The Vintage Tour – Fred Hammond with special guest Brian Courtney Wilson

Fred Hammond

For more than 35 years, music lovers around the world have known Grammy Award Winning artist Fred Hammond as a gifted vocalist, songwriter, musician, producer and arranger. But as his peers and supporters alike have so reverently declared, he is without debate the architect behind the creation of a phenomenon in Gospel music, Urban Praise & Worship—a genre of gospel music that did not exist prior. As a result, Fred Hammond has become one of the most respected names in the music industry!

Throughout his professional career, Hammond has maintained a reputation for excellence and few gospel artists can boast of the consistency of sales, radio airplay and concert appearances that Hammond has achieved over the course of his career independent of the cross-over boost. As a solo artist, founder of the pioneering urban group, Commissioned, and his work with Radical for Christ combined, Fred has sold over 8 million albums and these endeavors have made him a mainstay on Billboard’s Gospel Chart top 10. His previous release {Pages of Life} Chapters I & II exceeded Double Platinum status and held the #1 position on the Billboard Gospel Charts for over 15 weeks. His 2006 project entitled Free To Worship bombarded Billboard’s #1 position on the Gospel Charts and was hailed as one of the year’s best-selling gospel albums.

Beyond Hammond’s individual success, his achievements as CEO of Face to Face Productions and the FHammond Music Label have placed him in a class by himself. Since their inception, Hammond has served as producer on more than 100 album projects, racking up numerous awards and nominations including the Grammy, BET, N.A.A.C.P. Image, Stellar, Dove, and GMWA Excellence Awards. His debut independent release entitled “In Case You Missed… And Then Some” sold well over 200,000 copies. Over the years, he went on to produce several other incredible specialty projects including his Jazz album Grandad Turner, the project dedicated to love, relationships, and marriage–God, Love, and Romance, and the formation of the United Tenors—an incredible, relevant yet nostalgic presentation of the ultimate, modern-day quartet with hit after hit, earning several stellar awards and nominations in 2013.

The pages continue to turn for the platinum recording artist! Hammond has taken his creative savvy to a higher level moving into from the stage to the big screen with the movie, The Gospel. This feature film was both Executive Produced and Inspired by Hammond, and boasted a stellar cast including Boris Kojo, Nona Gaye, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, Hezekiah Walker and Martha Munizzi. His first independent film venture, “Christmas…Who Needs It” written by Hammond and PamKenyon M. Donald, took first place at the 2009 Hollywood Black Film Festival, is hailed as “…an intriguingly-hilarious dramedy which cleverly captures the true essence of Christmas,” and has found a home on multiple television networks around the world annually as a favored Christmas film during the holiday season!

In addition to Hammond’s studio career, he has continued to take his special brand of gospel to audiences around the world, performing an average of 30 weeks per year. Hammond has headlined thousands of concert dates with an average audience attendance of over 5,000, in addition to television appearances on the nationally syndicated Stellar Awards, Lou Rawls Parade of Stars, BET’s Celebration of Gospel, BET’s Walk of Fame, N.A.A.C.P.’s A Tribute to Stevie Wonder, 106 & Park and TBN’s highly-rated shows The Pat Boone Show, Praise The Lord, and The 700 Club.

Hammond continues to find touring success year after year and shows no signs of slowing down, recently wrapping the highly successful 30+ city 2014 FESTIVAL OF PRAISE TOUR, which he headlined along with Donnie McClurkin. In 1997, he shared the stage with Kirk Franklin & Yolanda Adams performing before more than 500,000 people on The Tour of Life, the most successful tour in gospel music history! He also served as the Creative Director and Featured Artist on Walt “Baby” Love’s Power 98, ALW’s The Living Proof and ALW’s The Shout 2000 Tours just to name a few.

Hammond continues to take the entertainment industry by storm, writing and directing the smash hit musical drama “Been There, Done That” with America’s favorite TV Judge, Greg Mathis. As for Hammond’s acting career, this production merely rekindled the fire! In addition to his work on the hit plays “Only The Strong” and the 2013 Broadway smash “Cain and Abel” with JD Lawrence, Hammond has debuted in several Daimler-Chrysler commercials.

Among his multiple entrepreneurial successes, Hammond also launched the Urban Entertainment Company fHammond Family Entertainment, Inc. providing a complete portfolio of integrated entertainment services collectively addressing the exclusive needs of the urban family market with core offerings including: A film division releasing direct to-DVD titles; a music and book publishing division; an online multi-media website including radio programming and streaming video content; theatrical presentations; as well as continued perpetual music production from new and established artists.

In January 2014, the 53-year-old Detroit native’s faith was tested in a profoundly personal way: He underwent an excruciating double knee replacement surgery – the same procedure that claimed the life of his biological dad in the early ‘90s – and as a result was unable to walk. Forced for months to rely on family members, friends and sometimes total strangers to get around – the experience was almost too much for the staunchly, self-reliant singer, who found it to be both excruciatingly painful and humiliating at times.

