famous singer Tina Turner got her start in the gospel chorus. The biographical feature film “What’s Love Got to Do with it” about her life shows how she sang in the choir as a child. This interesting film shows the bright charisma and searing temperament of the future star, who has been singing in the gospel choir. The singer’s mother was a choir director and it was there that she began the vocal education of her talented daughter. Whitney Houston retained her lifelong love for the genre and enjoyed and performed a lot of gospel chants.
However, the pop queen Beyonce also loves the gospel genre, as does Christina Aguilera. Katy Perry was singing in a gospel choir when she was a child. She attended a Christian school, went to a Christian summer camp every summer, and sang gospel in the church choir on the weekends. Cathy’s interest in music was sparked by her older sister. She listened to cassettes of church music from her collection and sang along. On her 13th birthday, she got an acoustic guitar from her parents and soon wrote her first song. And her debut album “Katy Hudson” was recorded in the genre of Christian pop.
The gospel-style is characterized by very free rhythm, rich melismatic, inventive improvisations, spontaneous lines, and polyphony, sometimes very complex. Soul, blues, and rhythm and blues have their origins in this genre. If you listen to a few gospel pieces and hear their characteristics, you will find echoes of this genre in almost all contemporary American music. By the way, since 2015 there has been a Grammy nomination for Best Gospel Performance, which means that the gospel genre is not going to give up!
And gospel genre includes songs by popular artists such as Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong, Bruce Springsteen, Marvin Gaye, and even Kanye West. By the way, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decided to combine British and American traditions at their wedding: an American bishop read a sermon at the ceremony, and then the gospel choir performed in church with the song “Stand by Me” by Ben King. This musical genre is becoming more and more modern, gets news features and it is constantly developing.