Dove- and Grammy Award-winning Richard Smallwood has impacted the gospel industry through decades of influence and a unique musical style that melds several traditions. A composer, pianist, arranger, vocalist and choral conductor, he creates landscapes of worship music that range from peaks of energetic urban gospel, jazz and guitar-driven soul, to meandering valleys of piano-hosted praise sessions. A career steeped in firsts, he was a member of the Celestials, the first gospel choir on the Howard University campus, and founded the Richard Smallwood Singers, who were the first African American group to perform in the Soviet Union. Mentioning accolades like chart placement and gold records seem to pale in comparison to honors he's received from the Kennedy Center and the White House and his instillation in the Smithsonian Institute. He's authored countless hymns that have become contemporary standards, such as "Center of My Joy," "Total Praise," "We've Come to Praise Him" and "I Love the Lord."