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2016 Inductees

Russ Taff

By January 1, 2018May 14th, 2019No Comments

Russ Taff, born on November 11, 1953 in Farmersville, California, grew up listening to his mother’s extensive collection of gospel records like Mahalia Jackson and the Five Blind Boys From Alabama. This lead him to form a local band, called Sounds of Joy.

After Sounds of Joy, served as an opening act for the legendary Imperials, Taff was invited to join them as lead vocalist. With the Imperials he toured extensively and gained recognition as ‘The Voice’ behind award-winning songs and albums that successfully completed the group’s transition from traditional to contemporary Christian.

Taff later left the Imperials after four and a half years to pursue a solo career. He captured the imagination of the industry by successfully releasing a series of innovative works that delved into his musical heritage while pushing the boundaries of contemporary Christian music. Taff’s lyrics, often co-written with his wife Tori, chronicled his personal spiritual path. Soaring, aching, raucous or tender, the songs Russ chose to wrap his one-of-a-kind voice around were unflinchingly honest. Artistically, Taff was always authentic but never predictable. His eclectic taste was reflected in his recordings and live concerts, as he drew from all genres – rock, pop, blues, Southern gospel, Black gospel, country, even big band. Russ Taff’s music has won him not only a wide audience and critical acclaim, but a total of 6 GRAMMY awards and 18 Gospel Music Association Dove awards. He has been hailed by Billboard Magazine as “the single most electrifying voice in Christian music.” One of his best-known performances is the song “Praise The Lord”. He has also been a member of the Gaither Vocal Band, and occasionally tours with Bill Gaither in the Gaither Homecoming concerts. As a solo artist and songwriter, Taff is known for the 1980s anthem “We Will Stand”. At the 2012 GMA Dove Awards, Taff was honored for his lifetime achievements in the industry in a musical tribute.

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