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Mary Mary

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California, United States

Mary Mary is an American gospel group, consisting of sisters Erica Monique Campbell (born April 29, 1972) and Trecina “Tina” Evette Campbell (born May 1, 1975), and are often credited for broadening the fan base of contemporary gospel in the 2000s by introducing elements of soul music and hip hop. Erica Atkins-Campbell and Trecina Atkins-Campbell were born in Inglewood, California. The Campbell (formerly Atkins) sisters grew up as part of a large family of nine children in Inglewood, California. Their parents are Thomasina (An evangelist and choir director at the Evangelistic Church of God in Christ) and Eddie (a youth minister). Because of their proximity in age, the two singers grew up closer to one another than to any of their seven siblings. The sisters quickly entered the world of church choirs, traveling gospel shows, and some television productions. All nine Atkins children were on the Bobby Jones Gospel show on BET. The sisters had their sights set on making music a career and enrolled at El Camino College to study voice. There they ran up against the divide between academic music studies and the popular musical world. “We had to study classical and sing arias, which was fine,” Erica told the Times, “but the teachers would tell us if we sang anything else it would damage our instrument.” The sisters toures with the 1995 Michael Matthews traveling gospel show Mama I’m Sorry and Sneaky. Each sister subsequently toured as a backup singer for a variety of R&B acts including Brandy.

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