Gospel singers for a long time had to sing without musical accompaniment outside of clapping and stomping - black gospel music has a strong tradition of using the human hands and feet as instruments. More recently, these hymns and songs feature the same strong harmonies, but also organs to tambourines to electric guitars. Beginning in the 1920s and 1930s, gospel artists became some of the most popular singers in the world. The best gospel singers are wildly popular in the Christian community are closely associated with other Christian singers. Today, within the Christian community, gospel singers are as, if not more popular than Christian rock bands, which is saying a lot.

So, who are the best gospel singers? Any list of gospel artists has to include male gospel singers like Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, BeBe Winans, and Fred Hammond, as well as female Christian singers like CeCe Winans, Yalonda Adams and Shirley Caesar. These gospel singers are considered some of the best in the genre and it's with good reason that they're at or near the top of this poll. The best gospel artists are well represented on this list and with good reason. When you think of Christian singers and gospel artists, you should be able to use this list as a great point of reference.

Top ten best gospel singers over the years:


  • Kirk Franklin
  • CeCe Winans
  • Sinach
  • Frank Edwards
  • Yolanda Adams
  • Israel Houghton
  • Don Moen
  • Le'Andria Johnson
  • Dorinda Clark-Cole
  • Marvin Winans

1. Kirk Franklin


Kirk Franklin

Born: 26 January 1970, Fort Worth, Texas, United States

Kirk Dewayne Franklin is an American choir director, gospel musician, singer, songwriter, and author. He is best known for leading urban contemporary gospel choirs such as The Family, God's Property, and One Nation Crew among many others; and has won numerous awards, including 15 Grammy Awards.


A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Franklin was raised by his aunt, Gertrude, having been abandoned as a baby by his mother. Gertrude recycled aluminum cans to raise money for Kirk to take piano lessons from the age of four. Kirk excelled and was able to read and write music, while also playing by ear.

2. CeCe Winans


CeCe Winans

Born: 8 October 1964, Detroit, Michigan, United States

Priscilla Marie Winans Love, known professionally as CeCe Winans, is an American gospel singer who has won 12 Grammy Awards and sold over 15 million records worldwide. She is the best-selling female gospel artist of all time, as of 2015.


CeCe was a close friend of Whitney Houston and godmother to her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. On February 18, 2012, she performed "Don't Cry for Me" and "Jesus Loves Me" at Houston's funeral, at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. Winans is also a good friend of Bridget E. Hilliard, co-pastor of New Light Christian Center (Houston, Austin, Beaumont).

3. Sinach


Sinach

Born: 30 March 1973, Lagos, Nigeria

Osinachi Joseph (née Kalu), known professionally as Sinach, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and senior worship leader at Loveworld. She has released several gospel hit songs, including "Way Maker", "I Know Who I Am", "Great Are You Lord", "Rejoice", "He Did It Again", "Precious Jesus", "The Name of Jesus", "This Is My Season", "Awesome God", "For This", "I Stand Amazed", "Simply Devoted" and "Jesus is Alive". Sinach received a Bethlehem Hall of Faith certificate of commemoration during her visit to Isreal in December 2017.


In March 2019, the visuals for Sinach's "Way Maker" became the third Nigerian video to garnered 100 millions views on YouTube behind Davido's "Fall" and Yemi Alade's Johnny". "Way Maker" has been covered by multiple Christian artists such as Michael W. Smith, Darlene Zschech, Leeland, Bethel Music, and Mandisa.

In September 2019, Sinach became the first gospel artist from Africa to tour India, headlining concerts with several thousands in attendance.

4. Frank Edwards


Frank Edwards

Born: 22 July 1989, Enugu, Nigeria

Frank Ugochukwu Edwards is a Nigerian contemporary gospel singer and songwriter from Enugu State. He is the founder and owner of the record label Rocktown Records, which is home to recording artists such as Edwards himself, Gil, Divine, King BAS, Nkay, David, Dudu and Micah Heavens, among others.


Frank Edwards was born into a family of seven. His birth name is Frank Ugochukwu Edwards. He was born in Enugu state of Nigeria. He has five siblings. He began singing at the age of ten. He learned to play the piano from his father when he was young. In his teenage years, he became a born-again Christian. He has six albums and many hit singles to his name. He has established himself as one of the best leading gospel artiste in Nigeria.

5. Yolanda Adams


Yolanda Adams

Born: 27 August 1961, Houston, Texas, United States

Yolanda Yvette Adams is an American gospel singer, record producer, actress, and radio host of her own nationally syndicated morning gospel show. She has sold nearly 10 million albums worldwide according to SoundScan. Adams is known as the "Queen of Contemporary Gospel Music" and the "First Lady of Modern Gospel".