To cope during this dark, soul-searching period the father of two leaned heavily on the Word and of course his beloved music, the result of which is I Will Trust, arguably the most intimate album of Hammond’s more than three decade-long career. A stunningly honest collection of songs balanced equally between stomp-worthy praise reports and deep, in-the-valley ballads, Hammond gathers his best and brightest – including go-to producers (and MD) Calvin Rodgers and Phillip Feaster– to deliver this powerfully transformative musical sermon.

As we anxiously await his next venture, we can rest assured it will be nothing short of sheer excellence. Hammond never ceases to amaze as he consistently exceeds the bounds of mediocrity!

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Brian Courtney Wilson

All it takes is one listen to Brian Courtney Wilson. Then you’re wondrously hooked.

Since arriving on the scene in 2009, Wilson has managed to release 3 solo albums and share his talents as a member of Fred Hammond’s United Tenors. Throughout those projects, Wilson’s singular tenor and community-minded ministry has won the humble artist a growing host of fans and critical acclaim. As a Stellar Award winner (United Tenors), a Dove Award winner (Worth Fighting For), ASCAP “Power In Praise” Award winner, as well as a 2016 Grammy Award & Billboard Music Award nominee (Worth Fighting For), the Motown Gospel artist brings the full measure of his singing and songwriting talents to every project and performance.

Wilson’s first album, Just Love (2009) is filled with radio favorites such as “Already Here”, “Awesome God”, the self titled “Just Love” and the song that still holds the record for number of weeks on the Gospel Singles Chart with 92, “All I Need”. His second album, So Proud (2012) builds upon Brian’s signature fusion of gospel, adult R&B and soul music with stand out tracks “He Still Cares”, “Obey Anyway”, “One Day At A Time” & the autobiographical, “So Proud”.

Brian’s current project and first live recording, Worth Fighting For (2015), is produced by the critically acclaimed Aaron Lindsey and was recorded at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Houston. The smash, self-titled single, “Worth Fighting For” has been called a modern day anthem as it overflows with spirit and emotion. Accompanied by a fresh, colorful mix of contemporary R&B, gospel, rock, folk and spoken word, Wilson’s melodic tenor passionately expresses joy, love, self-doubt, grace, empowerment, victory and—above all—inspiration. As he soulfully proclaims on the title track/lead single: “Nothing can separate me from your love / When there’s so much more still worth fighting for.”

The spare yet fervent track also unwittingly laid the foundation for Wilson’s Motown Gospel debut. During an early chat about the album’s direction, Wilson recalls that Lindsey asked him a pivotal question about the state of the church. “In a world that’s become cynical about authority and organized religion, that’s an easy question to get negative about,” says Wilson. “Instead my gut reaction was it’s still worth fighting for and preserving. I didn’t know then it would be the theme of my album. But from there, God revealed the songs.” The message and feel of “Worth Fighting For” clearly connected to listeners as it was the most heard song in 2015 on Gospel Radio and spent 36 weeks in the Top 5 on the Gospel Radio charts.

Changing tempos with the album’s second single, “I’ll Just Say Yes,” Wilson cautions that you can’t realize what God’s promises are until you take the first step forward and say yes. The inspirational declaration is quickly becoming a favorite with church choirs across the country. Wilson’s realness, as well as his natural musical talents, has continued to endear him to fans. Born and raised near Chicago in Bellwood, Illinois, Wilson grew up watching and later singing in his local church’s adult male choir.

Several years after graduating from University of Illinois, Wilson relocated to Houston where he worked for Johnson & Johnson while singing and writing songs for Windsor Village United Methodist Church’s Sunday services. He was discovered when some of his songs were later played on local radio stations.

Worth Fighting For has solidified Wilson’s position in the gospel music industry as a premiere male vocalist. The album made an impact when it was released. Critics heralded the project “a masterpiece”, and said it “Leaves listeners empowered to worship.”

In 2015, the title single peaked at Number 1 on the Billboard Gospel Songs and Mediabase Gospel chart. Later that year Wilson was nominated for two Dove Awards: Contemporary Gospel/Urban Song of the Year and Traditional Gospel Album of the Year. He won the latter category, marking his first Dove Award win. Wilson also earned his first Grammy® Award nomination for the single, “Worth Fighting For” in the Best Gospel Performance/Song category.

The soulful crooner continued his rise performing on several national TV shows including The 47th Annual Dove Awards, BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel, BET Celebration of Gospel, The BMI Trailblazers Awards, The 31st Annual Stellar Awards and more. He continues to tour and has performed at Bishop TD Jakes Megafest, the Help 2.0 tour and in 2016 starred in the Los Angeles-based stage play, “I’m Only Human,” which received rave reviews.

Now Brian Courtney Wilson is ready to start the next chapter in his burgeoning career. “I love how real this album sounds,” says Wilson. “And that’s one of the things I pray for: to create a great catalog of music that people can lean on in good—and tough—times.”

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