A few days ago, Anthony Brown, returned to his alma mater, Morgan State University, on the anniversary of Anthony Brown & group therAPy’s first Billboard No. 1 hit, “Worth,” which topped the Billboard Gospel Airplay chart for the first of 24 weeks on September 19, 2015. Brown’s former piano professor, Dr. Eric Conway, Chairperson of the Fine Arts Department, was on hand to welcome him back to the institution that polished his natural musical gifts. Also, on hand to celebrate him were gospel stars, Maurette Brown Clark, and Stephen Hurd, who read a special letter of congratulations from the Mayor of Baltimore, Bernard C. Young.
As Brown was closing his remarks, Tyscot Records President, Bryant Scott, strolled on stage and surprised him with a large R.I.A.A. certified gold record plaque signifying over 500,000 units sold for the digital single of “Worth.” Brown was genuinely caught off guard and overcome with emotion as he called his parents to the stage to accept the award with him. “We hope that it will be the first of many for you,” Scott said. Out of the hundreds of gold and platinum certifications this year, only four have gone to gospel acts.
“My mother [always said] to me, whenever I write songs, write songs that meet people where they live,” Brown told reporters afterwards. “I never forgot that. From the moment that God started to give me songs, I always tried to do was present them in a way that would meet people where they lived... So, it’s never been about trying to go after success, or get up the charts or any of those things. I just knew that if I wrote a song that resonated with people that it would go wherever it needed to... So, this [gold record] is evidence of that. It’s never been a chase after success. It’s been a chase of trying to write music that would touch people where they’re at. That’s all I’ve ever tried to do.”
Ironically, Anthony Brown & group therAPy’s current radio single, “Blessings on Blessings,” reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart on this anniversary week. It’s the lead single from the act’s forthcoming album, Second Wind (Key of A/ Tyscot/ FairTrade), which will release October 18th.[Photo by Marcus G. Bennett]