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Booking Tramaine Hawkins - Book Gospel Music Artists - Contemporary Gospel, Black Gospel, Urban - Richard De La Font Agency, Inc. - For serious booking requests only, click here:  For More Information

For more than twenty-five years, Tramaine Hawkins has delivered the message of the Gospel through her professional career in gospel music. She began singing when only four years old, in the Ephesian Church of God in Christ in Berkeley, California, where her grandfather was pastor.

Tramaine Hawkins - booking information Though Hawkins developed her passion for gospel music during childhood, her career accelerated in 1969 when the Northern California State Choir which she had joined recorded, "Oh Happy Day." The secular world was enthralled with the two-hundred-year-old gospel song and it was indeed a happy day for Hawkins. Her first performance with the choir after the song's success was at Madison Square Garden.

As a child, Tramaine Hawkins sang with the Sunshine Band and later with the Heavenly Tones, a group of four girls. After eleven years together, the Heavenly Tones began to get offers to sing at secular jobs, but Hawkins felt her calling was still gospel music. This sense of vocation has always been what motivated her to change any barrier to that goal. In 1995, she told Essence magazine, "The real purpose, I feel, for my being here is not just to sing gospel, but to minister gospel." When the Northern California State Choir's name was changed to the Edwin Hawkins Singers and the choir started to do a lot of club dates for entertainers, such as the Jackson Five and Diana Ross, Hawkins chose to leave the group.

For eleven months, she sang with Andrae Crouch's Disciples, later admitting to Twila Knaak, of Christian Herald, "The Lord really has a way of planning your life. That experience broadened my feel for gospel music and now I think I have more to offer." Yet Tramaine Hawkins missed her old group and rejoined it. In 1980, after touring Europe with the Edwin Hawkins Singers, Walter Hawkins who played the piano even when Tramaine sang with the Heavenly Tones and the brother of Edwin proposed and Tramaine accepted. During their many years of marriage, Tramaine worked side by side with Walter, also a singer, recording artist, composer, arranger, producer, and the pastor of the Love Center Church in Oakland, California.

Eventually they divorced and Tramaine married Tommy Richardson. On occasion, Walter and Tramaine still work together. In 1990, Walter quoted in East Bay Express saying of other gospel song writers, "They can't write for Tramaine like I can." Lee Hildebrand, in the East Bay Express, explained, "What makes her so special is the rich quality and sheer strength of her voice, the urgency of her delivery, and the clarity of her enunciation. To her, the message of her songs is all-important and she never allows purely musical devices to dilute it."

Tramaine Hawkins has a controversial, contemporary style that has been criticized over the years. According to Hildebrand, Hawkins raised suspicion in 1985 within the gospel community when her techno-funk hit, "Fall Down," from the "Spirit of Love" album, topped the dance charts despite the religious content of its lyrics. After the uproar, Hawkins felt that everyone but her family and church family had turned their backs on her.

In a 1990 concert, still daring, Tramaine Hawkins brought in musicians and singers from outside the gospel field to participate in a live-recording project, including rock guitarist Carlos Santana, jazz organist Jimmy McGriff, and jazz tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine. Jazz and gospel share common roots, but it is rare for them to cross paths since many churchgoers view jazz as "the devil's music." Tramaine Hawkins's success with her mixing of traditional gospel, blues, jazz, and other singing styles helped create what is called contemporary gospel.

Contemporary gospel has broad appeal. In 1996, when the Lincoln Center Festival committee in New York City decided the music for that year would be gospel music, Tramaine Hawkins was one of the artists chosen to perform. Jon Pareles, in the New York Times, described Hawkins as, "Like other current gospel singers, she keeps one foot in old gospel styles while testing possibilities. Her set included a Mahalia Jackson song along with a quasi-country tune and a pop-soul ballad, all with proselytizing lyrics." Pareles claimed Hawkins could turn a song into a "fervent, flamboyant testimonial."

Tramaine Hawkins has recorded at least nine solo albums and won numerous awards, including two Grammys, two Dove Awards, and two Communications Excellence to Black Audiences {CEBA} Awards. Awards are not what ignites Hawkins, though. She said, "There's a certain place when I'm performing onstage where it's almost like I know that God is listening to me. It's like His presence, His Spirit, is sitting right there, and he's saying, 'Go on, girl go this way, say this, now just stop right there,' you know? And when I think about it, it brings tears to my eyes. It has a spirit. And it's awesome."

Awesome is certainly one way to describe Tramaine Hawkins when she has the spirit.

Hit songs include --

  • I Never Lost My Praise

Notable songs include --

  • Holy One
  • Look at Me
  • Goin' up Yonder
  • Changed
  • Potter's House
  • What Shall I Do?
  • Call Me
  • When You Pray
  • Waymaker
  • Praise the Name of Jesus

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