Kimberly “Kim” Burrell is an American gospel singer from Houston, Texas. Though she is comparatively new to the gospel music industry, having only performed since 1989, she has quickly become one of the most influential voices in the genre, often said to be “this generation’s Ella Fitzgerald.” In 2010, she founded The Love & Liberty Fellowship Pentecostal Overcoming Holy Church, where she serves as Senior Eldress/Overseer-Bishop.
Life and career
Kim Burrell was born August 26, 1972.
Though Burrell battled double pneumonia for eight years as a child, she performed her first solo with the church choir at the age of only one year old singing Andraé Crouch‘s “Hallelujah Praise.” She is the daughter of a pastor in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). Burrell began her gospel career proper performing with Reverend James Cleveland’s GMWA Youth Mass Choir (also known as Rev. James Cleveland’s Kids), Trinity Temple Full Gospel Mass Choir of Dallas and The Inspirational Sounds Mass Choir of Houston.
In 1996, she appeared on Ricky Dillard & New G’s “Worked It Out” album, as the feature on the reprise of “Jesus Paid It All,” which is credited as the turning point of her national career.
Her first independent album, Try Me Again, was released on the Texas-based boutique label Pearl Records in 1995. Though limited distribution kept the album from nationwide recognition, it did build a strong reputation that led to her being signed to Tommy Boy Gospel and the now-classic Everlasting Life, produced by Asaph Alexander Ward. The album performed well and peaked at #12 on the Billboard Gospel Charts.
At the close of a gospel industry retreat hosted by Dr. Bobby Jones, a local woman named Kathleen Goodin had stopped breathing, prompting a call for paramedics, as well as a call for prayer. While CPR procedures were underway, Burrell initiated a healing prayer. After escorting Goodin out on a stretcher, those remaining were informed that the woman had died. Adamant about praying with the woman again, Burrell followed the ambulance to the hospital. When she finally convinced medical staff to allow her to pray with the woman a second time, reportedly Burrell prayed “Kathleen Goodin, take off your grave clothes.” By the time Burrell left the hospital, the woman was miraculously breathing on her own. The article’s reporter later exclaimed, “if I ever get sick, somebody call Kim Burrell!”
Burrell is married and has a son by the name of Christian.
Kim Burrell’s musical impact is widespread: she has released two new recordings (2009’s No Ways Tired and 2011’s The Love Album) since 2001’s Live In Concert and nearly a decade has passed since her 1998 national debut Everlasting Life.
Burrell released her first studio album in 11 years, entitled No Ways Tired on April 7, 2009 through Shanachie Records. The album features covers of classic gospel songs like “My Faith Looks Up To Thee,” “What A Friend We Have In Jesus,” “O Lamb Of God” and “I Surrender All,” as well as the classic James Cleveland song after which the album is named.
On May 17, 2011, her highly anticipated The Love Album was released on Shanachie Records. In its first week after being released, it was #5 on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart, #166 on the Billboard 200 chart, and was the #2 most downloaded Gospel album on iTunes. The Love Album was widely acclaimed for the vocal ingenuity displayed by Ms. Burrell and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Gospel Album and two Stellar Awards for Contemporary Female of the Year and Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year, the latter of which she won. The lead single “Sweeter” also won the 2012 Dove Award for Urban Recorded Song of the Year.
- 2000 Gospel Music Excellence Award, Female Vocalist of the Year – Contemporary for Everlasting Life
- 2000 Stellar Award, Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year for Everlasting Life
- 2012 Stellar Award, Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year for The Love Album
- 2012 Stellar Award, Contemporary Female of the Year for The Love Album
- 2012 Dove Award, Urban Recorded Song of the Year for “Sweeter”