Cheryl Fortune's new Billboard charting single, "Fighters," highlights her domestic abuse battle with husband James Fortune, a gospel singer.
The Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter put her heart to song with her solo debut, "Fighters," and it has now made its way on the prestigious Billboard Gospel Airplay chart. Landing at No. 28, the empowering anthem is meant to inspire women who have experienced domestic violence as she has.
The music video for "Fighters" takes the concept even further and while highlighting domestic abuse it also sheds light on sex trafficking, suicide and addiction.
"The last two years have been extremely difficult for me and my family but we're fighting our way through it," Cheryl said in a statement shared with The Christian Post. "This song was born out of that situation and it's a message of hope to anyone who has a fight on their hands. Whether it's a relationship, trouble on the job or a health crisis, you can fight it and win."
"Fighters" paves the way for her upcoming solo album debut which has not yet been titled. The full release is expected this summer.
Over the years, Cheryl has written, produced and arranged background vocals for recording sessions by her now estranged husband James Fortune and his group & FIYA along with other gospel music notables.
Last year, their personal life made headlines when Fortune pleaded guilty in a Houston, Texas, courtroom to a third-degree felony charge of assault–family violence against Cheryl. The incident, which occurred in October 2014, resulted in her being admitted to the hospital.
He served five days in jail and was given five years probation with 175 hours of community service and was ordered to attend a "batterer's intervention" program.
"As I'm sitting in the back of the cop car, I watch officers bring my children out of our home. My wife is at the hospital, where she reported my assault. We had just gotten back from a trip to South Africa. My wife and I had an argument and I decided to physically remove her from our bedroom. In doing so, I assaulted her. I abused my wife physically," Fortune said during an interview with Essence magazine in September 2016.
The popular gospel singer told Essence that his need for control is what fueled his abusive behavior. He also talked about the dark pit he found himself in after the public heard about the felony charge.
"I could not see my wife or my kids for months, I wasn't welcome at a lot of churches. That's when you feel you have nothing to live for and the suicidal thoughts begin. When I was contemplating ending it all, I had to talk to myself: James, you've encouraged everybody else to trust God, and now you have to believe," Fortune said.
The Christian Post reported last March that Fortune said he once thought of taking a "whole bottle of Xanax," but after attending a Tasha Cobbs conference for worship leaders called iLead he changed his mind.
Fortune and Cheryl are now legally separated and he is barred from having any contact with her for five years.
Despite the aftermath of the past two years, the Grammy award winner said he doesn't believe all hope is lost.
"It took a while for me to admit I was an abuser. I wouldn't be healed if I didn't take accountability. I realized that I'm an abuser and I may never be forgiven or trusted again. When you release the shame, you can live again. God still has a purpose for my life," he told Essence.
Fortune has also been creating music and recently released a single called "I Forgive Me."