June 24, 2006
BMI Christian Music Awards Proclaim Dottie Peoples’s ‘Testify’ Song of the Year
Dottie Peoples is a leader among the new generation of female gospel greats, not only as a performer, but songwriter and producer as well. Her signature song, “On Time God,” is a modern gospel classic. It not only reached #1 on the gospel charts, but swept the 1995 Stellar Awards (Album, Song of the Year, Female Vocalist, Choir), earned Stellar’s prestigious James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award, and received recognition from the Gospel Music Workshop of America and the Soul Train Awards.
A native of Dayton, Ohio, Peoples is the eldest of 10 children, and the only one to exhibit an interest in music. As a youth, time spent in her grandmother’s church in Birmingham, Alabama proved pivotal. “My grandmother said I’d always be sitting at the edge of the pew watching the singers. She said that when I was little I told her ‘I’m gonna be like Mahalia Jackson some day’.”
True to her word, young Dottie began her singing “career” in high school and church choirs. Later her incredible ability garnered her an opportunity to tour with gospel legend Dorothy Norwood. While her mother declined the offer, Dottie held onto the dream of becoming a professional singer. Later she would travel briefly with Norwood, Shirley Caesar, The Five Blind Boys from Alabama, and the Rolling Stones, among others.
After a five-year stint traveling across the country as a jazz vocalist, she began working at Salem Baptist Church in Atlanta, where she joined forces with her pastor, Reverend Dr. Jasper Williams, Jr., to form Church Door Records. As the label’s General Manager, Peoples produced albums for the pastor, the choir and her first two solo efforts: Surely God Is Able and Is It Worth It All.
In 1991, she signed with Atlanta International and released Live at Salem Baptist Church. The landmark recording earned Peoples the first of an astounding 16 Stellar Award nominations. The accolades have continued for more than a decade, including multiple GMWA/Gospel Excellence Awards and a coveted Dove Award in 2000. This year the energetic performer received her second Grammy nomination, a NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Gospel Artist – Traditional, and now, two honors at the BMI Christian Music Awards, including Most Performed Song of the Year for “Testify.”
Peoples’s impressive discography includes chart-toppers Christmas with Dottie (1995), Count On God (1996), Testify (1997), The Collection (1998), God Can and God Will (1999), Show Up and Show Out (2000).
She recently released her tenth album, Churchin’ with Dottie, with tracks ranging from the hip, urban vibe of neo-soul to the down home, syncopated rhythms of traditional gospel. A capacity crowd of nearly 5,000 packed Atlanta’s famed New Birth Missionary Baptist Church to witness her “down-to-earth, up-to heaven” connection with audiences through music. Along with co-producers Dwain White and Steve Bracey, Peoples produced all 17 tracks.
Whether singing the national anthem before an Atlanta Hawks game, writing new material, producing other artists or appearing in concert, Dottie Peoples lives her credo “giving to the audience what God gave me,” to the fullest.