When gospel singer and pastor Marvin Sapp's late wife, MaLinda, knew she was going to draw her last breath on Earth after a battle with colon cancer five years ago, she made sure to leave her adoring husband with some powerful last words that would eventually help inspire his 10th album.
"The greatest gift my wife gave me was a statement before she passed," Sapp, 48, told The Christian Post. "She knew that there was nothing else that they could do, she literally said to me, 'honey if you want me to be happy in my transition, promise me after I transition that you will live.'"
MaLinda's last words have seemingly transformed into Sapp's latest album titled, "You Shall Live," his 10th offering to the body of Christ through music that seems to be his most transparent work to date. Sapp is a decorated gospel musician who has been recognized with numerous accolades like 22 Stellar Awards and 10 Grammy Award nominations after 25 years in the business.
As a singer, Sapp has made history, becoming the all-time highest charting gospel artist in Billboard 's history when he released "Here I Am" in 2010. Yet, despite monumental moments like these, the artist who created songs like "Never Would Have Made It" has proven that even preachers need to be encouraged.
"I found myself going through the last four years of my life literally having to speak and declare and decree things over my life to keep me consistently encouraged. That's what the record is really about," Sapp told CP. "It's really about affirmation, declaration and us as individuals really just reciting that living is the only option and anything else outside of that isn't an option at all."
The album is the type of record that was created for a multi-generational family to enjoy with traditional worship songs like "Honor and Glory" and "Holy Spirit Overflow" bringing the elder members of the family together, and the edgier sounds of songs like "Yes You Can," that will bring the youth to their feet.
Sapp said he wanted to keep the record "churchy but funky," which is a formula he has mastered throughout the years. While he hopes to minister to people through song and make their lives better with "Yes You Can," the pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, also touches people beyond his church's walls on social media.
Whether it's speaking out against injustices or about his own personal insight, Sapp explained why he feels it is important to consistently use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to share his views with millions of people.