The man who wears many musical colors.
Those seven words eloquently capture the multifaceted essence of Donald Lawrence. Songwriter. Producer. Composer. Music/choir director. Recording artist. The guiding force behind such No. 1 hits as “Encourage Yourself,” “Back II Eden” and “The Blessing of Abraham.” Equally at home in both the inspirational and contemporary arenas, the multiple Grammy and Stellar Award winner has collaborated with a diverse roster, including such marquee names as Karen Clark Sheard, Donnie McClurkin, Kirk Franklin, En Vogue and Mary J. Blige.
One of the most popular gospel choirs of the 1990s, Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers also managed to make waves with the secular media, similar to a handful of other Christian acts during the decade. Comprised of Lawrence plus 34 members -- from the "Tri-Cities" of Spartanburg, South Carolina plus Gastonia and Charlotte, North Carolina -- the choir debuted with the 1993 album A Songwriter's Point of View on the tiny GospoCentric label. The album eventually reached number two on the gospel charts. At the end of the year, the Tri-City Singers had become one of Billboard 's Top Ten Gospel Groups, as well as the recipient of several Stellar Awards and a nomination for the NAACP's Image Award. Second album Bible Stories followed in 1995 on Crystal Rose / Chordant Records , and the choir released a holiday LP, Hello Christmas, in 1997. Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers signed to EMI Gospel in 2000, releasing the album tri-city4.com that same summer. Go Get Your Life Back followed in 2002. Restoring the Years, a greatest-hits album with two new tracks, appeared in 2003. The next year saw the release of Lawrence's first solo album, I Speak Life. The Tri-City Singers announced the group was calling it quits in the spring of 2006, and recorded one last concert, which was released that same year as two albums, Finalé: Act One and Finalé: Act Two. Lawrence's second solo album, The Law of Confession, Part I, arrived in February of 2009, with a second part rumored on the horizon. Lawrence's next release, however, was titled YRM (Your Righteous Mind), when it appeared in 2011.
He has written and produced for the legendary Clark Sisters, Clark Sheard, Kirk Franklin and Hezekiah Walker (including No. 1 single “Souled Out”)
Lawrence & the Tri-City Singers retired in 2006, culminating their run with a cross-country, sold-out tour and a live recording, Finale. The project spun off the hits “Encourage Yourself” and “The Blessing of Abraham” with the latter spending 18 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart.
Lawrence stepped out with his first solo album, the Donald Lawrence & Co.-headlined I Speak Life, with cameos by Donnie McClurkin, Hezekiah Walker, Faith Evans, Lalah Hathaway and jazz icon Ramsey Lewis.
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