Some people find their calling early in life. The Princess of Gospel, Angela Spivey, is one of them.
The Chicago native joined the children's choir at her father's First Corinthians Missionary Baptist Church and made her singing debut at the age of four. A year later, at the ripe old age of five, she became the choir's director.
Angela would go on to form the nine-member Voices of Victory, a young adult choir that quickly grew in membership and prominence around Chicago.
Now, some 37 years later, the choir comprises 65 members and Angela remains true to her calling: To spread the word of God through music and to use her anointing to heal others.
Launching a career as a gospel recording artist wasn't Angela's goal. In fact, she was content to sing in the church and vehemently opposed the idea of recording. But others saw the need for her ministry on a larger scale and, eventually, so did she. "People started pushing me to record, but I never wanted to do it. We recorded 'Victorious Praise,' our first CD, in 1993," she recalls. In 1997, she was the lead vocalist for the GMWA Gospel Announcers CD's outstanding track, "So You Would Know How Much I Love You." She followed up with 1999?s "Glory, Honor and Praise."
For someone who was reluctant to record, Angela was on a roll. In 2002, she was joined by ten members of her choir for the recording of "I'm Determined," the CD that put her front and center in the gospel industry, netting several 2003 GMWAs, including awards for Female Vocalist of the Year, Traditional Album, Traditional Song, Traditional Best Video and the coveted Artist of the Year. She was also nominated for a 2003 Soul Train Lady of Soul Award in the gospel CD category.
But with all that she has achieved, at least one person was convinced that Angela had not gotten her just due. That person would be Pastor DeWayne Harvey, CEO of her new record label home, Innovative Records. "Angie's been a hidden talent," he says. "People know about her, but her success in terms of sales, outings, venues, and all the things that come along with a good gospel artist just aren't there. That's my goal. I know her voice is anointed and designed to reach not only people here in the United States, but all over the world."
Angela's forthcoming CD, her sixth, "He Keeps His Promise," produced by Harvey, Antonio Wimberly and Etienne Porter, serves up an array of spiritually uplifting songs; notable among them is the title track, which is the CD's debut single. Spivey's new release is destined to be one of her greatest. Harvey and his crew of producers have not only captured the essence of what Spivey does, but have given her a new look and sound. This new sound is evident in that lead track as well as on the standout second single, "God Cares." Spivey said that the songs stretched her out of her comfort zone; however, the results of moving out are amazing. Spivey says, "It's new, it's fresh, almost as if I have been reinvented."
Additional gems on the album are the poignant "My Outcome is Victory," penned by Spivey; "Let God Do It," a song penned by Harvey; and "I Wanna Be Ready," which is traditional yet new.
Angela says that every song she records has to resonate with her spiritually and emotionally. It's not just about a funky beat or a catchy hook. It's about telling a story, dispensing wisdom and drawing on the word for healing, comfort and discernment. "I try to seek God and hear God, so that the song that He gives me will be a blessing to someone else," she says. "I want to let people know that their outcome is victory if they trust God. I want to tell them that their joy is coming in the morning. A lot of people need to know that if they can just hold on until morning they can find joy. I want songs that will touch the hearts of men and women and help them to realize that bad situations are not that bad after all."
As Angela prepares to follow in the footsteps of her father, she looks forward to continuing her musical ministry as well. She says that even though she has always known her calling, it's clearer now than it has ever been, much clearer than when she was that four-year-old girl singing in her father's church. "I've grown spiritually," she lends. "When you look at my overall picture, I've changed. I'm not that little girl Angie anymore. I'm a woman who knows God and loves God. That's my calling."