Fred Hammond is a renowned gospel singer, songwriter and producer who has been active in the music industry for over four decades. He is best known for his work with the group Commissioned, as well as his solo career that has produced several hits and awards. In this blog post, we will explore some of the highlights of his musical journey and the impact he has made on the gospel genre and beyond.
Hammond was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1960. He grew up in a musical family and developed a passion for singing at an early age. He joined a local church choir and later formed a vocal group with his friends called The Disciples. He also learned to play the bass guitar and became a sought-after musician in the Detroit area.
In 1982, Hammond joined Commissioned, a gospel group that blended contemporary R&B, funk and soul with traditional gospel messages. The group consisted of Hammond, Keith Staten, Karl Reid, Michael Brooks, Michael Williams and Mitchell Jones. They released their debut album, I’m Going On, in 1985 and quickly gained popularity among gospel fans. They went on to release nine more albums, including classics such as Go Tell Somebody (1986), Ordinary Just Won’t Do (1989) and State of Mind (1990). Hammond served as the main songwriter and producer for the group, as well as the lead vocalist on many songs. He also collaborated with other artists such as BeBe and CeCe Winans, The Clark Sisters and The Winans.
In 1991, Hammond decided to pursue a solo career and left Commissioned. He signed with Benson Records and released his first solo album, I Am Persuaded, in 1991. The album was well received and spawned the hit single “When the Spirit of the Lord”. Hammond continued to release successful albums throughout the 1990s, such as Deliverance (1993), The Inner Court (1995), The Spirit of David (1996) and Pages of Life: Chapters I & II (1998). He also formed a new group called Radical for Christ, which featured a large choir and a full band. Hammond’s solo albums showcased his versatility as an artist, incorporating elements of jazz, pop, rock and hip-hop into his gospel sound. He also addressed various social issues such as racism, violence, poverty and faith in his lyrics.
In the 2000s, Hammond remained a prominent figure in the gospel scene, releasing albums such as Purpose by Design (2000), Speak Those Things: POL Chapter 3 (2002), Free to Worship (2006) and Love Unstoppable (2009). He also reunited with Commissioned for a live album in 2002 and a farewell tour in 2011. He also collaborated with other artists such as Marvin Sapp, Israel Houghton, Donnie McClurkin and Kirk Franklin.
In the 2010s, Hammond continued to produce quality music, releasing albums such as God, Love & Romance (2012), I Will Trust (2014) and Worship Journal Live (2016). He also ventured into other media platforms, such as hosting a radio show called The Fred Hammond Morning Show and starring in a movie called The Choir Director.
Hammond is widely regarded as one of the most influential gospel artists of all time. He has won multiple awards, including seven Grammy Awards, 22 Stellar Awards and eight Dove Awards. He has sold over eight million albums worldwide and has inspired countless singers and musicians with his style and message. He is also known for his philanthropic work, supporting various causes such as HIV/AIDS awareness, disaster relief and education.
Hammond is still active in the music industry today, working on new projects and touring around the world. He is also a devoted father of two children and a grandfather of four grandchildren. He is a living legend who has made an indelible mark on gospel music and beyond.