Worship is at the heart of the lover of God. Madelyn Berry is certainly a Godchaser. Berry, a powerhouse vocalist, has clearly been gifted with the ability to bring God’s people into His presence. It’s hard to believe that a young introverted girl growing up in Alabama would ultimately take on the role of a recording artist and end up singing behind artists such as Darwin Hobbs and Jonathan Nelson, and opening up for other artists like Canton Jones, Richard Smallwood, Judy Jacobs and Smokie Norful. Looking at that young girl, one would have trouble imagining that eventually she would stand in front of thousands encouraging God’s chosen to worship and praise him. But clearly it was her destiny.
The Fairfield, Alabama, native practically grew up between church pews. After moving to Tennessee, at her home church, Payne Chapel AME Church in Nashville, TN, it was Madelyn’s mother who was her loudest cheerleader. “Please put my daughter on your program,” she would say to anyone at church who would listen. “She can sing.” They probably found it hard to believe since Madelyn was very shy and soft spoken. But something happened when the music started; an unbelievable voice would come out of this young child. Eventually, they listened. “I remember the first time that I sang,” the singer recalls. “I was eleven at the time and I sung a hymn. By the end of the song, people were crying and waving their hands,” she says. “At that age, I didn’t really understand it, but I knew that something had happened and that God had given me a special gift. I knew that it was more than a feeling; it was ministry. At that moment, I knew that this was something that I want to do for the rest of my life.”
Seeing Shirley Caesar in concert, at Madelyn’s first major gospel concert, solidified her passion and she sought a platform to be able to inspire, uplift and encourage others through her music. The singer received her education at Alabama A&M University where she founded “Women of Virtue”, a bible study for college women. She also accepted the call to preach.
In 2005, she went back home to release her debut project, Voice To Inspire, at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Shortly after, she married Minister Taron Berry, and moved to Orlando, Florida. Locally, Voice To Inspire, received support and introduced her to the gospel music community in her area. After the birth of her daughter, Mariyah LaFaith Berry, she returned to the stage to record her second release, You Deserve All Praise.
A music collage of dynamic and energetic praise and worship tunes, You Deserve All Praise, was a personal testament to the goodness of God for Madelyn. Flawless production, excellent musicians, heartfelt lyrics and moving melodies made the release a superior live project. Featuring tunes written by Madelyn and Taron, the CD contained differing styles of contemporary gospel music, but one central theme, God. Songs like the title tune, “You Deserve All Praise”, a fully-orchestrated, unabashed song of adoration, put Madelyn on the gospel musical map. The industry started to take notice and in May 2010, Berry made her national television debut on gospel music’s most celebrated program, BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel.
In early 2011, she released her third project, Madelyn. A new inspirational CD, Madelyn, centered around themes that inspired, encouraged and uplifted those from all walks of life. The lead single, ”Every Little Thing”, was a hip-hop flavored, groove-laden cut about holding on and not letting go of God. Other tracks included the mellow, acoustic guitar-driven “Never Alone”, the heartening, melodic “Always There” and the gorgeous-sounding “Beautiful”.
Now a mother again after the birth of Madyson Grace Berry, Madelyn returns with the release of her third Berry Tight Music CD, Release The Sound. The psalmist is thrilled about the new CD. She says, “Release The Sound was inspired by the teachings of the late Dr. Zachery Tims. Taron and I were uplifted by a series he did about what we speak and the power in our words. For me, I knew God was taking me to another level. That’s what Release The Sound is all about. It’s about giving God a new sound, a new praise. Also, I believe my fans will be able to see and feel the growth in my ministry by listening to the record.”
Berry calls on some of the best and brightest to join her on the new record including Martha Munizzi, Darwin Hobbs, LaRue Howard and Trent Cory. Recorded live at New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, FL, the CD allows Madelyn to shine brightly in her element. Throughout sixteen tracks, Madelyn declares her adoration to a worthy God. Songs like “Upgrade-The Blessing” and the unforgettable title tune, “Release The Sound” leave the heart of the believer filled with praise. “You Are God” is certainly a highlight which features the vocal talents of GRAMMY Award Nominee Martha Munizzi. Gospel crooner Darwin Hobbs makes an appearance on the mesmerizing tune, “Sound of a Worshiper”. “The Worship Medley”, including “I Need Thee” and “God Of Wonders”, is an incredibly powerful musical collection, especially with the addition of Gospel singer LaRue Howard. Popular CCM singer and songwriter Trent Cory takes the stage with Madelyn on the memorable song, “Reveal Your Glory”.
Release The Sound is a solid praise and worship record that listeners and put in and listen from beginning to end. It’s truly the next level for an artist who has clearly been anointed by God for this assignment. With a stunning voice and a pure heart for God, the sky is the limit for this gifted woman of God.
Andrea R. Williams