The Gospel Music Association (GMA) has announced it will induct Reverend Al Green, Sandi Patty, Frances W. Preston and the recently deceased Vestal Goodman into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
There will be a Hall of Fame Awards show, hosted by Pat Poone, on Feb. 11 at Trinity Music City, Hendersonville, where the four will be will honored.
The four will join GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame's list of 125 members, which includes Elvis Presley, Mahalia Jackson, Amy Grant, Bill and Gloria Gaither, and Billy Graham.
"The newest inductees for the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame exemplify the great diversity and history of Christian and gospel music," said John W. Styll, president of the GMA. "Their contributions to our culture have had a profound and lasting impact and will be forever remembered by this honor."
Vestal Goodman, who recently passed away on Dec.27 at the age of 74, was notified in December of her induction before her death. She received the news of her induction with humility but prided the affects of gospel music.
"I still remember many years ago the call I received asking me if I would be interested in helping to start an organization called The Gospel Music Association. How proud I am of all the diversified styles of music and all the people that gospel music has reached for Christ," said Goodman. "Today I’m so very honored and humbled that the GMA has selected me to be inducted in the Hall of Fame."
Goodman, known as the "Queen of Gospel Music", was in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1998 when she sang as part of the Happy Goodman Family. She was the first artist to receive Female Vocalist of the Year Dove Award in 1969 and was known to be a pioneer in gospel music broadcasting under "The Gospel Singing Jubilee." Bill and Gloria Gaither also had the pleasure of working with Goodman as part of their "Homecoming" series.
Winner of seven gospel Grammy Awards, Al Green first started his career touring with The Green Brothers and later became an ordained pastor of Full Gospel Tabernacle in 1976. In 1995, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. During the 44th Annual Grammy Awards Show, Green received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Achievement Award to Al Green in a special televised segment on the 44th Annual Grammy Awards Show. Green credits his acheivements to God.
"I acknowledge my voice as a gift from God and sharing it with others has been the joy of my life," said Green. "Thanks to the GMA for including me with so many other gospel greats who share a love for God and music."
Sandi Patty has won five Grammy Awards and of her 39 Dove Awards, 11 named her Female Vocalist of the Year. Inspite of her numerous awards, being inducted as part of GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame still brings her a great sense of joy.
"It is an overwhelming honor to be part of the Hall of Fame family. It has been an honor to share my journey with Christ through music for these many years and to have the affirmation of my piers means so much. God has been faithful through the ups and the downs of my life and it is my greatest joy to honor Him in all that I do. Thank you from the deepest depths of my very soul. This means more than anyone can possibly know," said Patty.
The Hall of Fame is not only for gospel music artists but includes a non-performer category to which Frances W. Preston was inducted. She is currently the BMI president and CEO after receiving the title in 1986. She has worked for the performing rights organization since 1958. She is the Chairperson and President of the board of the Gospel Music Association and President of the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research.
"Gospel music, in all its rich styles and traditions, is one of the cornerstones of American music. It has evolved over the years into a form as easily acceptable to the pop audience as it is to the religious community. That is a testament to the commitment of the Gospel Music Association and all its members. I was proud to serve as Chairperson and President of the GMA and accept induction into the Hall of Fame with a great deal of pride and humility," said Preston.