Erica Campbell has topped the music charts and won multiple Grammy Awards, but the gospel music legend says earlier in life she had little interest in singing.
Campbell sits down for a look at her career on this weekend’s episode of TV One’s documentary series Uncensored. The Inglewood, California native is best known as one-half of gospel duo Mary Mary with her sister Trecina Atkins-Campbell.
Erica says she grew up in a faith-filled family and was introduced to music at a young age. But early on, she didn’t want to sing in the church choir.
“While I loved singing growing up, I was forced into the choir at about 11 years old. We lived next door to the church — a bunch of my friends lived next door to the church. On Saturdays was choir rehearsal and we would all be outside playing, while our mamas and daddies were in choir rehearsal. One Saturday, my momma told me, ‘you’re going to be in the choir.'”
Erica says she wanted to stay outside with her friends. But after going inside for choir practice, a woman told her it would pay off one day.
“You’ve got something special. Just keep singing, listen to your mom, it will be alright,” she recalled the woman saying. In the episode, Campbell also sheds light on the highs and lows of striking out on her own as a solo artist.
Uncensored: Erica Campbell airs Easter Sunday, April 17, at 10 p.m. ET/9C.
Right before Uncensored, TV One will air Unsung Presents: The Decades – The 90s. The episode looks at a decade of triumph and turbulence, as R&B and hip hop went well beyond crossover to dominate the charts and define mainstream American music. This episode features Digital Underground, R&B quartet All 4 One, Philadelphia-based R&B group Az Yet, Grammy award-winner Lisa Fischer and “Don’t Walk Away” singers Jade.
The Decades is a four-part special that tells the full story of the evolution of music, showcasing the music and artists that provided the soundtrack of Black America from Motown and disco in the 70s, to the revolutionary sound and style of hip hop throughout the 2000s. The special also provides social commentary to key cultural.
Unsung is narrated by actor Gary Anthony Williams and is executive produced by Frank Sinton and Arthur Smith of A. Smith & Co. Productions. Mark Rowland, Kysha Mounia and Jamecia Blount also serve as executive producers.
Unsung Presents: The Decades – The 90s airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/8C on TV One.