Special Photo: Gospel recording artist VaShawn Mitchell won six Stellar Awards during the 27th Annual Stellar Awards show held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn.
Some will tell you that it is his smooth, melodious voice, that, they believe, ushers in the presence of God, as they listen to VaShawn Mitchell sing.
“I am aware that an anointing comes upon you for a reason and a season,” said Mitchell. “I’m extremely grateful to be used as a vehicle that God chose in this season.”
Mitchell is the director of worship and arts for both locations of Higher Living Christian Church, where Andre Landers is the senior pastor. The churches are located at 2455 Mt. Carmel Road, in Hampton, in Henry County, and at 2450 Mt. Zion Parkway, in Jonesboro, in Clayton County.
The singer recently captured international attention with his mega-hit CD entitled “Triumphant,” which features the song “Nobody Greater,” and generated 10 Stellar award nominations. He won six.
“I did not know it was going to be as big as it has become,” said Mitchell. “I did know that it was a song that needed to birth a sound into the earth. It connected with the audience. It was proven through the worship experience that God was giving inspiration and revelation throughout the message of the song.”
He was in Los Angeles, he said, driving down the street when he learned of the numerous nominations. “When I heard about it, I knew God did it, because you can’t really do something like that,” chuckled Mitchell. “The nominations factor alone was the most amazing experience for me ... So, if I had not won any awards, I would have still left with being the number one nominated artist of 2012.”
He walked away with six trophies, during the 27th Annual Stellar Awards 2012 show: “Artist of the Year;” “Male Vocalist of the Year;” “Contemporary Male of the Year;” “Urban /Inspirational Single;” “Praise and Worship CD of the Year;” and “Music Video of the Year.”
His objective for the songs he writes, produces, and sings, he said, is to point people to their source –– and not their resource.
“In 2009, so many people were going through home foreclosures and car repossessions, they were focusing on what they were losing,” he said. “God can replace it all, if we keep our trust in him.”
He said, with the success of “Triumphant,” he is scheduled to do more television appearances. He has been tapped as a judge for Black Entertainment Television’s “Sunday’s Best” gospel show.
Mitchell was born in Chicago, Ill., but raised in Harvey, Ill., by his grandmother, Jane Mitchell. She made sure he was in church every Sunday. But, he said, it was his great-grandmother, Astee Mitchell, a musician, who taught him the Baptist hymns he belts out during praise and worship services at Southern Crescent-area churches.
Mitchell said his mother, Danarvis Mitchell, was a teenager when she gave birth to him. He has a brother, Tyrice Mitchell, and a sister, Tionna Mitchell.
Over the years, Mitchell has grown into a recognized gospel songwriter. His works have been recorded by such celebrated artists as Smokie Norful (“Just Can’t Stop”), Vanessa Bell Armstrong (“Help”), and Bishop Paul Morton (“Cry Your Last Tear.”)