The year 2016 has been just as upsetting to the gospel music industry, as Donald Trump’s electoral college win over Hillary Clinton in this year’s presidential race. Here are some of the headlines that had church folks buzzing, from the pew to the beauty shop.
After 35 years as a fixture on Black Entertainment Television (BET), Dr. Bobby Jones ended his run on the cable television network that he helped build with his weekly Bobby Jones Gospel musical showcase.
“I wanted to go out on top,” says the 78-year-old emcee, who continues to host a syndicated radio show, The Bobby Jones Gospel Countdown, on The Light Network. Grammy winner Tye Tribbett, who appeared on Jones’ TV program many times in the past, was tapped to host BET’s new inspirational music program Joyful Noise, which now airs in Dr. Jones’ former time slot.
This was a year for high profile musical mashups, such as Tye Tribbett’s collaboration with Israel Houghton on the top-10 hit “Chasing Me Down.” On the controversial side, Kanye West and Kirk Franklin got together for “Ultralight Beam.” Franklin was quickly criticized by many of his own fans for lending his voice to a song with profanity.
“To a lot of my Christian family, I’m sorry he is not good enough, Christian enough, or running at your pace[…]And, as I read some of your comments, neither am I,” Franklin posted on his Instagram page, in response to the fallout.
Franklin had another high profile collaboration this year, when super producer Pharrell Williams remixed his “123 Victory,” and watched it soar to the top spot on Billboard’s “Hot Gospel Songs” chart. A few weeks later, Williams was back on the same chart with Kim Burrell, fronting “I See a Victory” from the film soundtrack for Hidden Figures.
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