For nearly three decades, Paul Porter has endeared himself to Gospel music lovers
around the world. As a founding member, leading vocalist, songwriter, and producer of the
legendary group, The Christianaires, he earned numerous nominations and awards
including, GRAMMY®, DOVE, and STELLAR Awards and was inducted into the GOSPEL
MUSIC HALL of FAME.
While his musical accomplishments are impressive, his personal testimony of triumph over
illness is nothing short of Miraculous. “In 1996, I had an aneurysm on the brain”, Paul shares. “I
was paralyzed (couldn’t walk or talk), and I lost my memory.” “I was confined to the bed
approximately 1 year and 6 months.” “From 1996-2006, I went through all of the transitions:
from the bed to the wheelchair to the walker to the cane”. “In June 2006, I dropped the cane!”
During his recovery, Paul continued to record and travel, as well as, perform with The
Christianaires. In 2006, after 25 successful years with The Christianaires, Paul made the
difficult decision to leave and pursue his career as a solo artist. “It has been a tremendous
struggle, but it has been so much fun”. The scripture, “I can do all things through Christ which
strenghteneth me” (Philippians 4:13) is a true testament of my life. “It has meant discovering
myself all over again and figuring out what I could do on my own”. “ The musical aspect and
the ministry was the easy part. Discovering and defining myself as a solo artist was the
As Paul developed his vision and sound, as a solo artist, Paul also developed a passion to reach
a broader and more diverse audience. His debut project on Tre’Myles Music/Motown
Gospel/Mars On Sunday Label is reflective of that passion in every way. For this project,
Paul chose to enhance his undeniable gifts as both songwriter and vocalist, with the urban
musical genius of one of today’s most successful production duos Blac Elvis and Harold
Lilly (Mars on Sunday). While this high profile team has served up hits for artists, as varied
as: Beyoncé’, Jamie Foxx, Fergie, and Alicia Keys, their roots run deep in Gospel Music.
Harold Lilly penned the Gospel radio hit, “It’s All God”, recorded by The Soulseekers
featuring Pastor Marvin L. Winans. Blac Elvis’ connection to Gospel began when he was a
teenager playing keyboard for Paul Porter and The Christianaires. Although Paul lost
track of Blac Elvis for more than 15 years, Elvis made good use of the musical training he
received from Paul. “One day in either 2009 or 2010, I was scanning through an issue of BMI
Magazine and saw an article with Elvis.” Paul continues to say, “Elvis talked about going
through some rough times and being homeless and then ending up, working with such
superstar R & B artists, such as, Beyoncé’.”
Excited to finally learn what had become of his young protégé, Paul reached out to Elvis. “We
connected and he proceeded to write a song for me, and that one song emerged into an entire
project. “The chemistry of Blac Elvis and Paul Porter is so strong because, when he was
17-19 years old, I pressed Elvis so hard to be excellent with his craft”. “When we got back
together, with Elvis in his 30s and me in my 50s, there was a level of mutual respect there”.
The unique chemistry of Elvis and Paul undergirds every song in this soulful collection,
F.R.E.E. The energetic, “Time For Your Blessing”, glistens with the sweat of old school soul.
According to Paul, “the musicality of “Time For Your Blessing” is not the only personal aspect of
the song”. “The message of that song, comes full circle and blesses me. After 30 years with
The Christianaires and then dropping down to zero financially and in every way imaginable, I
was sitting at Ground Zero of my life. When I heard, “Time For Your Blessing”, and heard the old
school vibe of Otis Redding, I thought, this is perfect for this project, but this is really perfect
The title track and first single, F.R.E.E., brings together two of Gospel’s greatest male voices,
Paul Porter and Smokie Norful. Although the two had spent years passing each other in
airports around the country, this was their first experience in the studio together. The vibey
and soulful track was not the only result of that recording session. The experience of working
with Paul and hearing his new direction impressed Smokie so much so, that he cut a deal with
Paul and Elvis to release the project under, TRE’MYLES Music, his joint venture with MOTOWN
For the project’s only cover tune, “ I Want To Know What Love Is”, Paul shines brightly besides
two the music industry’s most flavorful voices, Ruben Studdard and Le’Andria Johnson.
“The excitement of that song is that, it’s been embedded in me for so many years”, says Paul.
“My mentor was the Late Franklin D. Williams [The Mississippi Mass Choir and The
Jackson Southernaires]. He told me, “Paul, if you ever do a remake, always select a song
that hasn’t been touched in a while, but always do it in a way that it brings something extra”.
“So, to have two award-winning musical powerhouses, Ruben and Le’Andria, along with
myself, do this song, OMG, I thought it was a phenomenal idea”!
The reflective and worshipful hymn, “Put HIM First”, features another unexpected
collaboration, this time with, Charmaine Swimpson, a featured singer with multi-awarding
winning producer Kirk Franklin. “I knew this song would be at the forefront of this project
because of the message”, says Paul. “ I did all of the vocals and didn’t know Charmaine would
be on the song. After we came back into the studio and sang together, the chemistry was just
Without question, the most personal song on the project is the churchy anthem, “You Can’t Give
Up”. “When I heard the melody, it was so spiritual, I started hearing a song that would give
people encouragement from what I had experienced through my illness”, Paul shares. “That’s
why I wrote, “You Can’t Give Up”. “GOD brought me from subzero to 100 percent”.
“Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, I listened to Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, and
every other artist on STAX and MOTOWN”. “I was doing all of this music research, singing,
and studying, not knowing that GOD was preparing me for what HE wanted me to do”.
With F.R.E.E., Gospel legend Paul Porter takes the next step in his remarkable journey as a
songwriter, as a vocalist, and as a MAN! Paul explains quite simply, “Every song on this
project, is part of my life story”.