Having been featured in such diverse settings as Essence, ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover and Bill Gaither’s Homecoming tour de force, Lynda Randle, sister of former dcTalk member and current newsboys frontman, Michael Tait, is known for crossing traditional racial barriers as she unreservedly shares the Gospel’s message of reconciliation to the masses through music. Prepping for her new release, A Woman After God’s Own Heart (Gaither Music), Randle gives readers a glimpse into her musical background and comments on how a soul songstress from DC became a Southern Gospel darling. How did growing up in inner city Washington DC impact your musical calling? Lynda Randle: Can I say that I loved being a preacher’s daughter? No regrets! [As a minister’s daughter] you defi nitely get your share of music and I defi nitely got mine. Thank you Jesus! By the way, did I mention that we lived next door to our church? It was literally “church 24/7.” You are considered a destroyer of racial barrier. Was it music that fi rst prompted this bridge builder mission in your life? Randle: Not really. When I failed the 9th grade in DC’s public school system my parents put me in Riverdale Baptist Christian School in Maryland. It was predominately white so I started learning about racial issues. I was faced with new challenges everyday—some pleasant and some not so pleasant. Music happened by default. [Riverdale] was short on some classes that I wanted to take so I got thrown in an all white choir and they loved singing Negro spirituals. I will let you fi gure out the rest . . . With so much musical soul, how did you end up as a fl agship artist for the Southern Gospel sector? Randle: God has a sense of humor. There is no other explanation and I am glad about it! Your brother, Michael Tait (dcTalk/newsboys), tributes you as the inspiration for his career. Did you teach that boy everything he knows? Randle: You know it! At least that’s what he says! [Laughs] A few years ago you recorded A Tribute to Mahalia Jackson celebrating the singer’s historic Gospel catalog. Who are your primary musical infl uences? Randle: Mahalia, my sweet momma (she’s not paying me to say this), CeCe Winans, Celine Dion, Mavis Staples and so many more. — Andrew Greer www.lyndarandle.com Lynda Randle URBAN HIGHLIGHTS The Act: BeBe Winans The Site: www.bebewinans.com The Sound: R&B-tinged Gospel with smoky soul vocals The Buzz: Winans will play “The King” in this month’s Nashville concert adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella to help commemorate Steven Curtis Chapman’s late daughter, Maria Sue Chapman and orphan care organization, showHOPE. The Act: One Voice The Site: www.onevoiceoneheart.com The Sound: Gospel-Modern Worship hybrid The Buzz: A diverse roster of artists including Martin Smith, Israel Houghton and Kierra Sheard follow-up the success of 2005’s Tsunami “We are the World”- type single, “One Voice One Heart,” with a similarly-minded LP dedicated to bridging the gap between black and white music sectors. The Act: Karen Clark Sheard The Site: www.theclarksisters.com The Sound: Bona fi de Black Gospel with Urban/R&B shout-outs The Buzz: On the heels of releasing the fl agship record for her new indie label, KaRew Records, Gospel legend Karen Clark Sheard recently wrapped TV tapings for BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel and The Mo’Nique Show. CCM 45