Radio Personality Cheryl Jackson. (Courtesy Photo)
Cheryl Jackson, a major voice in gospel music, will celebrate 25 years in the industry in a concert with fellow musicians including Karen Clark Sheard and Vashawn Mitchell on June 20.
Jackson, the midday host at Praise 104.1 in Washington, D.C. and Praise 106.1 in Baltimore, said the event will top off a year-long celebration of her work in the radio industry.
The event will also feature J.J. Hairston of Youthful Praise, Anthony Brown & Group therAPy, Dottie Jones, Bruce Parham, Phillip Carter & Sounds of Victory, Darius Brooks, Eddie Ballard, Joshua Copeland, Tonisha Harris and Charles Butler & Trinity.
Jackson said the event was a chance to showcase up-and-coming performers she thinks deserve recognition. This event will also serve as a retrospective about her career and honor those who helped her rise to success, such as Radio One founder Cathy Hughes.
Jackson is a Washington, D.C. native who got her start in radio in Salisbury, Md. She has worked both behind the scenes as a program director and in front of the mic as a DJ. Through her behind the scenes work as a programming director, she helped change the way believers in the Baltimore-Washington area listen to religious music. She first introduced her listeners to Christian hip-hop, and later blended more inspirational and contemporary music with traditional gospel standards.
Offering up different types of music is important because it’s her duty to meet the needs of all different types of Christians, Jackson said.
“ has many faces,” she said. “People are getting saved every day. I would find ways to program songs that were indicative of the Washington, D.C. area. I wanted to create a format that allowed me to cater to every bit of that audience.”
Jackson said she credits her success in the radio industry to God’s favor and an impeccable work ethic.
“As a woman, you have to work doubly hard,” she said. “Every chance I was given to make my voice heard, I let it be heard and I let it be heard loudly. I lived it. I invested in it. I would send myself to conferences so when I got in front of my bosses, I knew what I was talking about and I knew it would work.”
Looking ahead, Jackson she said that she sees a future in gospel music that is more about individuality and creative expression.
“Gospel music is so vast. It’s not all contemporary or all traditional. It’s everything.” She points to musicians like Tye Tribbett and Mali Music, both of whom have found success with their own unique sounds, as evidence of this.
“We’ll begin to see more of that,” she said “I believe we are one song away from the industry embracing it.”
The concert will start at 6 p.m. at Ebenezer A.M.E. Church in Fort Washington. Tickets are $30. For more information and to buy tickets, go to http://www.eventbrite.com/e/cheryl-jacksons-25th-anniversary-celebration-concert-tickets-17010541989.