Nashville, TN – Ricky Dillard has enjoyed a triumphant, history-making year that will go down in the record books both literally and figuratively.
In June, Light Records released Dillard’s ninth album, AMAZING. The live set marks the 25th anniversary of his notable choir, the New Generation Chorale, and is a sonic masterpiece that has been at the top of the charts since its debut.
The album’s first single – the title track, “Amazing” – just became the longest running song at Gospel radio this decade, with a phenomenal 25 weeks in the #1 slot. This enormous accomplishment was instrumental in garnering Dillard a Grammy nomination for Best Gospel Album – his third nomination for a Grammy Award. Additionally, Ricky Dillard & New G is named as 2014’s Top Gospel Duo/Group in the year-end issue of Billboard Magazine (on stands December 12).
“This has been a mind blowing experience and season. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this type of victory in my life. The journey has been wonderful and rewarding,” says a jubilant Dillard. “I have long awaited a number one song. Of course, it doesn’t feel good when you see God bless all your friends and you are still waiting your turn. My season has finally come!! This season has been rewarding, overwhelming, empowering and encouraging and it is a true celebration to still be here after two and half decades. This assignment in music has been really, really worth it all.”
Phil Thornton, Vice President and General Manager of Light Records, says: “Ricky Dillard is an electrifying and consummate minister of Gospel music who has been nothing short of consistent during his 25 years as an artist. It is an honor to enjoy this extraordinary moment with him and, on behalf of Light Records, I congratulate him for these well-deserved accolades.”
Last month, Dillard was formally installed as Minister of Music at Ebenezer A.M.E. Church in Fort Washington, Maryland. “I see him as the continuation of the blessings of the music ministers who have been at the church starting with Ike Harris and then Donald Vales and then Byron Cage,” Co-Pastor Jo Ann Browning told The Washington Post of Dillard’s appointment. “We see the pulpit and the music pit as one marriage. The music helps the house get ready for the word.”
Ricky Dillard’s recording career began was catapulted in 1989 when his New Generation Chorale won the McDonald’s Chicagoland Choir Competition. Shortly thereafter, Ricky Dillard and New G recorded their debut album The Promise, which garnered a Grammy nomination and a GMWA Excellence Award. Dillard then worked with Patti LaBelle and Albertina Walker for a PBS television special that opened the door for him to lead the choirs for the 1992 film Leap of Faith starring Steve Martin and the 1993 film Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit starring Whoopi Goldberg. By 2003, Ricky Dillard was the choir director for and featured in The Fighting Temptations starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Beyoncé Knowles.
Ricky Dillard and New G have released several instantly classic albums including Worked It Out (1996), No Limit (2000), The 7th Episode (2007), Keep Living (2011) and, finally Amazing (2014). Each album builds creatively and inspirationally on the other to cement the New G sound: high octane vocals that bring life to every word of every lyric, with pure vertical praise and worship elements as well as shed-busting urban Gospel heft. The recordings of Ricky Dillard & New G have earned four Stellar Gospel Music Awards and three Grammy Award nominations.