Tori Kelly and Lauren Daigle Take Home Gospel and Christian Top Grammy Honors

Tori Kelly and Lauren Daigle Take Home  Gospel and Christian Top Grammy Honors

The Belle Report

Congratulations to all of the 2019 Grammy Award Winners and Nominees including Todd Dulaney, Jekalyn Carr, Koryn Hawthorne, Jonathan McReynoldsand Brian Courtney Wilson.

Taking home the top two Gospel honors on Saturday was Tori Kelly (in photo left) for “Hiding Place” for best gospel album and “Never Alone”, for best gospel song.  It was only last year when Kelly made her first appearance at the Stellar Awards and was received with open arms.

Bill Carpenter , a former Grammy Governor who served two terms in the Mid-Atlantic Grammy office says, “People really need to understand the process in how the winners are chosen. First you have to be a voting member and in order to qualify you only need 12 credits on a nationally distributed album.  Seriously, it’s all about the vote and who is the most popular!  Tori Kelly has more than 3 million followers on Instagram, and more than 1 million followers on Facebook and Twitter.  Who knows how many of them voted for her from those media outlets?”  Continuing Carpenter says, “To win a Grammy it really comes down to being a popularity contest and she is clearly more popular than anyone else in the category based on her social media numbers. Even as you look at past winners, the year Tamela Mann won, the year Kirk Franklin won and even the year Tasha Cobbs Leonard won, they dwarf their competition in popularity.”

To take this a step further, Carpenter said, “If you look on the Christian pop side did anyone there have a chance to win against Lauren Daigle who has been on GMA, Ellen and all kinds of TV shows promoting her Christian Pop Album.  We just need to understand that Grammy voters are not Gospel or Non-Gospel, they simply vote for the categories they want to vote in.”

Responding not so favorably to Tori’s win was Gospel Singer Smokie Norful.  On his Instagram page he wrote, “No…no disrespect to Tori or Kirk (who is my friend and brutha and created an excellent cd) but THESE are the true winners in the GOSPEL category for the Grammys. (referencing Jekalyn Carr, The Walls Group, Todd Dulaney, Koryn Hawthorne, Jonathan McReynolds and Brian Courtney Wilson.)  Heavy on GOSPEL.  Congratulations to each of you.  All of your music has blessed and carried me personally.  I pray your ministry is never reduced to the size of a statue –your anointing is HUGE.  I want to publicly acknowledge the sacrifices, work, prayer, scriptural preparation, and true ministry you offer the world.  You stand on the legacy of many who have remained faithful and labored in the gospel.  You are worth of double honor.  ALL the GOSPEL artists.  I love you.  I appreciate you.  God is pleased. And who knows, maybe next year they’ll give ME a Grammy for POP music.”

There were a few people who disagreed with Norful and one person even going so far as to say, “I definitely don’t agree with this.  I’m actually a little disappointed @smokienorful.  I mean why call them out of all people?  Let’s not forget God can use ANYONE!  Whether she sings Pop music on the regular or even if he’s won many Grammys.  Very distasteful.  We gotta do better man.  Still love you though.”

In response, Norful wrote, because you so respectfully disagree, I will take liberty to respond to your comment.  Thank you for disagreeing without being disagreeable.  This was NOT a criticism of Tori or Kirk, this was a critical look at a challenged infrastructure that has reduced our category to 2 awards and allows any other genre to be included if they meet very minimal requirements.  Kirk has universal music that has transcended every demarcation, yet he is unwavering in his resolve to please God – but how many of his 23 nominations and 14 wins are in a category outside of gospel?  There’s no parity in the process.  They are welcomed in our category, but we aren’t considered in there’s.  Despite our sonic presentation.  We (gospel) have two categories.  When I won in 2005 there were 6/7.  I speak from exposure and experience as a winner of multiple awards. #Facts! #Truth!

Bottom line, Carpenter says, “Every vote counts, so if you’re not a member you can’t vote, so become a member today.  It’s only 100 dollars a year.”

With the results now in though, maybe there will be more people voting in the Grammy’s next year, and who knows, next year’s winner could end up being, well you fill in the blank.  In the meantime, listed below are the Gospel and Christian categories with the winners highlighted.  Again congratulations.

GOSPEL/CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC

  1. Best Gospel Performance/Song
  • YOU WILL WIN Jekalyn Carr; Allen Carr & Jekalyn Carr, songwriters
    • WON’T HE DO IT Koryn Hawthorne
    WINNER: NEVER ALONE Tori Kelly Featuring Kirk Franklin; Kirk Franklin & Victoria Kelly, songwriters 
    • CYCLES Jonathan McReynolds Featuring DOE; Jonathan McReynolds & Will Reagan, songwriters
    • A GREAT WORK Brian Courtney Wilson; Aaron W. Lindsey, Alvin Richardson & Brian Courtney Wilson, songwriters
  1. Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song
    • RECKLESS LOVE Cory Asbury; Cory Asbury, Caleb Culver & Ran Jackson, songwriters
    WINNER: YOU SAY Lauren Daigle; Lauren Daigle, Jason Ingram & Paul Mabury, songwriters  
    • JOY. for KING & COUNTRY; Ben Glover, Matt Hales, Stephen Blake Kanicka, Seth Mosley, Joel Smallbone, Luke Smallbone & Tedd Tjornhom, songwriters
    • GRACE GOT YOU MercyMe Featuring John Reuben; David Garcia, Ben Glover, MercyMe, Solomon Olds & John Reuben, songwriters
    • KNOWN Tauren Wells; Ethan Hulse, Jordan Sapp & Tauren Wells, songwriters
  1. Best Gospel Album
    • ONE NATION UNDER GOD Jekalyn Carr
    WINNER: HIDING PLACE Tori Kelly
    • MAKE ROOM Jonathan McReynolds
    • THE OTHER SIDE The Walls Group
    • A GREAT WORK Brian Courtney Wilson
  1. Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
    WINNER: LOOK UP CHILD Lauren Daigle
    • HALLELUJAH HERE BELOW Elevation Worship
    • LIVING WITH A FIRE Jesus Culture
    • SURROUNDED Michael W. Smith
    • SURVIVOR: LIVE FROM HARDING PRISON Zach Williams
  1. Best Roots Gospel Album
    WINNER: UNEXPECTED Jason Crabb
    • CLEAR SKIES Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
    • FAVORITES: REVISITED BY REQUEST The Isaacs
    • STILL STANDING The Martins
    • LOVE LOVE LOVE Gordon Mote

Photo Credit: (AP Photos)