Charles Jenkins’ single ‘Grace’ emerges on gospel music charts

Chicago-based artist Charles Jenkins‘ latest finger-snapper, “Grace” (Inspired People/Empire), boasts an old school Motown sample, the sonorous singing of Fellowship Chicago and a dynamic vocal assist from Le’Andria Johnson. Last week, the inspiring, mid-tempo track debuted in the Top 20 on both the Billboard Magazine Gospel Airplay (No. 19) and the Mediabase Gospel Airplay (No. 18) charts. The song anchors Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago’s highly anticipated and, as yet, untitled third album which is expected to release in either the 4th quarter of 2017 or the first quarter of 2018.

The song hits iTunes and all major digital service providers on July 7. The success of “Grace” comes on the heels of Charles Jenkins opening Bishop T.D. Jakes’ bi-annual MegaFest conference with a rousing performance of the song last week in Dallas, where he taught it to an ecstatic audience of thousands. A few days before, Jenkins headlined WLOU 104.7 FM and 1350 AM’s annual SummerFest concert in Louisville, KY. “He just shut the park down,” says WLOU Program Director, Brodric Purvis in a news release. “It was his first time performing in this market and he really gave Louisville a great concert that they will never forget.”

In another career first, prior to jumping on a plane to head to the aforementioned event in Kentucky, Jenkins commanded the stage at Mamby on the Beach in Chicago. The electronic dance music festival drew 30,000 dance music fans to the city’s lakefront and featured EDM superstars such as MGMT, Flying Lotus, Misterwives and Sir the Baptist. Jenkins and his music crew opened the Saturday festivities with an energetic, rousing noon-day program of his urban-flavored tracks such as “Winning,” “Reach for the Sky” and a club rendition of his signature song, “Awesome,” which spent 24 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart in 2012. The spectacular set has already earned Jenkins an invitation to perform at next year’s event.

Genita Pugh emerges on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart with latest hit

Genita Pugh

Over the past three years, Genita Pugh has emerged as one of the gospel world’s brightest new stars. She’s turned in national Top 30 hits such as “You Made It Possible,” “Can’t Live” and “Holy to the Lamb” that made it all the way up to No. 12 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart. Now, Pugh’s latest hit “God Can” enters next week’s Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart at No. 30* with a bullet. It’s a song of faith with an infectious ’70s throwback R&B groove along the lines of The Gap Band’s classic “Outstanding.”

“The song challenges the believer to take an introspective look at their belief and faith in The Most High to provide, restore, create and deliver in the time of need,” said Terry Woods in a news release.

Woods wrote the song that was originally recorded by his brother, Jerard Woods, in 2007. “It also points us to the One who can be everything when all else has failed,” he said.

It’s a message that resonates well with Pugh who grew up in the church thanks to her grandmother, Willavry Glen, taking she and her siblings every Sunday when they were kids. She’s lived in Laurel, Miss., all of her life and spent years as a hairdresser before her husband, Donald Pugh, nudged her to launch a musical career. Although, she had always sung in the church choir, Pugh says, “I never had that confidence in myself to think my voice was good enough to ever be [national].”

Now that Pugh’s been successful on the national scene and released two CDs, including her current Top 10 project, “My Purpose” (Eternity Records), Pugh is a testament to the idea that God can do anything and make dreams manifest. “My prayer has not been for me to be famous, not for me to be rich nor be this great star,” she says. ”My prayer has been that people’s lives will be changed and that somebody will be saved, healed, delivered, restored and renewed.”