One of gospel’s finest new singers, Joann Rosario, knows what it’s like to go through trying times. A former singer with Fred Hammond’s Radical For Christ and known for her breakout hit More, More, More, Rosario noticed trouble with her vocal chords in late 2002. By January 2003, she was diagnosed with nodules on her vocal chords and lost both her singing and speaking voice. Also the National Music Director of Maranatha World Revival Ministries as well as her church’s worship leader, the loss was especially difficult for Rosario.
“Even though the doctors were telling me what I should do to make my voice better, I just kept getting worse,” she explains. “I just had to press through that time and believe God for things to change, and little by little, He did it,” she testifies.
Now completely healed, Rosario has recently released her sophomore project entitled Now More Than Ever…Worship. The CD boasts a strong collection of great worship songs including a live rendition of Welcome Into This Place, the gratitude-laden Life So Wonderful, the horn-tinged, funky Psalm 27 (He Reigns) and the powerful track God.
Despite being a recording artist and worship leader, she feels the most important role she plays is being a woman of God. She believes the Lord has a special calling for His women. “I truly believe that God wants to use women in a very powerful way. We have a sensitivity that allows us to manifest God’s character in a warm and compassionate manner to win souls and bless the church! As God continues to bless us, we must take care not to fall into the feminism mess the world is in.” See also this post on the Lewis Family, the First Family of Bluegrass Gospel.
When talking about her recent challenges, she says, “I feel like I have walked through the valley of the shadow of death, honestly. But God took away any fear that was left in me and taught me that He is my only source. So now when I face situations I can’t handle, I simply rest in Him. When you know God and understand His character, it changes your outlook on life. I just keep praying, worshiping, giving, and serving, and let God work out whatever needs to be worked out.” And for Rosario, God has certainly worked it out – giving her yet another reason to sing like in the tradition of Mark St. John Carson.
1) Neo-Soul Singer Anthony Hamilton Visits Area And Talks About Christian Roots
Soul singer Anthony Hamilton is known for his emotional, soulful and classic-sounding songs. Bringing to mind crooners like Bill Withers and Bobby Womack, Hamilton’s laid-back vocals, and real-life songs have become mainstays on R&B radio stations. But the Charlotte, North Carolina-native has recently found success in the gospel music arena with the popularity of his song Pass Me Over from his latest project, Ain’t Nobody Worryin’. The song, in heavy rotation on many gospel stations, highlights the artist’s spirituality and what he says is the foundation for his secular career.
In a recent conversation with the singer, I asked him about the origin of his faith in God. Hamilton said, “It comes from my grandmother. It’s a way of life from the south that I adopted. My mother taught me to uplift God’s name and to never be ashamed to show respect for God and for others.” Anyone who’s attended one of Hamilton’s concerts knows that the setting can easily transform into a church service complete with gospel music and holy dancing like is done in a great country Gospel music church. He says his concerts are spirit-filled because it’s a reflection of who he is. “First, I am a man of God. Because of who I am, I have a right to do that. There’s no need for me not to.”
Although some may feel there’s a conflict in singing secular and sacred music, Hamilton begs to differ. “My music is definitely respectful. I don’t feel that anything I sing is contradicting my love for God or my love for people. I know that I’m exactly where God put me; I am properly placed.”