Stellar Award winning Gospel star J.J. Hairston and his choir Youthful Praise recently culminated 15-years in gospel music with a live recording at City of Praise Ministries in Hyattsville, Maryland.
Thousands were in attendance at the mid-week concert that featured J.J. and Youthful Praise revisiting classic songs like “Lord, You’re Mighty,” “Deliver,” “Awesome God,” “Resting On His Promise,” “After This,” and “Incredible God, Incredible Praise,” among countless others.
One of the night’s many highlights included the recording of a new song written by Bishop Cortez Vaughn called “You Deserve It.” That track was an infectious worship song and is bound to be a hit single when released.
Formed in 1991 out of Turner’s Faith Temple in Bridgeport, CT, the group was originally known as Teens of TFT and served as the choir for the church pastored by Bishop J.C. White and Evangelist Gloria White—the parents of J.J.’s wife Trina Hairston. Youthful Praise was also co-founded by Shawn Brown, who died in January 2010.
JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise
Youthful Praise released their first commercial CD, “Awesome God” in 2001. The project was distributed on a newly-formed record company, Evidence Gospel that was created by GospelFlava.com just for Youthful Praise. Evidence was eventually acquired by Light Records.
Since then, Youthful Praise has released seven recordings in total—”Thank You For The Change” (2004), “Live! The Praise… The Worship” (2005), “Exalted” (2007), “Resting On His Promise” (2009), “After This” (2012) and “I See Victory” (2014).
Throughout the years, Youthful Praise has evolved from being a church choir into a large ensemble featuring an all-star group of sought-after lead vocalists.
Trina Hairston & JJ Hairston and their children
They have been innovators in the praise and worship sound of gospel music by adding soulfully-rich harmonies and heavy vibrato to the style of music known for its simplistic, often-repetitive type songs. Fusing traditional gospel with new age worship has been a formula that has scored Youthful Praise multiple hits and songs that have become Sunday morning anthems.
In addition to celebrating 15-years in the music industry, Youthful Praise’s eighth album will be the first release on J.J.’s newly-formed JamesTown Music imprint that will be distributed through eOne Entertainment, which is the parent company of Light Records.[divider]
Check out photos from the live recording below. (All images by Bird’s Eye Photography and courtesy of JamesTown Music)