Best Gospel Artist

Cheneta Jones

It would be impossible to write about young gospel starlet Cheneta Jones without first taking an inappropriately long pause to contemplate her sex appeal. Onstage, she's a sultry and riveting presence, and she clearly could have had a promising career on the urban R&B circuit. But in 2008, Jones left that scene to devote herself fully to musical ministry, to fusing relentlessly catchy neo-soul soundscapes with devoted spirituality. And though her sound and dizzyingly melismatic phrasing are absolutely contemporary, her recent single "Get There" floats along on a beautiful piano-based melody and then soars into the same glorious, civil-rights-inspired skies of "A Change Is Gonna Come" itself. Jones' voice could make a believer out of anyone.

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