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Brian Courtney Wilson “Worth Fighting For”


Inline image 1All it takes is one listen to Brian Courtney Wilson. Then you’re wondrously hooked.


In just five years, Wilson’s singular tenor and community-minded ministry—the uplifting forces behind such hits as “All I Need” and “Already Here”—has won the humble artist a growing host of fans and critical acclaim as both a Stellar Award winner and Dove Award nominee. Now as the newest member of the Motown Gospel family, Wilson brings the full measure of his singing and songwriting talent to center stage on his first live album, Worth Fighting For.


Produced by Motown Gospel VP of A&R Aaron Lindsey and recorded at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Houston, Worth Fighting For overflows with spirit and emotion. Accompanied by a fresh, colorful mix of contemporary R&B, gospel, rock, folk and spoken word, Wilson’s melodic tenor passionately expresses joy, love, self-doubt, grace, empowerment, victory and—above all—inspiration. As he soulfully proclaims on the title track/lead single: “Nothing can separate me from your love / When there’s so much more still worth fighting for.”


The spare yet fervent track also unwittingly laid the foundation for Wilson’s Motown Gospel debut. During an early chat about the album’s direction, Wilson recalls that Lindsey asked him a pivotal question about the state of the church. “In a world that’s become cynical about authority and organized religion, that’s an easy question to get negative about,” says Wilson. “Instead my gut reaction was it’s still worth fighting for and preserving. I didn’t know then it would be the theme of my album. But from there, God revealed the songs.”


Those songs include the riveting opening track “Stand My Ground.” Its energetic cadence sets the tone as Wilson’s soaring voice takes charge: “… I’ve decided not to give way to the fear / I’ve discovered that your presence means my help is near / I’ll stand my ground.” On the eloquent mid-tempo “It Will Be Alright,” he helps strengthen listeners’ resolve using only six words, “You’re a victor, not a victim.” Changing tempos with the anthem ballad “I’ll Just Say Yes,” Wilson cautions that you can’t realize what God’s promises are until you take the first step forward and say yes. 


Rounding out the 11-track standard version of Worth Fighting For is one studio cut, the guitar-driven ballad “Mindful.” The deluxe version includes three bonus songs: two live medleys as well as another studio track, “Greatest Love,” featuring Grammy Award winner Tina Campbell.


Confessing that he himself has “gotten stuck because I couldn’t see the answers to make me feel comfortable,” Wilson says he’s questioned whether “this calling on my life is real or something that’s self-indulgent. Many of the songs and concepts on this album were born out of that doubt, which in some ways I’m still experiencing.”


It’s that realness, as well as Wilson’s natural musical talent, that continues to endear him to fans. Born and raised near Chicago in Bellwood, Illinois, Wilson grew up watching and later singing in his local church’s adult male choir.


“My favorite TV shows were on Saturday nights,” recalls Wilson with a laugh. “But I’d grudgingly go with my dad to the choir rehearsals. Watching them talk and then sing, I later realized that they were building each other up to face the week ahead. And that’s what I wanted to do with my music. Build a community, a catalyst to inspire others to keep going each week in a faithful manner.”


Several years after graduating from University of Illinois, Wilson relocated to Houston where he worked for Johnson & Johnson while singing and writing songs for Windsor Village United Methodist Church’s Sunday services. Discovered when some of his songs were later played on local radio stations, Wilson released his first album in 2009. 


Just Love not only spun off the Dove Award-nominated title track but also two more hit singles, “All I Need” and “Already Here.” Earning a Dove nomination as well for new artist of the year, Wilson returned in 2012 with second album So Proud. Debuting at No. 1 on Billboard’s Gospel Albums chart, the set features the title track single and “He Still Cares.”


The following year, Wilson teamed with gospel icon Fred Hammond and R&B singers Dave Hollister and Eric Roberson to comprise the award-winning group United Tenors. In addition to receiving the Rising Artist Award from Gospel Music Heritage, Wilson earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Gospel Album of the Year on behalf of Just Love.


Now Motown Gospel’s newest family member is ready to start the next chapter in his burgeoning career. “I love how real this album sounds,” says Wilson. “And that’s one of the things I pray for: to create a great catalog of music that people can lean on in good—and tough—times.”


And that’s certainly Worth Fighting For.