Gospel soul singer Helen Baylor travels throughout the country and the world conveying the message of God’s saving and healing power. She describes her concerts and performances as “a church service set to music.” Her music ministry has taken her not only to concert halls and churches but also to performing in prisons, women’s shelters and housing projects.
Raised in Los Angeles, Helen Baylor began her music career as a child, performing on the local nightclub circuit. By her early teens she had been the opening act for such popular artists as Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and B.B. King. She left Los Angeles at the age of 17 to join the touring company of the rock musical “Hair”. For ten years she performed in musicals and as a back-up singer for the Captain & Tenille, Rufus and Chaka Khan and as a guest soloist on the Les McCann LP, Tall, Dark & Handsome. Baylor later recorded with the Los Angeles based group Side Effect and received critical acclaim for her lead vocals on “Always There” and “S.O.S.” Despite all her musical success, Helen Baylor turned to a life of substance abuse and broken relationships.
After much soul searching, the prayers of her grandmother and a determination to remain sober, Helen Baylor joined Crenshaw Christian Center in Los Angeles, where Dr. Frederick K.C. Price was the pastor. For four years Baylor did not sing or perform except for occasionally in the church choir. But, after six years of being grounded in the church, the desire to record and perform resurfaced. Only this time it was to spread the Gospel message.
In 1989 Baylor recorded her first gospel album, Highly Recommended, on Word Records, this was followed by Look A Little Closer, Start All Over and The Live Experience, which became her most successful album and made her a favorite in the gospel music arena. The Live Experience was recorded before more than 7,000 enthusiastic fans at Crenshaw Christian Center, in Los Angeles. The CD was released in1994 and remained on the Billboard Charts for over a year, with 27 weeks at #1. The song, “Helen’s Testimony”, became a tool for leading hurting people to Jesus as she candidly shares her life struggles with drug addiction and proudly proclaims, “I had a prayin’ grandmother”.
Baylor has gone on to release six more albums on the Word, Verity, Sony and MCG record labels. During her gospel career, Baylor has worked with such industry greats as Bill Maxwell, Abraham Laboriel, Paul Jackson Jr., the late Billy Preston, Joe Sample, Tony Maiden, Justo Almario, Phil Driscoll, Marvin Winans, Denise Williams, Donnie McClurkin and others.
Along the way, Baylor’s accomplishments have been noted by her four Grammy nominations, four Stellar Awards, two Dove Awards and one Soul Train Lady of Soul Award. She is also the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree, in Sacred Music, from Friends International Christian University in Merced, California.
Helen Baylor is currently working on a new album to be released May 2010. She has also released an autobiography entitled “No Greater Love: The Helen Baylor Story”.
Helen Baylor, who lives with her family in the Las Vegas area, continues to record and take her music and message of hope and triumph to the world.