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This past weekend, we caught a glimpse of not only the best of the bunch when it comes to inspirational music on BET’s recent presentation of the annual Celebration of Gospel (original airdate Sunday, January 30th, encore coming Thursday, February 3rd), but there was also something rare and special that stood out above the rest. While all of the focus just might have been Steve Harvey’s comedic commentary or on our beloved Whitney Houston’s return to the stage, a group of young women in gospel stole the first half of the show’s two-hour runtime.

R&B singers Kelly Price and Chante Moore were both given mics and placed beside three of BET’s Sunday Best recent champs and finalists – Jessica Reedy, Y’Anna Crawley and Leandria Johnson, all of whom showed excellent vocal delivery. So what’s off center about this moment of worship? There seemed to be plenty of real church girls missing from the lineup.

Where were Kierra “KiKi” Sheard, Onitsha, Meaghan Williams, Adrienne Archie, Faith Evans or even Lil’ Mo? The list could definitely continue, but if any of these young ladies’ names don’t ring a bell, we seriously have much more to talk about after this post. For now we’ll examine what each one of the aforementioned ladies brought to the show last night and discuss what the others could’ve done to shake things up a bit.

Hailing from strong R&B/soul backgrounds, it’s always a bit of a struggle for “church folks” to accept artists crossing the lines with ease like Kelly Price has done. She’s given us a string of heartbreak records then turned around and produced a fairly decent gospel effort, but did she deliver this week? Runs, riffs and relatively interesting asymmetrical weave were all in place. Kelly has even spoken on how she balances performing church hymns and secular music. Click the link below to listen as she expresses her thoughts and gives clarity to the subject.

KELLY PRICE ON PERFORMING INSIDE & OUTSIDE OF THE PULPIT

Chante Moore on the other hand hasn’t stepped into the spiritual side of things much to our knowledge, and to be quite honest it showed. Although her smooth R&B sound is a bit more mature, she quickly fell short against a vocal powerhouse like LeAndria and two huskier alto deliveries from Jessica and Y’Anna. It’s obvious LeAndria is the strongest of the three, but Jessica and Y’Anna are two to watch. Why? Jessica’s the only chick in the game giving us gospel from the ground up and we do mean from the ground up. Those bottom notes are incredible and almost eerie, but when you add Y’Anna’s clarity and control there’s so much to be inspired by.

So you think we’re just voicing our opinion? How about you give us yours? First, check out the video below to catch the worship medley presented by just a few of the most current “church girls” on the scene. Enjoy!

GOSPEL’S DREAMGIRLS PERFORM WORSHIP MEDLEY LIVE AT THE 2011 BET CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL

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So did you enjoy this blend of voices? What are your thoughts on the medley? What other phenomenal female voices in R&B/soul do you wish would finally record a gospel/inspirational album? Do you have issues with R&B artists attempting to sing gospel – whether they come from the church or not? In your opinion, where are the real church girls?

Share your thoughts below on our message board or join the ongoing discussions on our Facebook Fan Page.

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