Fred Hammond: A 'Phenomenon' On The Gospel Chart

Play associated audio

"Fred Hammond is a phenomenon," says Danyel Smith, former editor of Billboard magazine, to NPR's Renee Montagne. The singer and bassist's "I Feel Good" has stuck around on Billboard's Gospel Songs chart for more than 30 weeks. Over the summer, Morning Edition will feature songs that are popular among different audiences and genres.

"He makes modern, urban-contemporary gospel music, and he has hit a nail on the head," Smith says. "In the gospel industry right now, there is a concerted effort to not lose young people — to create music that speaks to them and enables them to maybe nod their head to the beat as much as they're clapping their hands and raising their hands to the Lord."

She says that the secret to Hammond's success is his music's immediacy.

"It's very invitational, this record — it sounds familiar to me," says Smith. "It sounds like, 'Hey, just because we're talking about faith, it doesn't mean we all have to start speaking in some other language that we don't speak in every day to each other.' "

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Jhumpa Lahiri Finds Freedom In Italian Memoir: 'No One Expected Me To Do It'

The Interpreter of Maladies author is a successful, Pulitzer Prize-winning English-language writer. But she found writing in Italian gave her true freedom; "Language is a very messy thing," she says.
NPR

Gulf Of Mexico Open For Fish-Farming Business

For the first time, companies can apply to set up fish farms in U.S. federal waters. The government says the move will help reduce American dependence on foreign seafood and improve security.
NPR

WATCH: Republicans — Then And Now — Talking About Drug Addiction

In New Hampshire, Republican presidential candidates are using compassionate language when it comes to drug abuse. It's a marked change for a party that has advocated tough stances on the issue.
NPR

A Skeptical Review Of CBS' Super Bowl Online Streaming Success

For the first time, CBS put the full Super Bowl, with ads, online and claimed record viewership. But StreamingMedia.com's Dan Rayburn says the decision to stream is getting too much hype.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.