On December 11, 2009, Billboard named her the No. 1 Gospel Artist of the last decade In the same chart, her album Mountain High...Valley Low was acknowledged as the best gospel album.

6. Israel Houghton


Israel Houghton

Born: 19 May 1971, Oceanside, California, United States

Israel Houghton is an American Christian music singer, songwriter, producer and worship leader. Houghton is usually credited as Israel & New Breed.


Houghton produced an album by Michael Gungor, Bigger Than My Imagination, which was described as "one of the year's best worship albums" in a 2003 Christianity Today review.

7. Don Moen


Don Moen

Born: 29 June 1950, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Moen's first album for Hosanna! Music, Give Thanks, became the label's bestseller. Produced by Tom Brooks, Give Thanks went on to be certified Gold by the RIAA. Moen followed this with a number of albums of his own including two, En Tu Presencia and Trono De Gracia, in Spanish. God with Us won the Dove Award for Best Musical. On an Asian tour in 1999 he recorded The Mercy Seat at Singapore Indoor Stadium and Heal Our Land at Yoido Park in South Korea, which was released in 2000. One of Moen's albums, I Will Sing, was recorded at Christian Broadcasting Network.


God Will Make a Way: The Best of Don Moen was released in 2003 and features 19 greatest hits. The title song was written for his sister-in-law and her husband, whose oldest son died in an auto accident while their other three children survived but were seriously injured. Moen's Hiding Place became his first studio album which was recorded at Paragon Studios in Franklin, Tennessee, and was released in the autumn of 2006. I Believe There Is More released in late 2008. His third studio recording titled Uncharted Territory (funded successfully through Kickstarter) released on March 27, 2012. His new Christmas album, Christmas: A Season of Hope, was released on October 22, 2012, and some songs were recorded at a studio in Czech Republic. Moen has released a new album titled Hymnbook as a celebration of reaching over 1 million likes on his Facebook page.

8. Le'Andria Johnson


Le'Andria Johnson

Born: 23 January 1983, Palatka, Florida, United States

Le'Andria Delores Johnson is an American gospel musician and singer-songwriter. She was the season three winner of the BET gospel singing competition show Sunday Best. Johnson's Sunday Best coronation song, "I Shall Leap into My Destiny", co-written by Johnson, entered the Billboard Gospel chart at number 1.


Johnson's post-Sunday The Awakening of Le'Andria Johnson was released on August 23, 2011, Music World Entertainment Gospel and Music World Music. The album debuted at number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Gospel Albums, number 3 on the U.S. Billboard Independent Albums, and number 24 on the Billboard 200. Johnsons' second major-label album The Awakening of Le'Andria Johnson, which included seven new songs, was released on February 14, 2012. Johnson is the first Sunday Best contestant to receive a Grammy Award, which she won in 2012 for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance.

9. Dorinda Clark-Cole


Dorinda Clark-Cole

Born: 19 October 1957, Detroit, Michigan, United States

Dorinda Grace Clark–Cole is an American gospel singer, musician, songwriter, and evangelist. Clark–Cole is best known as a member of family vocal group The Clark Sisters and as a daughter of pioneering choral director Mattie Moss Clark. As a member of The Clark Sisters, Clark–Cole has won three Grammy Awards.


Clark-Cole has been evangelizing and making speaking engagements annually for over 20 years, along with her singing career and being a wife and mother. Clark–Cole married Gregory Cole on December 2, 1978 and together they now have 2 children, Nikkia Cole and Gregory "Jay" Cole Jr. Dr. Cole also has two grandchildren. Clark–Cole ministers nationally as well as internationally in countries such as England, Japan, Germany, France, Korea and South Africa. She made history in South Africa, having been the first woman to minister in the pulpit to over 4,000 people.

10. Marvin Winans


Marvin Winans

Born: 5 March 1958, Detroit, Michigan, United States

Marvin Lawrence Winans is an American pastor and gospel singer, and a member of the musical Winans family. He is also known for his recurring role in the hit show Tyler Perry's House of Payne.


On June 26, 2012 Winans released "Marvin L Winans Presents The Praise and Worship Experience" on his own label, MLW Productions Inc. The album features: Doen Moen, Marvin Sapp, Donnie McClurkin, Mary Mary, Mom Winans, Roderick Dixon, Bishop Paul Morton amongst others and was recorded at Winans' church in Detroit, Mi.

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