GRAMMY® Award nominated, Gospel Music Association’s Dove Award and Stellar Award winner Trin-i-tee 5:7 has been the Best Selling Female Gospel Trio in music history. After more than a decade on the music scene, the New Orleans natives and original group members, Chanelle Haynes and Angel Taylor have transitioned Trin-i-tee 5:7 from a trio to a duo. They will debut their new sound in a new project titled, Angel and Chanelle scheduled for release May 3, 2011.
“Over and Over,” the first single from their forthcoming CD, is produced by GRAMMY® Award, Dove Award and Stellar Award winner P.J. Morton (India.Arie, Men of Standard, DeWayne Wood). Angel and Chanelle believe fans will fall in love with this song and will keep it in their hearts for a long time. The album also features “God’s Grace 2,” which is a fresh take on a timeless message. Produced by Surefire Music Group (Ne-Yo), the recording is a remake of “God’s Grace,” a hit song from their debut CD, Trin-i-tee 5:7. The production team of Surefire Music Group produced other titles including “Heaven Hear My Heart,” “Let It Go,” and “I Need You Now.” Award-winning producer Stan Jones (Marvin Sapp, Brian Courtney Wilson, The William Brothers) produced two tracks including “I’m Still Holding On” and “I Worship Your Name.” GRAMMY® award-winning super producer Rockwilder penned “Blessing Me” and “Just Remember.” And acclaimed producer Tito Ali contributed “New Day.”
The new CD takes Angel and Chanelle back to where their relationship began. It was a shared love of music that brought these two together in their freshman year in High
School. “From the moment we met, all we wanted to do was get together and listen to music,” said Angel. “We would sit in the gym at school and Chanelle would share her gospel music with me and I would share my R&B with her. That was the beginning of our friendship.”
The two budding singers supported each other as they each pursued their love of music, but eventually they went head to head in a high school talent show. Chanelle came in first place and Angel second, but they both felt like winners. “It never felt like a competition,” said Angel. “Competition is something that you see within groups all the time. The cool thing about us is that there’s never been that competitive aspect to our group. That’s one thing I’m really proud of.”
Trin-i-tee 5:7 was born when Chanelle was told by her manager that a leading gospel label was looking to sign a female gospel group. He asked Chanelle if she knew anyone who could sing with her and she immediately thought of Angel. “We met at my house and sang ‘Amazing Grace’ together,” said Chanelle. “It was magic. There were sparks and everybody in the room just looked at each other because we knew it was a special moment. And we’re still together, making beautiful music that we believe in and that we are passionate about.”
Angel and Chanelle each started singing in church as a young girl. Chanelle, the daughter of a Pentecostal preacher, sang in her father’s church, where she later directed the youth choir. From the time she was six years old she was singing at events around the city. At 12, she was one of seven children selected out of 1,2oo who auditioned to participate in a pilot for a television program produced by Quincy Jones, which featured talented kids in New Orleans. The pilot was not picked up, but Jones later recommended Chanelle for Star Search, and at 15 she was selected to participate on the show.
Angel had her first singing experience at the Baptist church her family attended in New Orleans. As a child, she sang at weddings, church programs and talent shows. One of the highlights of her teenage years was when she performed in the WILD (98 FM) Radio talent show. “I was pretty excited. It was a city-wide event and one of the biggest productions in the city,” she said. She came in second place but says that her family was so supportive that she still felt like a winner.
Family is very important to both Chanelle and Angel. Chanelle has five siblings—there are three boys and three girls. Angel has three brothers. She’s the oldest, but says her brothers don’t treat her like she is. Chanelle and Angel are close to their families but consider themselves family too. Both women have left New Orleans. Chanelle lives in Santa Monica, California and Angel recently moved to Atlanta, Georgia. They see much of each other when they are recording and touring, but say that even when they are apart, they talk to each other every day.
Their closeness is evident whether they are discussing their music or their homes, or their families. They often finish each other’s sentences. “When we are together, I don’t even know when work ends and when it begins,” says Angel. “After a studio session we might go back to one of our rooms and watch TV and eat apple pie and ice cream. It feels like we’re in high school again.”
In their new project, Angel and Chanelle are doing what the have always done—singing songs that they feel passionate about. “We feel passionate about God and we feel passionate about the life He has given us,” said Chanelle. “If it’s called gospel, that’s great. If it’s called inspiration, that’s great. We try not to box ourselves into a particular genre. We believe that if God isn’t in a box then His children shouldn’t be in a box either. I think we should express His love through our music the way he gives it to us.”
Heavyweights R. Kelly and Kirk Franklin shared that same belief and vision. They produced the self-titled debut album, Trin-i-tee 5:7, a silky soul-stirrer. It includes the
ballad, “God’s Grace;” a rousing, modern rendition of the African-American spiritual classic, “Mary, Don’t You Weep;” and such club-friendly tracks “Call His Name.” That summer 1998 album release debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Album chart, eventually being certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and winning Trin-i-tee 5:7 a Stellar Award as Best Contemporary Group/Duo of the Year.
Spiritual Love, the sophomore album, dropped in 2000, proving to be the group’s biggest hit yet. It landed Trin-i-tee 5:7 at #1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Album chart and #5 on the Billboard R&B Album Sales chart. “Put Your Hands Up,” “I Promise,” “My Body,” and “There He Is” each were radio hits. Two years later, the ladies were back on top with the edgy dance track “Holla” from The Kiss album, which resulted in the trio performing on “Soul Train” and a BET “106 & Park” video premiere.
In fall 2007, Trin-i-tee 5:7, which derives its name from the Biblical book of St. John, chapter 5, verse 7—which encapsulates how the Father, Son and Holy Ghost cooperatively work on behalf of humankind—signed on with Spirit Rising, now Music World Gospel, whose chief is industry leader Mathew Knowles, also the founder and CEO of Music World Entertainment. Since then, the critically-acclaimed group saw their fourth album, T57, debut at #2 on the Billboard Top Gospel Album chart.
The pulsating “Listen” from their Music World Gospel debut CD, graced Billboard’s Hot 100 R&B Airplay chart and was one of the biggest gospel radio hits of 2007-2008. The albumwent on to win two prestigious Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards, a GRAMMY® nomination, and resulted in Trin-i-tee 5:7 being spotlighted on the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards broadcast alongside Aretha Franklin, BeBe Winans, Israel & New Breed and the Clark Sisters.
In fall 20o9, Trin-i-tee 5:7 released their first-ever holiday CD and bonus DVD, Love, Peace, Joy at Christmas. Produced by the prodigiously skilled studio crew, Bama Boyz (Beyoncé, Solange, Mya and the T57 release), the album featured such endearing standards as “Silent Night,” “The Christmas Song,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “Joy to the World,” “O Holy Night;” a jazz-inspired “White Christmas;” a soulful remake of “Give Love On Christmas Day;” and contemporary Christian favorites like “Mary, Did You Know.” The project also included an original recording of “This Christmas” by contemporary gospel vocalist and Music World Gospel label mate, Brian Courtney Wilson.
In 2010, Trin-i-tee 5:7 received the Gospel Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in London. Despite the fast-track successes of the award-winning group, Chanelle and Angel remains grounded in God. “Awards don’t determine or define those timeless things like friendship, your relationship with God and the impact that your music has on people’s lives,” said Chanelle. “So we stay focused on that because that’s what keeps us going.”