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The Anointed is talking about beginnings. They're talking about starting something new. They're describing how it feels to be on the verge, like the door has just opened to the next level. And to hear the members of Anointed talking like this nowadays, you'd be hard pressed to reconcile what they're saying with the fact that they've already been recording and performing together for better than a third of their lives.
"We were just teenagers in a choir when we started," says Da'dra Crawford Greathouse, "but we really felt like God said, 'Look, I want you guys to come together as a group and just watch what I'll do.' A lot has happened in those years, but now it feels like we're just getting started on a whole new level. It's like that was all warm-up and now we're standing at the starting line and the race is about to begin."
For Da'dra, Steve Crawford, and (now ex-member) Denise "Nee-C" Walls, that ten year "warm-up" included four albums, three Dove Awards, two Grammy nominations, one Stellar Award, and numerous chart-topping singles. Crisscrossing the country, they've garnered spots on the "Big Voice Tour" as well as the "Christmas Celebration Tour," made the rounds of shows like the 700 Club and Cece's Place, and participated in numerous crusades with Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, and Mario Marillo.
The Anointed's reputation has been built on premier vocals and a unique ability to move seamlessly between a wide variety of genres, proving their diversity with pop, gospel, and R&B influences.
"Because we've grown up listening to and being influenced by various styles of music," Da'dra says, "it's just what comes out naturally in our songs. What's been surprising to us is that God has blessed us with a sound that is 'trans-generational.' Teenagers will buy our music, and then their parents hear it and like it too. That's been a pleasant discovery for us."
"It was always part of our original vision to create music that everyone can feel and be touched and changed by," Steve adds. "Anointed has always been about bringing people together across musical boundaries and across racial and denominational lines, as well as across generations."
It seems to come from the personalities of the members and from their personal understanding of why they're doing what they're doing. It comes across in the music of The Anointed as a natural buoyancy, a joyfulness, an invitation. It's the gift of encouragement extended to others through song.
"Our purpose is to share with others the experiences of our lives as Christ changes us, helps us, and walks through daily challenges with us," says Steve. "We want to let people know that God is present and able to help them in every facet of their lives as well. That's why we talk in our songs about our spouses, about relationships, about reconciliation when hearts have been damaged. We want people to begin to see how God is in the midst of every aspect and every moment of their lives. We want to offer the hope and encouragement that, even in a bad situation, God is at work and he can redeem it."
Da'dra says, "If God gives you a dream or a vision of what he wants you to do, it may take some time for things to come together, but you have to keep the faith and believe that anything really is possible."
As to the central focus of their own lives, career, and artistry, Da'dra says the group itself must constantly seek the themes of revival and encouragement. "For us, this season of life is filled with a lot of activity. We have our families at home, and our ministry that's suddenly starting to take us places we never dreamed of. But what I've found is that I have to intentionally find time to get away from the business and music and everything else and just rest in the presence of God, and study His word. That's where I draw strength from. That's it for all of us. It's through resting in God that we find the strength to continue to do what we do."
Now a duo of brother and sister Steve and Da'dra Crawford after friend Nee-C Walls left the group to pursue other interests, the group has received acclaim in Christian and mainstream markets alike. The group has won Dove awards and has been nominated several times for Grammys and has won a Stellar Award for Best Performance by a Group or Duo.
"It's great when we are recognized by the industry." Steve says, "but the real reward is seeing lives changed. When we see the children and the families out on the road, that's when we realize that what we are doing matters. That's when we see we are making an impact."
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