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Mahalia Jackson


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New Orleans, United States

Mahalia Jackson (October 26, 1911 – January 27, 1972) was an American gospel singer. Possessing a powerful contralto voice, she was referred to as “The Queen of Gospel”. Jackson became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world and was heralded internationally as a singer and civil rights activist. She was described by entertainer Harry Belafonte as “the single most powerful black woman in the United States”. She recorded about 30 albums (mostly for Columbia Records) during her career, and her 45 rpm records included a dozen “golds”—million-sellers.

“I sing God’s music because it makes me feel free,” Jackson once said about her choice of gospel, adding, “It gives me hope. With the blues, when you finish, you still have the blues.”

Jackson grew up in the “Black Pearl” section of the Carrollton neighbourhood of uptown New Orleans, Louisiana, and began singing in a Baptist church. In 1927 she moved to Chicago, Illinois, where she sang with The Johnson Brothers, one of the earliest professional gospel groups.

The Johnson Brothers broke up in the mid-1930s, and Jackson began her solo career, recording for Decca in 1937. The result, “God’s Gonna Separate the Wheat from the Tares”, was only a moderate success, but Jackson became a popular concert draw. She didn’t record again untill 1946, when she signed with Apollo Records, releasing several singles that are now highly regarded, though sales were sluggish at the time.


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  • alefspfc


    30 Mar 6:15pm Reply
  • Cat_007

    magnificent voice!

    18 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Pani_Kika89

    Can I just worship Mahalia Jackson instead of Jesus? [4] ;)

    19 Nov 2014 Reply
  • annadmakeeva

    Can I just worship Mahalia Jackson instead of Jesus? [3]

    4 Aug 2014 Reply
  • igorgeneration

    I'm not religious, but she has such an amazing voice. I can't help but listen.[2]

    9 Apr 2014 Reply
  • JuttaE

    Greated Voice ther EVER was! ♫ ♪ 💗 Լ☮Ɣ€ 💗 ♪ ♫

    13 Dec 2013 Reply
  • chazlowe116

    Mahalia's voice is amazing, but The Blind Boys of Alabama are a close second. Just heard their new album, which is a collab between them and Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. #musicalgenius

    16 Sep 2013 Reply
  • Jpierpont

    She's in the upper room...

    14 Sep 2013 Reply
  • arlenequeiroz


    24 Jun 2013 Reply
  • prime1128

    I'm not religious, but she has such an amazing voice. I can't help but listen.

    5 May 2013 Reply
  • GospelHighway

    I have loved Mahalia's music since I was a kid, bought all her albums & watched her on TV every afternoon. I read an article about her in Look or Life Magazine when I was eleven years old. It mentioned that she had a listed home telephone number in Chicago. I was a little shy, but I called her & introduced myself. She was very kind & sent me an autographed picture which I still have today. While a DJ at KYOK in Houston, Texas I met her for the first time about a year before she passed. A beautiful & loving person she was. How fortunate I was to meet her after all those years! You might listen to my favorite "Lost" recording of her's. It took many years to get it to CD. It was NEVER on an album. I was "Shocked" to find this recording/video "Hold Me" touches me today as much as it did so many years ago! Thank you for reading my memories!

    4 Feb 2013 Reply
  • rtms1988

    I worship Jesus by her voice. \o/ <3

    3 Feb 2013 Reply

    Mahalia Jackson .... I am thankful to God to be able to listen to this Great Gospel singer ... I listened to her Music as a child and .... Words cannot describe what my Soul hears and feels ... Thank you God and thank you Mahalia Jackson ....

    19 Sep 2012 Reply
  • le_petit_joe


    22 Aug 2012 Reply
  • top20fanatico

    It's a Highway to Heaven! ♥

    15 Jul 2012 Reply
  • puremusic4ever

    Various Artists - Celebrating America 01. Kirk Franklin - Intro (America The Beautiful) 02. Whitney Houston - The Star-Spangled Banner 03. Bebe Winans - Star-Spangled Banner 04. Sandi Patty - The Star-Spangled Banner 05. Bebe Winans - America America 06. Whitney Houston - America The Beautiful 07. Bebe Winans - America (My Country 'Tis Of Thee) 08. Sandi Patty - America The Beautiful 09. Bebe Winans - We're The United States Of America 10. Yolanda Adams - The Things We Do 11. Bebe Winans - Lift Every Voice And Sing 12. The Clark Sisters - Pray For The U.S.A. 13. Bebe Winans - The Battle Hymn Of The Republic 14. Yolanda Adams - Still I Rise 15. Bebe Winans - God Bless America 16. Babbie Mason - Black And Blue 17. Bebe Winans - You're A Grand Old Flag 18. Minnie Riperton - The Edge Of A Dream 19. Bebe Winans - America The Beautiful 20. Deniece Williams - Black Butterfly 21. Bebe Winans - Ultimate Sacrifice 22. Mahalia Jackson - If I Can Help Somebody

    3 Jul 2012 Reply
  • gendervariant

    I am so stoked about the Mahalia Jackson tribute at this year's celebration of gospel.

    11 Mar 2012 Reply
  • JoBeat

    я снчала и подумал что на фотке Квин Латифа

    20 Jan 2012 Reply
  • gendervariant

    Can I just worship Mahalia Jackson instead of Jesus? [2]

    1 Dec 2011 Reply
  • gendervariant

    I can not see Fantasia portraying her. I see Fantasia portraying Shirley, but not Mahalia. She isn't poised enough to pull that off.

    1 Dec 2011 Reply
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