Few artists in Gospel can be referred to as a “legend”. Tommye Young-West can certainly be placed in that category. With roots in Gospel that go back decades, this award-winning vocalist has been blessing believers since she stepped to the mic to sing at her father’s
Dallas church at the age of five. Since that time, she’s been featured on international stages, in movies and in countless churches singing praises to God.
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After a 10-year hiatus following the passing of her husband and manager Calvin West, her legacy continues with a brand new song entitled “He Lifted Me”, a rousing churchy track featuring Gospel Pioneer Dr. Bobby Jones. Her new song is the first single from
the Gospel recording artist’s upcoming CD releasing in May 2018. She’s also the flagship artist on Rock Daniel Records launched by Gospel industry veteran Darrell King. Young-West is thrilled to be back. She’s also excited about the new single and the upcoming
project. She was tickled to have the renowned Bobby Jones on her comeback single. “I have been honored to be a guest on his show for years,” she said. “For him to be such a distinguished man and a trailblazer in this industry and to sing on my new song, it was an
amazing blessing to have him on this recording,” says Tommye. Fans will enjoy the traditional sounds of the track as well as the other sounds on the project including praise and worship, choir music and ballads.
It’s no surprise that Tommye Young-West provides such an array of inspirational music. It’s been in her from her youth. Tommye’s musical beginnings started in West Dallas, Texas, at the church of Bishop T.L. Young, her father. It was there that she sang solos as well as duets with her sister and became a member of her church’s choir. She quickly gained a reputation as a superior vocalist and was featured in state and local conventions of the Church of God in Christ. It was at one of those conventions that both Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, the patriarch of the legendary Clark family, and GMWA Founder and
Pioneer James Cleveland, took Tommye under their wings. Not only did she catch the attention of the sacred music world, but the secular world came calling as well. Doors opened for her in the mainstream music industry and she secured a major label record deal.
Her first release, a song called “Do You Still Feel The Same Way”, put her on the R&B musical map and the single went platinum. Notoriety from that record found her opening up for artists like Teddy Pendergrass & The Blue Notes, Fred Payne, Stevie Wonder and many other popular artists of the day. She was blessed to perform with the Dallas and North Carolina Symphonies and lent her voice to commercials for Zales Jewelers. Although she was thrilled with the success of her career, she was unfulfilled spiritually and longed to get back to her Gospel roots.
She returned to Gospel music when she was chosen to record a song for the soundtrack of a Cicely Tyson film named “A Woman Called Moses”, an NBC made for TV movie. Since then, she has released five Gospel records and recorded a song, “A Path In The
Sea”, written by famed preacher and Young-West’s pastor, Bishop T.D. Jakes. Some have heard her exquisite vocals on “Oh Give Thanks” on the Antioch Fellowship Choir’s CD, on All ‘n All on a CD from Georgia Mass Choir and on a project by Doc Severson, former band director of the Johnny Carson Show. During her career, she’s sung with artists such as Shirley Caesar, Yolanda Adams, Donald Lawrence, Kim Burrell, Mary Mary, The Hawkins Family and the late Daryl Coley.
Gifted as an actress as well, she’s performed in more than a dozen plays nationwide. Tommye’s accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. She was recently honored with an Honorary Doctorate in Music from Texas Bible Institute. Also, the Trinity University of
Ambassadors honored her with a Doctorate in Humane Letters. She has been affiliated with the Black Academy of Arts & Letters for years now. In addition, she assists the Fine Arts Department of The Potter’s House in Dallas, TX.
When it comes to giving back, Tommye is determined to help and inspire others. A widow herself, after a 39-year marriage, she desires to help other widows adjust to the changes of being alone. She counts herself as a mentor, not just to those who are uplifted by her
music ministry, but by those close to her. Both her daughters, Candy West and Chelsea West, are in the music industry, showcasing their vocal talents with top artists in multiple genres. It's clear that Tommy is passionate about lifting up others. Music is just a vehicle that she uses. She says, “Those who have dreamed, labored, sacrificed and haven’t been treated as they should have been – I want them to know that God has a purpose for them. I want them to know that they will not leave this earth until what God has for them has been completed. I encourage them and want to let people know that no devil can stop them from the blessings that God will manifest in their lives.”