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When Sunday ComesGospel Music in the Soul and Hip-Hop Eras$
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Claudrena N. Harold

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043574

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043574.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Through It All

Through It All

Vanessa Bell Armstrong and the Perils of Crossover

(p.154) Chapter 8 Through It All
When Sunday Comes

Claudrena N. Harold

University of Illinois Press

This chapter charts the ups and downs of one of gospel’s most talented vocalists, Vanessa Bell Armstrong. It details her early years in Detroit under Mattie Moss Clark’s tutelage and then charts her rise to superstar status in the gospel world during the early 1980s. Armstrong’s first two records on Onyx, Peace Be Still and Chosen, performed remarkably well on the gospel charts, leading to her later signing with the secular label Jive. Through an analysis of her Jive material and its uneven performance on the gospel and secular charts, this chapter underscores the dangers involved in overt crossover attempts and partnerships with secular labels unfamiliar with the Christian music market.

Keywords:   Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Peace Be Still, Chosen, Detroit, Jive Records, Onyx Records, crossover, Christian music market

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