Tonight, we were privileged to hear hits from two stalwarts of gospel music. Pastor John P. Kee and Bishop Hezekiah Walker took to Instagram to “battle it out” and the two dug deep into their respective bags of timeless hits. As Bishop Walker declared as he welcomed live viewers on, tonight was about honoring each of the men, their career and their impact on the gospel music industry, their fans and lovers of music all over the world. With the “competition” over before it began, the real winners were the gospel music lovers watching LIVE on Instagram! Tonight coupled with the hangover from The Clark Sisters film that has now garnered over 11 million views, gospel music is front and center, for another weekend!
Pastor Kee kicked things off with a go-go remix of his instant classic “I Made It Out” and Bishop Walker followed up with his inspirational anthem “Better“. The men wanted to be sure to let us know that they weren’t so much competing, but teaming up to encourage viewers in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. The men were complimentary throughout, even way into the bonus round and took time to celebrate their contemporaries like Fred Hammond and Kirk Franklin. Over the course of the night, viewership comprised of gospel and secular artists and fans of both men surged to roughly 100K as the men re-visited each phase of their careers playing the songs we love!
The battle was multi-faceted with each of the giants hosting part of the battle on their respective Instagram pages. The night was a true celebration of gospel music and choir music, specifically. The two men have impacted gospel music in their own way, but most importantly in tandem with a choir of some sort. Whether it was the New Life Fellowship Choir, VIP Seminar Choir or the Love Fellowship Choir, the men have fronted a sound that have kept choir music vibrant in churches, homes and personal music collections the world over.
For this reason alone, tonight was the celebration choir music deserved! For the better part of two hours, we were treated to music that reminded us of our childhood, our formative years in church and reminds many of us the exact moments when we fell in love with gospel music and choirs, specifically. in perfect harmony, the night of music ended with the duet featuring the gospel giants “I’ll Make It“.
Before ending what’s better labeled as the second round, the pastors once again exchanged pleasantries took time to encourage each other and those of us watching. Bishop Walker spoke to the need for unity within the gospel community as well as the church. This was the therapy those of us in the church and gospel community needed. As Bishop Walker reminded us tonight, we pray as Jesus did in John 17:21 Lord, make us one!
Bishop Hezekiah Walker
“We don’t compete, we complete!”
Well, we thought it was the end, anyway! Technical difficulties and time constraints notwithstanding, we were treated to a reprise of “Won’t He Make You Clean Inside” by Bishop Walker and “Show Up” by Pastor Kee. From there, we welcomed another round of gospel gold! How good was tonight’s battle? “Stand” by Pastor John P. Kee didn’t ‘show up’ until the bonus round!
What was your favorite song from the battle?