Gospel Explosion brings Shirley Caesar, Dottie Peoples, more to Augusta

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Shirley Caesar will perform June 16, in the Pre-Father's Day Gospel Explosion at James Brown Arena.
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An explosion of gospel talent is coming to James Brown Arena this weekend.

Dottie Peoples  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Dottie Peoples

The Pre-Father’s Day Gospel Explosion starring Shirley Caesar, along with special guests Dottie Peoples, Earnest Pugh and Lee Williams and the Spiritual QCs, will feature some of gospel’s greatest hits Saturday, June 16. The opening act is Bless-ED. Augusta is the second stop on a multi-city tour for the gospel artists.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Peoples said. “They’re going to enjoy the concert. Our first time out together, people enjoyed everybody.”

Peoples is a Stellar and Dove award winner and Gram­my-nominated artist who some have dubbed as “the gospel Patti LaBelle,” and others have compared to Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin and Caesar.

She will sing some of her hits, including On Time God, Testify and God Can, she said during a telephone interview from Atlanta.

“I have a booster club there in Augusta,” Peoples said. “I’m excited. They’ll get to be with me on Saturday.”

Local musician Lynwood Holmes is president of the fan booster club, which plans to cook for Peoples on Saturday, she said.

In addition to her singing career, Peoples also serves as CEO of DP Muzik Group, the Atlanta-based record label that she founded in 2008. DP Muzik Group focuses on recordings, music publishing, ministry and philanthropic endeavors. Peoples credits God with her success.

“It’s all because of God and him blessing me with fans all over the country who love my music and support us,” she said. “And it’s favor. The favor of God has just been on our ministry because we’re still here, even with the bad economy and things not being like it used to be.”

Peoples said she is back in the studio recording an al­bum with the title track God Said I Got This. She hopes her new single will be on the radio in July, and the album will be in stores by September.

Peoples said she tries to write at least four songs on each CD, but she opens up the rest of the album to other writers “to give them an opportunity to share their writing ministry with the world,” she said.

Music is rewarding because “it does touch lives and bless people when they’re going through something,” she said.

Years ago, a mother called Peoples’ booking number and left a message that her husband was dying and there wasn’t much money left for her children’s Christmas. All she wanted was for her 10-year-old daughter, a huge fan, to get a chance to meet Peoples at a Detroit concert.

The night of the concert, Peoples brought the girl on stage and sang her favorite song, Just When I Need Him.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the whole theater. After­wards, we let her come to the dressing room and gave her gifts. Then, we invited her and her mother to dinner,” said Peoples, who has seen the girl, now an adult, several times over the years.

“That was something that really touched me as far as knowing that your music can reach people, even somebody as young as this little girl who was hurting about her father dying. To know that your music can touch people like that makes you really want to always do what’s right and put out the right message,” she said.

Peoples said, her mentor has been Caesar. “I’ve always loved Pastor Caesar. I’d love to do another song with her and really rock with her.”

PRE-FATHER’S DAY GOSPEL EXPLOSION

WHO: Shirley Caesar, along with gospel artists Dottie Peoples, Earnest Pugh and Lee Williams and the Spiritual QCs

WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday, June 16; doors open at 5 p.m.

WHERE: James Brown Arena

TICKETS: $49, $39 and $29, with a $5 increase the day of the show; (877) 4AUGTIX; www.georgialinatix.com


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