Fred Hammond’s newest project “Somethin’ ‘Bout Love” released on June 8 with Verity Records and scored No. 1 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart. For decades, Hammond played as one of the powerhouses and leaders of Contemporary Gospel music culture, releasing albums that fans always anticipated.
According to Nielsen Soundscan, “Somethin’ ‘Bout Love” has sold over 28,000 copies the first week.
"From the time I was young, 17 or 18 years old, I started hearing something on the inside that I was going to do something great for God," Hammond says. "There was just this knowing that God was going to have me do something. To this day I still fight for it like I haven't done the great thing yet. I hear it in my heart: 'You haven't done the great thing yet,' not in a condemning way, but to look forward to that, because there is something greater still coming yet. I don't want to die with this thing inside me. I want to leave it right here on Earth."
Hammond has also shared an interest on the theme of love like many other Gospel singers.
"I felt an urge or inspiration to talk about love. That's what the world is missing," he says. "Watching the news, that's what it's missing. When I look at the war, it's what's missing. When I think about marriages failing, that's what's missing."
"Somethin' 'Bout Love" includes a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Love's in Need of Love Today," which features Musiq and Hezekiah Walker's Love Fellowship Choir.
"He's a nice guy," Hammond says of Musiq. "We met officially at a concert in Atlanta, but then we hooked up again at Lou Rawls' Parade of Stars when we were doing an O'Jays song, 'Love Train.' We were talking and singing, and I asked him to be a part of my project."
The current single, "Celebrate (He Lives)," is getting airplay on Gospel and mainstream R&B stations. Another album highlight is "Lord, We Need Your Love" with guests Marvin Winans Sr. and Brian McKnight.
"I'd always wanted to work with Pastor Winans on a record," Hammond says. "He's a mentor of mine, and he has had a lot of influence over my singing. Brian McKnight is a good friend, and I really wanted him to be a part of this. I was a part of one of his CDs, and I just wanted him to be a part."
Hammond credited the success in his projects to God, explaining that many events in his personal life greatly shaped "Somethin' 'Bout Love." In his testimony, he shared about his divorce with his wife after their 17 year marriage. Despite hardships, Hammond shows steadfast faith in God’s love despite the remorseful events of his life.
“There was a lot broken, but even with the broken there was still time for faith and celebration," Hammond says. "'I Will Find a Way' was written out of one of most broken days. I went through a season where I cried every day, it seemed, for four or five months. Then, on one of my worst days, where I didn't want to even get out of bed, I had this track and those words came out -- how much I love God even in the midst of the worst time in my life. How much I really love him for walking through with me.”
"I just wanted to sing the songs and, 'Through the most hurting times, God is there,' " he says. "It's got to be enough. So many people in the audience are going through it, but they need to hear from somebody that God is right there with them."
In the past with CCM artists who have experienced great criticism as a result of divorce. Hammond says that some people think "you can't be human and make a mistake.” He emphasizes the mercy of Christ and the ability to see a wider way through forgiveness amidst sin.
"It's just a lot different on the gospel side," he continues. "I've watched both sides, and it’s scary if I thought that the CCM side was my bread and butter."