They have been making music for years and they became a household name in the ’50s before carving a wide path that included social activism through song and now the legendary Gospel family group, The Staple Singers are among those set to be inducted into the GMA Hall of Fame. Today, the GMA (Gospel Music Association) Foundation announced its inductees and honorees for the 5th Annual GMA Honors and Hall of Fame Ceremony set for Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena.
The Staple Singers burst on the national scene in 1956 with their hit “If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again.” With Pops’ blues-influenced guitar, Cleotha’s bright high notes, Pervis’ falsetto and Mavis’ rich contralto, they were on their way to stardom. They became one of the biggest gospel groups of the era and turned out best-selling gospel classics such as “On My Way To Heaven,” “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” “Don’t Knock,” “Pray On” and their signature hit, “Uncloudy Day,” generally accepted to be the first gospel record to sell one million copies.
In the `60s, the group began to record inspirational mainstream music such as “For What It’s Worth” and “Why? (Am I Treated So Bad).” By 1968, they had moved on to Stax records where they enjoyed a steady run of Top Forty hits like “Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom Yeah)” and “Touch A Hand, Make A Friend” (1974).
The iconic million-seller “I’ll Take You There” spent a week at Number One on the Billboard pop singles chart and four weeks at that spot on the R&B singles chart. The group also earned other million-sellers such as “Respect Yourself” (1971), “If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)” (1973) and “Let’s Do It Again” (1975). The Staple Singers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and they also received a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.
In addition to the Staple Singers, this year’s GMA Hall of Fame inductees include CCM artist Carman, award-winning Southern Gospel artist Karen Peck Gooch, and acclaimed producer Greg Nelson.
The event also honors individuals and organizations that are impacting our culture both past and present. This year’s honorees include Chonda Pierce for Branches Counseling Center, Bishop Marvin Sapp, Ryan Lampa for People Loving Nashville and Lipscomb University. Performers and presenters will be announced in the coming weeks.
“This year marks our 5th Annual GMA Honors Celebration,” GMA President and Executive Director Jackie Patillo said in a press release. “We are delighted to celebrate our deserving inductees and honorees who are true heroes of the faith. Those being inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame will forever be acknowledged as musical innovators and the architects of our industry. We are proud to recognize each honoree for their commitment to stretch beyond themselves to make the world a better place.”
The event also celebrates current individuals and organizations within the Gospel music community that are making significant contributions to the world through their humanitarian efforts as well as their talents. Read full bios for the inductees and honorees here.
For ticket and table sponsorship information, please visit www.gospelmusichalloffame.org.