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'I never stopped doing gospel music,' says Prodigal ... as he celebrates 18 years in gospel music

Published:Friday | September 1, 2017 | 12:00 AM

With a range of songs permeating the airwaves, gospel recording artiste Prodigal Son is now celebrating 18 years in gospel music.

Attacking head-on the controversy that had surfaced a few years ago regarding his title as a gospel artiste, Prodigal told The Sunday Gleaner, that like most Jamaicans, he had become frustrated with the crime scourge that was overwhelming the nation at the time and wanted to help do something about it.

"I wanted to add my voice of frustration regarding corruption and injustice, so I announced my intention to do so with my music," he said.

Prodigal Son noted that while mainstream media gave an accurate account of his sentiments, social media completely misconstrued his intentions.

"Rumours and speculations spread like wild fire, and a popular conclusion surfaced that I was no longer doing gospel music. I am an ordained minister of the Gospel and an imperfect human being, but I have never stopped doing gospel music. My joy will be complete when I hear Jesus say 'Well done!'" he said, adding that even though he has added his voice to the cry for justice, the truth remains that only Jesus Christ can offer any permanent solutions to the nation's plight.

Now celebrating this significant landmark in the gospel industry, Prodigal Son has reunited with his producer, mentor and friend, Danny Browne and will be launching his sixth album titled Pure Gold.

The gospel minister hopes to take this year of celebrations to a fever pitch on October 21 at a grand event called Pure Gold, a combination of his album launch and gospel concert featuring Prodigal Son and friends, to be held at Jamaica College.

"Already we have two new singles from the album - (Jesus Bigger and Public Praise) - enjoying heavy rotation on Christian radio," he said.

The album is produced by Danny Browne and will include a few songs which have already been released as singles - Go to God Again and Hold on Me. The album is set to feature collaborations with Jason Mighty, Kevin Downswell, Chevelle Franklyn, and a few others.

The Pure Gold album launch and gospel concert will see Prodigal Son sharing the stage with a number of prominent gospel artistes who will join him in celebrating his 18-year milestone.

"It will be an evening filled with joy and laughter as my friends and I reminisce and share our musical journey with the audience. It will be a concert like none other ever seen in Jamaica. It's my milestone, and so I will be giving my best. There will be lots of prizes and surprise giveaways, including an extraordinary gate prize," he said.

Born Calvin Whilby, the entertainer, who was recently awarded an honorary doctorate degree, has much to celebrate.

The songwriter, singer and DJ first came on the gospel scene in 1999 with the release of his first hit single, I Wish, in which he called for the salvation of some of dancehall's most popular artistes at the time.

Since then, he has gone on to release five albums, scoring numerous hit gospel songs, including World Changer, Ketch A Fire, Head Cyaa Hot So and Bongo Town.