For nearly three decades, Paul Porter has endeared himself to Gospel music lovers around the world. As a founding member, lead vocalist, and songwriter of the legendary group The Christianaires, he earned numerous nominations and awards—including GRAMMY®, Dove, and Stellar awards—and was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
While his musical accomplishments are impressive, his personal testimony of triumph over illness is nothing short of miraculous. “In 1996, I had an aneurysm,” Paul shares. I couldn’t walk or talk, and I lost my memory. I stayed in the bed maybe a year and a half. From 1996-2006 I went through all of the transitions—from the bed to the wheelchair to the walker to the cane. In June 2006, I dropped the cane!”
For his debut project on Tre’Myles Music/Motown Gospel/ Mars On Sunday Paul chose to enhance his undeniable gifts as both songwriter and vocalist with the urban genius of one of today’s most successful production duos, Blac Elvis and Harold Lilly. While the high-profile team have served up hits for artists as diverse as Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx, Fergie, and Alicia Keys, their roots run deep in Gospel. Lilly penned a recent Gospel radio hit, “It’s All God,” recorded by The Soulseekers featuring Pastor Marvin L. Winans. And Blac Elvis’ connection to Gospel began when he was a teenager playing keyboards for Paul and The Christianaires.
“The chemistry of Blac Elvis and Paul Porter is so strong because when he was 17-19 year old I pressed him so hard to be excellent,” Paul explains. “When we got back together in his 30s and me in my 50s, there was a respect there.” Their unique chemistry underlies every song in this soulful collection.
The first single, the vibey and soulful “F.R.E.E.,” brings together two of Gospel’s greatest male voices, Paul Porter and Smokie Norful. Although the two had spent years passing each other in airports around the country, this was their first experience in the studio together.
Without question, the most personal song on the project is the churchy anthem “You Can’t Give Up.” “When I heard that melody, it was so spiritual that I started hearing a song that would give people encouragement off of what I had been through with my illness,” Paul shares. That’s why I wrote ‘You Can’t Give Up.’ God brought me from subzero to 100 percent.”
With F.R.E.E., Gospel legend Paul Porter takes the next step in his remarkable journey as a songwriter, as a vocalist, and as a man. Paul explains quite simply, “Every song on here is part of my life.”