Gospel stars come to Philly for Praise 103.9 concert

Donald Lawrence will be featured in the Praise 103.9 Concert this Saturday. Credit: Capitol Entertainment.
Donald Lawrence will be featured in the Praise 103.9 Concert this Saturday. Credit: Capitol Entertainment

Gospel star Donald Lawrence marked his 20th year in the music business late last year with the hit album, “20 Year Celebration, Vol. 1: Best for Last.”

His next 20 years might be a bit different.

“I had never enjoyed the moment because was so busy working in the moment,” says Lawrence, one of the performers in the Praise 103.9 Concert, March 29 at the Liacouras Center. “I’m probably different than a lot of artists because I started in the background. I started being an MD [musical director], being a producer, and so my mentality is to make sure that everything is OK, and everybody is OK, as opposed to me being an artist and everybody making sure I’m OK.”

Part of this new reasoning is that Lawrence is OK after a cancer scare in 2012.

“It was pretty intense” says Lawrence, who is based in Chicago. “I feel God has given us the power to face challenges and giants, that’s kind of how I approached it. I moved to L.A. for treatment and stayed there for four months. I took the time off to deal with it and came back to work.”

Lawrence has been a constant force in contemporary gospel over the last two decades, leading his own groups, the Tri-City Singers and Donald Lawrence and Company, and working behind the scenes with stars like Karen Clark Sheard, Kirk Franklin, En Vouge and Stephanie Mills.

He’s been a power player in the move to mainstream gospel music.

“My goal is the make sure it’s music for everyone, whether you’re in church or not,” Lawrence says. “It’s to empower and uplift. I feel there are a lot of people in church who are not uplifted and not empowered and inspired — they’re just there. And then there are a lot of people who don’t ever go to church. I prefer my music to not be preachy. I like for it to be biblically based and what I call spiritual music.”

He’s coming to the right place. The Praise 103.9 Inspiration and Music Conference at the Philadelphia Convention Center, prior to the concert, will feature star-studded panels taking on everything from songwriting to personal finances.

Afterward, the Praise 103.9 Concert features the biggest names in gospel music today, including Israel Houghton, Hezekiah Walker, James Fortune, Tamela Mann, Isaac Carree, Smokie Norful and a newly solo Erica Campbell, formerly one-half of the duo Mary Mary.

“It’s scary and it’s exciting and it’s fun, there so much unexpected but I am enjoying all of it,” says Campbell, who just released her self-titled solo debut this week. “Standing by myself is good for me. Now it’s just what I want and I’m really liking it.”

 

Erica Campbell is going solo at this year's Praise 103.9 Concert. Credit: Ignition PR.
Erica Campbell is going solo at this year’s Praise 103.9 Concert. Credit: Ignition PR

 

Praise 103.9 Concert
March 29, 6 p.m.
Liacouras Center
1776 N.Broad St.
$35-$65
www.liacourascenter.com

Praise 103.9’s 4th Annual Inspiration and Music Conference
March 29, 10 a.m.
Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St.
$55-$130
www.praisephilly.com



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.