Cheryl Wills salutes 25 legendary Gospel queens in her latest book

Cheryl Wills
Journalist and author Cheryl Wills.
Associated Press/Jacquelyn Martin/File

Emmy Award-winning journalist Cheryl Wills launched her latest book, “Isn’t Her Grace Amazing!: The Women Who Changed Gospel Music,” in honor of 25 legendary gospel queens whose dynamic voices impacted the nation and transformed the genre. In this stunning coffee table book, Wills chronicles gospel legends of the past, as well as heralding the artists of today in this lavishly illustrated offering filled with in-depth interviews, never-before-seen images, behind the scenes stories, uncovered gems and more.

As many women in the gospel industry often go unnoticed and underappreciated for their talents — including writing, arranging, directing, developing singers and more —Wills’ book allows each of these towering artisans their moment to shine. Notable names include:

  • Queen Mothers: Mahalia Jackson, Sallie Martin, Inez Andrews, Albertina Walker, Willie Mae Ford Smith
  • Sisters in Song: The Davis Sisters, The Barrett Sisters, The Clark Sisters, Clara Ward and the Ward Singers, The Drinkard Singers
  • Architects of the Melody: Dorothy Love Coates, Dorothy Norwood, Marion Williams, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Roberta Martin
  • Crossover Queens: Aretha Franklin, Rosetta Tharpe, Mavis Staples, CeCe Winans, Mary Mary
  • And Still She Shouts: Tamela Mann, Dottie Peoples, Tramaine Hawkins, Kim Burrell, Yolanda Adams

“It is a deep honor to shine a spotlight on the legacy of these extraordinary women who elevated gospel music, each in her own way,” said Wills. “They didn’t just sing a song; they left an indelible mark. Each of these dynamic performers made tremendous personal sacrifices, and made no apologies for who they were and from whence they come. That is the reason that I wanted to immortalize each of them in this book. Their resilience throughout their extraordinary careers can serve as a testimony and lesson for us all.”

“Isn’t Her Grace Amazing” is published by Amistad Press/Harper Collins. For more information, visit or #HerGraceAmazing #AmistadBooks

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