Broadly speaking, this is the music of African-Americans singing about faith and devotion to Christ. Folk/Traditional Gospel singers have a powerful vocal presence and often sing over rhythms and beats that in many cases can be traced to traditional African music. While Contemporary Gospel artists look to modern influences to expand their musical palettes, artists in this genre stick to the tried-and-true forms of soulful hymns and old standards. The arrangements might be a bit more familiar and a bit less innovative, but the music -- often sung with inimitable fervor by large choirs -- is as powerful and as moving as any other. Mahalia Jackson is widely credited with laying the foundations for today's take on traditional Gospel with her powerful contralto and stirring presence. Jackson, Gospel's first true superstar, gracefully bridged the gap between Southern Blues and songs of worship.