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James Johnson

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James Johnson is a charting, six-time Stellar Award nominee. He is a singer, composer, producer, and pianist. He is also a minister based in Richmond, Virginia, and has worked with top-shelf talent throughout the sacred music world.

Johnson was born the son of Reverend James Sr. and Barbara Johnson in Baltimore, Maryland. He began playing music formally at the age of five and regularly performed in his father’s church on both organ and drums. He attended Baltimore’s Public School system for his elementary and middle school years. During high school, he attended and graduated from the city’s prestigious Baltimore School for the Arts (other alumni include Tupac Shakur and Jada Pinkett Smith.) He later attended Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Conservatory. In 2001, he became the music minister at his father’s church, while diving deep into his musical studies, learning production and arranging in addition to composing and playing several instruments. In 2001, Minister Johnson began working in the field of music production, songwriting, and arranging. He produced, performed, recorded, and wrote for artists including 3 Wise, Alvin Slaughter, Maurette Brown-Clark, Stephen Hurd, Mark Gross, Michael Austin, Doreen Vail, and Bishop Rudolph McKissick.

In June 2008, Johnson was hired as Minister of Music, Worship and Arts at the Cedar Street Baptist Church of God, in Richmond, Virginia, his home base. Three years later, he and his pastor Dr. Anthony M. Chandler, Sr. produced the album Indeed featuring the entire music ministry and choir from Cedar Street Baptist. Johnson produced two albums for Grammy-nominated and Stellar Award-winning artist Troy Sneed: All Is Well and Awesome God. In addition, he also produced and wrote for the Arkansas Gospel Mass Choir’s 2014 album You Alone. Its best-selling title track single was co-written by Johnson and Michael McDowell; it was nominated for several Stellar Awards. In February 2016, Johnson issued his debut single, “Agree,” after suffering a relapse from multiple sclerosis. The recording received substantial national airplay and made several industry gospel charts. After regaining his health, Johnson went to work on the EP God Will which, upon its 2017 release, entered the Top Gospel Albums chart at number 13.

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