Marvin Sapp

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About Marvin Sapp

Bishop Marvin Sapp may be one of the biggest-selling artists in gospel-music history, but he has always carried himself with a down-to-earth realness that is rare among superstars in any genre, sacred or secular. His music very much follows suit. Rather than deck it out with the latest trends in pop production, the singer and pastor (born in 1967 in Grand Rapids, MI) remains committed to the tradition’s cornerstones. Boasting some of the huskiest vocals in all of contemporary gospel, he focuses on empowering ballads and worship music spanning the full spectrum of human experience: love, pain, joy, sorrow. This makes his crossover success all the more extraordinary. Following a run with the popular group Commissioned (in which he performed alongside Fred Hammond), Sapp established himself as a solo artist in 1996, notching one hit album after another, including 2010’s Here I Am, which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard album chart, a position that no other gospel artist had ever reached. But life hasn’t been all peaks for Sapp. Around the time of the release of Here I Am, he lost his wife, Dr. MaLinda Sapp, to cancer. Suddenly, Sapp was faced with the herculean tasks of raising three kids as a single father while taking full control of Grand Rapids’ Lighthouse Full Life Center Church, which he had overseen with his late wife. On just about every subsequent record, including I Win (2012), You Shall Live (2015), and Chosen Vessel (2020), there is a sense that Sapp isn’t just grappling with his own life struggles, nor only those of his fellow Christians, but for all of humanity. That’s a testament to Sapp’s humbleness as the Lord’s servant.

Grand Rapids, MI, United States
December 6, 1967
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