Kim Burrell

Kim Burrell
Birth name Kimberly Burrell
Born (1972-08-26) August 26, 1972
Origin Houston, Texas, U.S.
Genres Gospel, Jazz
Occupation(s) Singer, Songwriter, Arranger, Producer, Senior Pastor
Instruments Vocals, Piano
Years active 1989–present
Labels Pearl Records, Tommy Boy Gospel, Elektra, Epic/Sony Gospel, Shanachie Records
Associated acts Whitney Houston, CeCe Winans

Kimberly "Kim" Burrell (born August 26, 1972) is an American gospel singer from Houston, Texas. She calls her musical style jazz gospel. Though she is comparatively new to the gospel music industry, having only performed since 1989, she has quickly become one of the most influential voices in the genre, often said to be "this generation's Ella Fitzgerald."[1] In 2010, she founded The Love & Liberty Fellowship Pentecostal Overcoming Holy Church, where she serves as Senior Eldress/Overseer-Bishop.


Life and career

Though Burrell battled double pneumonia for eight years as a child,[2] she performed her first solo with the church choir at the age of only one year old singing Andraé Crouch's "Hallelujah Praise."[3] She is the daughter of a pastor in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). Burrell began her gospel career proper performing with Reverend James Cleveland's GMWA Youth Mass Choir (also known as Rev. James Cleveland's Kids), Trinity Temple Full Gospel Mass Choir of Dallas and The Inspirational Sounds Mass Choir of Houston.[3]

In 1996, she appeared on Ricky Dillard & New G's "Worked It Out" album, as the feature on the reprise of "Jesus Paid It All," which is credited as the turning point of her national career.

Her first independent album, Try Me Again, was released on the Texas-based boutique label Pearl Records in 1995. Though limited distribution kept the album from nationwide recognition, it did build a strong reputation that led to her being signed to Tommy Boy Gospel and the now-classic Everlasting Life, produced by Asaph Alexander Ward. The album performed well and peaked at #12 on the Billboard Gospel Charts.[3]

Quickly becoming known as a virtuoso vocalist and pianist, it seemed only logical to produce a live album, which Burrell recorded in November 2000 at the annual COGIC Convention in Memphis, Tennessee. Though the recording of the concert was widely said to be troubled, requiring notably some overdubs and post-production, the resulting Live In Concert album released in 2001 satisfied eager fans and earned Burrell a Grammy nomination for Best Soul Gospel Album in 2002.

Though her then-label Tommy Boy Gospel closed shortly after the release of Live In Concert, by 2002, she had already signed a recording contract with Elektra Records[4] who had newly considerable success in the gospel market with signing Yolanda Adams and Karen Clark Sheard. Unfortunately, this contract yielded only a guest appearance on the all-star gospel track Missy Elliott-produced "Higher Ground" which first appeared as a bonus track on Missy's album Miss E... So Addictive,[5] but was later featured on Karen Clark Sheard's 2nd Chance album.

Since that time, Burrell has become a wife and mother to a son by the name of Christian. She has continued to perform live and to collaborate with other artists. Though only intermittently active as a recording artist, Burrell has established and hosts the Ephesians 4 conference annually to show up-and-coming singers, dancers and other artists how to improve the quality of their craft.

At the close of a gospel industry retreat hosted by Dr. Bobby Jones, a local woman named Kathleen Goodin had stopped breathing, prompting a call for paramedics, as well as a call for prayer. While CPR procedures were underway, Burrell initiated a healing prayer. After escorting Goodin out on a stretcher, those remaining were informed that the woman had died. Adamant about praying with the woman again, Burrell followed the ambulance to the hospital. When she finally convinced medical staff to allow her to pray with the woman a second time, reportedly Burrell prayed "Kathleen Goodin, take off your grave clothes." By the time Burrell left the hospital, the woman was miraculously breathing on her own.[6] The article's reporter later exclaimed, "if I ever get sick, somebody call Kim Burrell!"[7]

