It is no secret that there was bad blood between Grammy and Stellar Award-winning gospel recording artist Le’Andria Johnson, 31, who branded Music World CEO Matthew Knowles a “crook” on Twitter. After public spats and legal negotiations, Johnson has been let out of her contract.
The winner of the third season of BET’s Sunday Best, announced April 1 that she had signed a recording agreement with RCA Inspiration. Under this deal, RCA Inspiration will exclusively distribute and provide marketing and promotional services for future albums by Johnson.
Attorneys for the “Jesus” singer, Heather Beverly of the Law Office of Heather Beverly, P.C. and Chris Brown of Brown & Rosen, LLC, worked behind the scenes to solidify the deal.
Although the history between Knowles and Johnson has been rocky, according to a Music World Gospel representative, “It was personally important to Mr. Knowles that Le’Andria Johnson was placed in a thriving environment to give her an opportunity to compete among the very best.”
His failing label, which has, in the past, reportedly been shopped to potential buyers, was once thriving. But now, artists like Johnson are looking to jump ship.
“God promises us a future greater than our past,” said Johnson. “I am so happy to have a new home with RCA Inspiration. I look forward to working with the best team in the business to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m ready to use the hurt from my past to love people back to life.”
RCA Inspiration is the home of such gospel heavyweights as Hezekiah Walker, Marvin Sapp, Donnie McClurkin, Fred Hammond, Israel Houghton and more.
“I’ve been a fan of Le’Andria’s ever since her first performance on Sunday Best,” said Geo Bivins, General Manager of RCA Inspiration. “Vocally, her gift is amazing. We are all very excited to have her here at RCA Inspiration.”
Joseph Burney, A&R Vice President of RCA Inspiration, chimed in, “Le’Andria has a very unique gifting for bridging generations of gospel music lovers. She brings incredible vocals and a passion for people to every stage. I look forward to supporting her essential ministry.”
Johnson experienced a tremendous amount of success during her tenure at Music World Gospel.
She was named Billboard magazine’s #1 Female Gospel Albums Artist of 2012. Her groundbreaking and chart-topping debut CD, The Awakening of Le’Andria Johnson, entered at #1 on multiple music charts, including the Billboard Top Gospel Albums and the Top Christian/Gospel Albums charts. The CD also debuted at #1 on the Christian Music Trade Association’s Current Gospel Overall chart.
The Awakening of Le’Andria Johnson spent seven weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart, and remained in the Top 10 for over 20 weeks.
In 2011, she received her first GRAMMY® Award for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music performance for her debut single, “Jesus.” Her subsequent critically-acclaimed releases, The Awakening of Le’Andria Johnson Deluxe Edition, The Evolution of Le’Andria Johnson, Christmas Best and her new project, Le’Andria Johnson The Experience, have all landed atop the Billboard charts.
Johnson The Experience debuted in the Top 5 and has remained in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart since its release in September 2012. That same year, she received three Stellar Gospel Music Awards nominations and won two awards for New Artist of the Year, and Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year. She also received her first NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Gospel Album (Traditional or Contemporary).