EMI Gospel is celebrating multiple wins at the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards, which was held Sunday night in Los Angeles. The label received top honors for “Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album” (Heather Headley, Audience Of One) and “Best Traditional Gospel Album” (Various Artists, Oh Happy Day: An All-Star Music Celebration).
The GRAMMY win has special meaning for Heather Headley, as it was awarded for her most personal project to date, her first Gospel album, Audience Of One. The album serves as a landmark in Headley’s truly multi-faceted career as a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical actress, and chart-topping pop, R&B and dance crossover recording artist.
“I remember watching the GRAMMYs as a child and hoping that one day I'd have the honor and here it is,” Headley says. “This project was a labor of love. It’s so humbling that it was recognized in such a way.”
Audience Of One contains the hit single “Jesus Is Love,” the duet featuring Headley and fellow EMI Gospel artist and GRAMMY winner, Smokie Norful. The classic 1980 tune was written by Lionel Richie and first recorded by the Commodores.
For Headley this award culminates several years of critically acclaimed albums, including the 2002 release This Is Who I Am (featuring Top 5 dance hits “He Is” and “I Wish I Wasn’t”) and the 2006 release In My Mind (featuring the #1 title tune dance hit). This Is Who I Am earned previous GRAMMY nominations for Headley for “Best New Artist” and “Best Female R&B Performance” for the song “I Wish I Wasn’t”.
In a year when performances throughout the GRAMMY telecast featured “eclectic pairings,” the winner for “Best Traditional Gospel Album” seems particularly appropriate. Oh Happy Day: An All-Star Music Celebration features performances by 3 Doors Down, Al Green, Patty Griffin, Heather Headley, Jon Bon Jovi, Jonny Lang, Queen Latifah, Joss Stone with Buick Audra and many more (see full track listing below). For the album, those world-renowned musicians collaborated with several of today’s top Gospel Choirs to record renditions of some of the most loved and recognizable inspirational songs.
“It’s such an honor to have Oh Happy Day recognized with a GRAMMY Award,” says Bill Hearn, CEO of EMI Christian Music Group. “It’s a testimony to the historic and cultural significance of Gospel music and the partnership between artists and labels.”
Oh Happy Day is a joint effort between EMI Gospel and Vector Recordings and is available digitally and at Walmart Stores nationwide.
Oh Happy Day Track Listing:
1. Jonny Lang & the Fisk Jubilee Singers “I Believe”
2. 3 Doors Down & the Soul Children of Chicago “Presence of the Lord”
3. Robert Randolph & The Clark Sisters “Higher Ground”
4. Jon Bon Jovi & the Washington Youth Choir “Keep the Faith”
5. Al Green & Heather Headley “People Get Ready”
6. Mavis Staples & Patty Griffin “Waiting for My Child To Come Home”
7. Michael McDonald & the West Angeles COGIC Mass Choir “Storm Before The Calm”
8. Angelique Kidjo “Redemption Song”
9. Aaron Neville & the Mt. Zion Mass Choir “A Change is Gonna Come”
10. Queen Latifah & Jubilation “Oh Happy Day”
11. Joss Stone & Buick Audra “This Little Light Of Mine”