Widespread influence

Burrell was featured in a half-hour MTV special From The Church To The Charts in conjunction with the gospel themed motion picture Fighting Temptations. Among those who count Burrell as an influence are such contemporaries as Jessica Simpson,[8] Beyoncé Knowles and Faith Evans. In 2004, Burrell made an unlikely guest turn along with Kelly Price on R. Kelly's "3-Way Phone Call" playing the part of Price's "prayer partner" in the soap-opera-like song.[9]

There are many instances of established artists who laud Burrell:


Kim Burrell's musical impact is widespread: she has released two new recordings (2009's No Ways Tired and 2011's The Love Album) since 2001's Live In Concert and nearly a decade has passed since her 1998 national debut Everlasting Life. Details of new recordings have periodically surfaced, some of which are listed below:

Burrell released her first studio album in 11 years, entitled No Ways Tired on April 7, 2009 through Shanachie Records.[19] The album features covers of classic gospel songs like "My Faith Looks Up To Thee," "What A Friend We Have In Jesus," "O Lamb Of God" and "I Surrender All," as well as the classic James Cleveland song after which the album is named.[20]

On May 17, 2011, her highly anticipated The Love Album was released on Shanachie Records. In its first week after being released, it was #5 on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart, #166 on the Billboard 200 chart, and was the #2 most downloaded Gospel album on iTunes. The Love Album was widely acclaimed for the vocal ingenuity displayed by Ms. Burrell and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Gospel Album and two Stellar Awards for Contemporary Female of the Year and Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year, the latter of which she won. The lead single "Sweeter" also won the 2012 Dove Award for Urban Recorded Song of the Year.

Selected discography





Year Title Artist Album Label
1990 "Praise Him" GMWA National Youth Mass Choir Win The World For Christ Sweet Rain
1996 "Jesus Paid It All" Ricky Dillard & New G Worked It Out Crystal Rose
1998 "Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus (Remix)" Trinity Temple Mass Choir featuring Kim Burrell Gospel Out-Takes: Unreleased Music Tyscot
2000 "Woman" Kim Burrell with Montrel Darrett J2K Jesus 2000 EMI Gospel
2000 "God's Favor" Tri-City Singers featuring Karen Clark-Sheard, Kim Burrell, and Kelly Price EMI Gospel
2001 "Special Place" Kim Burrell Thank You (Unreleased) Bad Boy
2002 "The Lord Will Make A Way Somehow" Hezekiah Walker & The Love Fellowship Choir Family Affair II: Live At Radio City Music Hall Verity
2002 "Higher Ground" Missy Elliott feat. Yolanda Adams, Dorinda Clark Cole, Karen Clark-Sheard, Mary Mary & Kim Burrell Miss E...So Addictive Elektra
2002 "The Moment I Prayed" Kirk Whalum featuring Kim Burrell The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter II Word
2002 "I'm Gonna Praise Him" Kim Burrell Gospel Today Presents: Praise and Worship 2002 Verity
2003 "We Praise You Lord" Shirley Caesar featuring Kim Burrell Shirley Caesar & Friends Word
2003 "Go Tell It" Gary Mayes & Nu Era featuring Kim Burrell Go Tell It: The N.E. X-Perience, Vol. 2 Gvm Soul Muzick
2003 "I Pray On Christmas" Harry Connick, Jr. featuring Kim Burrell Harry For The Holidays (DVD-only bonus track) Columbia
2003 "Try Jesus"
"O When I Come"
"Family That Prays Together"
The Stewart Singers featuring Kim Burrell Back to the Roots Independent
2004 "3-Way Phone Call" R. Kelly featuring Kim Burrell & Kelly Price Happy People/U Saved Me Jive
2004 "You Can Change" Tye Tribbett & G.A. featuring Kim Burrell Life Columbia/Sony Gospel
2005 "Soldier" The Andrews Brothers featuring Kim Burrell Free Indeed Sic Records
2005 "If Your Love Cannot Be Moved" Stevie Wonder featuring Kim Burrell A Time 2 Love Motown
2005 "Not Until" Lexi featuring Kim Burrell Crusty Feet in the Valley [Live] Holy Music
2006 "Everything Will Be Alright (reprise)" Tye Tribbett & G.A. featuring Kim Burrell Victory Live Columbia/Sony Gospel
2006 "All These People" (single) (all proceeds to New Orleans Habitat Musicians' Village) Harry Connick Jr featuring Kim Burrell Oh My NOLA Columbia
2007 "Over and Over Again" VaShawn Mitchell featuring Kim Burrell Promises Tyscot
2007 "Journey" Richard Smallwood featuring Kim Burrell Journey: Live In New York Verity
2007 "If You Never" Byron Cage featuring Kim Burrell & J. Moss Live At the Apollo: The Proclamation GospoCentric/Zomba Gospel
2007 "Try" Marvin Winans featuring Kim Burrell Alone But Not Alone PureSprings Gospel
2007 "I Come To Thee" Sean Jones featuring Kim Burrell Kaleidoscope Mack Avenue
2007 "You're the Reason" Sean Jones featuring Kim Burrell Kaleidoscope Mack Avenue
2008 "I Understand" Kim Burrell, Rance Allen, BeBe Winans, Mariah Carey & Hezekiah Walker's Love Fellowship Tabernacle Choir Randy Jackson's Music Club: Volume One Concord Music Group
2008 "He Has Made Me Glad" Tye Tribbett & GA featuring Kim Burrell Stand Out Columbia/Integrity
2008 "Mathematics of Love" [12] George Clinton featuring Kim Burrell George Clinton and Some Gangsters of Love Shanachie Records
2008 "Song for the Hopeful" Harry Connick, Jr. featuring Kim Burrell What a Night! A Christmas Album Columbia/Sony
"Let There Be Peace On Earth
2012 "I Win" John P. Kee featuring Kim Burrell Life & Favor Kee Music Group
"My Worship Remix
2012 "With You" James Fortune featuring Kim Burrell & Kelly Price Identity E1 Entertainment
2016 "Godspeed" Frank Ocean featuring Kim Burrell Blonde Def Jam



