It's a good time to be a fan of urban and modern gospel. Tye Tribbett's Greater Than made a big splash this summer, building on his initial solo success. The album is modern gospel with hip-hop, R&B and pop influences woven throughout. This was followed up by American Idol alum Mandisa's latest, Overcomer. This disc is all about encouragement and empowerment, but she also clearly lets you know her power comes from above.
Also getting some attention in 2013 is Tasha Cobbs. Her Grace album is a live release that showcases the talent of the pastor's daughter and longtime worship leader. Gospel great Hezekiah Walker released Azusa the Next Generation with help from some well-known friends (guests include Deitrick Haddon, Donnie McClurkin and John P. Kee). Fred Hammond also joined forces with other vocal powerhouses for the album United Tenors. Then there's gospel's grand dame, Shirley Caesar. Her Good God reinforces her status as the leader of the pack.
Rounding out our favorites so far in 2013 are Deitrick Haddon and his R.E.D. (Restoring Everything Damaged) release. It lands a bit more on the hip-hop side, but urban gospel fans still claim him as their own. Also notable is Reset by Isaac Carree and the Kurt Carr masterpiece Bless This House. Sample songs from each of these notable releases in our Best of New Gospel playlist.