With fans ranging from President Obama to Natalie Cole and Patti LaBelle, Beverly Crawford has created a niche for herself as one of gospel’s most passionate vocal ambassadors and a singer’s singer. Her down-home, spirited vocal style of breaking spiritual bondages through song makes her the Original Chain-breaker (a play on Tasha Cobb’s recent #1 hit “Break Every Chain”). Her welterweight vocals have knocked out the competition and punched a half dozen classic modern day church songs over the years such as “It’s About Time for a Miracle,” “He’s Done Enough” and her roof-raising gem, “Jesus, Precious King.” Now, the dynamic singing evangelist is back with her first new set of songs in four years, Thank You For All You’ve Done (EchoPark JDI Entertainment), due in stores May 20, 2014.
The new dozen-track CD was recorded live at Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas, TX and jointly produced by Crawford’s longtime team of Michael Bereal and Professor James Roberson. Buoyed by the dynamic, heart-thumping radio single “Sweeping Through The City,” it’s an engaging balance of the traditional, Sunday morning church-styled songs Crawford is known for alongside well-crafted contemporary praise and worship songs by noted composers such as Melvin Williams, Derrick Lee, Stan Jones and Rodney Posey. The project opens with a new rendition of Crawford’s bluesy concert staple “Jesus, Precious King,” the hair-raising song that put her on the gospel map almost twenty years ago. >From there, she delivers heartfelt gratitude on “Thank You For All You’ve Done” before making a segue into the mid-tempo hand-clapper “Every Breath.”
Crawford intensifies the worship atmosphere with the beautiful “Inhabit My Praise” that flows into Melvin Williams’ (The Williams Brothers) catchy hip-rocker “I Know It Was The Blood.” She then puts her stamp on the majestic worship anthem “You Are” that was written by Stan Jones (Brian Courtney Wilson, Marvin Sapp, John P. Kee). Next up is the sing-a-long “Anyhow Praise” that shows Crawford ‘s volcanic vocals on full display. Her daughter Latrina wrote “Hero” in tribute to her grandfather Bishop Camp who passed away in 2007. While Latrina opens the song, mother and daughter trade verses and adlibs on this touching song. Crawford explores new musical territory on the Christian pop-spiced “I Need You” that features her niece Chachita Mims-Brinkley (a soprano who has recorded with Bishop T.D. Jakes) and her niece’s husband Kerry along with Crawford’s own son T.J. doing a very nimble guitar solo. The exhilarating concert closes with a high-octane re-vamp of The Caravans’ 1962 hit “Sweeping Through The City.”
One of seven children born to Bishop Walter Camp and his wife, Crawford hails from Gainesville, FL where she began singing at the age of three and formed a group with two sisters as the Camps Sisters. She sang throughout high school and dreamed of a recording career. In the late 1980′s, her husband Todd recorded a homemade video and submitted copies to several gospel industry executives and leaders but only BET’s “Bobby Jones Gospel” TV show responded. Greatly impressed with their talent, Dr. Jones invited the Camp Sisters to sing on his show and after a couple of visits, he asked Crawford to join his group, New Life. She remained as one of Jones’ featured TV singers for over six years.
The next big break took place in 1995 when Warner Alliance released Crawford’s debut album “Jesus, Precious King” that became a massive hit off of the strength of the title tune. It established Crawford as a powerhouse gospel artist. Subsequent releases included “Now That I’m Here” that nabbed a Grammy Award nomination and included the hit “Just As Soon (I’ll Be Shouting).” She then recorded two well-received albums for Bishop T.D. Jakes’ Dexterity Records label before joining JDI Records in 2007. The union has netted the biggest radio hits and albums of Crawford’s career thus far. The first release boasted “He’s Done Enough” that dominated the Billboard Charts for over 70+ weeks and garnered 7 Stellar Award nominations including CD of the Year, Artist of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, etc. The next album installment included the Top Ten smash “It’s About Time For A Miracle.” The Thank You For All You’ve Done album is expected to not only outsell previous CDs but to also break new ground and expand Crawford’s audience as the Original Chain-breaker. Crawford and her husband/ manager Todd Crawford co-pastor The Gainesville Family Worship Center in Gainesville, FL.