  1. Murray, Jawn (December 14, 2004). "JAWN'S JUICE #27 - VOL. lll". EURweb.
  2. 1 2 North, Stan (2001). "Interview With Kim Burrell: Glorious Praise".
  3. 1 2 3 "Diva for the New Millennium: An Interview with Kim Burrell".
  4. Murray, Jawn (March 12, 2002). "#3 JAWN'S JUICE / MARCH 12, 2002". EURweb.
  5. "Missy Elliott has raised the bar on hip-hop".
  6. Murray, Jawn (December 12, 2005). "Shining Moment: The BV Buzz with Jawn Murray". AOL Black Voices.
  7. Murray, Jawn (December 13, 2005). "Jawn's Juice #19– Vol. IV".
  8. Bass, Lance (August 2001). "Jessica Simpson - Brief Article - Interview". Interview.
  9. Bonner, Gerard (August 2004). "R. Kelly: U Saved Me".
  10. Thomas, Nathan (December 1999). "The Gospel According to Nathan....Book 1".
  11. Scaggs, Austin (June 19, 2006). "Why Is Nelly Furtado's Album So Loud". Rolling Stone.
  12. 1 2 Graff, Gary (2008-06-27). "George Clinton Goes 'Gangster' On New Album".
  13. "Gospel Newsbits". EURweb.
  14. "Tonex: Out The Box in 2004 (Interview)".
  15. Murray, Jawn (August 28, 2006). "The BV Buzz with Jawn Murray". AOL BlackVoices.
  16. "A Gospel Recap of 2006: The Demise of Sony Gospel".
  17. Bonner, Gerard. "Video Interview: Kim Burrell". Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  18. "News". Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  19. 1 2 "Kim Burell: No Ways Tired". Retrieved 2009-03-16.
  20. "Kim Burell to Release New Album". 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
  21. "Kim Burrell: Special Place (CD Single)". Retrieved 2008-06-28.
  22. "19th Annual Gospel Music Excellence Award Results".
  23. "15th Annual Stellar Award Winners".
  24. 1 2 "2012 Stellar Award Winners Vashawn Mitchell's Triumphant and Kirk Franklin's Hello Fear Take Home Most Awards + Red Carpet Fashion's Finest".
  25. "Winners of the 43rd Annual GMA Dove Awards...".

External links

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