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Stellar Award-winner Jonathan Nelson has had a large impact on contemporary praise and worship music in a short time. With his group, Purpose, he has released three albums since 2003—Every Thing You Are: Live in Baltimore, Right Now Praise and Better Days. His top 10 smash hit, “My Name Is Victory” from his sophomore album, Right Now Praise, spent 65 weeks on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart and won him a GMA Dove Award nomination as Best New Artist of the Year.  The single was also cited as the Most Singable Song of the Year by Gospel Today magazine (2008).

The chart-topping singer, songwriter, and worship leader has earned a reputation as a leader in contemporary praise and worship music with songs that inspire and encourage people. He continues to bring his message of winning through Christ in his new album, Finish Strong, which is scheduled to be released in April, 2013. The album was recorded live on May 19, 2012, at the Kingdom Worship Center (Bishop Ralph L. Dennis) in Nelson’s hometown, Baltimore, Maryland. This is Nelson’s first CD project on his new label, Karew Records.

The album’s title track, “Finish Strong” is the first single from the CD. The song, which was penned by Nelson and Kenneth Shelton, captures the message of the whole album—whatever God has for you to do, you must continue to go after it, never give up and finish strong. It is a universal message that will appeal to a broad audience.  “I hope people will finish strong in whatever they are assigned to do in life,” says Nelson. “It isn’t about how well you start, but it is about how well you finish. You must run the race and do it with patience and endurance because it’s not going to be easy. You’re going to have some road blocks, detours and delays, but you have to finish strong.” Nelson also hopes to use this song as a platform to promote healthy living, encouraging people to get their “minds, bodies and souls” intact.

Nelson has put his stamp on urban praise music as a songwriter. He co-wrote most of the songs on Finish Strong, which has something for every musical taste, from traditional church songs, to praise and worship, to choir songs. He has penned tunes for JJ Hairston and Youthful Praise, Stephen Hurd, Maurette Brown Clark andDeWayne Woods. One of Nelson’s biggest songs to date is Youth For Christ’s congregational ballad, “The Struggle Is Over,” which spent 12 weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart in 2006. Other hit songs written by Nelson include Bishop T.D. Jakes’ “My Praise Is My Weapon” and “Manifest.” Donald Lawrence’s recording of Nelson’s song, “Healed,” was the first break-out hit for Nelson, earning him a Stellar Award for Songwriter of the Year in 2006.

Nelson is looking forward to the release of Finish Strong. He hopes to take his message across the country and around the world.  “My desire is to really encourage and inspire people everywhere to finish strong,” he says.

For the second time, the Husband, Artist, Father, Minister of Music,Worship Leader and all around cool dude, checked in with to answer our infamous…

5 Questions…

1.  Why Gospel? There really wasn’t an alternative for me. It’s in my DNA. We’re a musical family. As you know, my father was a pastor, brothers sing, nieces and nephews are all musically inclined. It’s what I am supposed to be doing.

2. If you weren’t an artist what would you be doing? Well, until they laid me off I was a software engineer lol. And I also did substitute teaching. So maybe either of those. I dunno, I’m just glad that this is what I do.

3.  Who is your dream duet? Donald Lawrence. He’s my mentor. A true musical genius. Of course all the big timers, YolandaKirk. Also my brother and I have been talking toTina and Erica of Mary Mary about possibly doing a sibling song or project. So we’re kinda working that into schedules and timing.

4.  How do you relax? Spending time with  my family. My wife and kids.

5. Who are you listening to? Oh wow. Everybody! I’m a huge Brandy fan, so i love her new project. Love William Murphy’s new music. Tasha Cobbs, Anthony Brown of course my brotherJason (Nelson).

 **BONUS** How can fans connect with you? I’m on social media….FB, twitter, Instagram…..hit me up NelsonJonathan. Our official site is and if you’re in the Baltimore area tonight, April 23rd, come join us to celebrate the release of the new CD, FINISH STRONG at Empowerment Temple.

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5 Questions: Jonathan Nelson  was originally published on