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Janice Gaines' approach to contemporary gospel music reflects her love for the form's traditions, as well as her interest in mature R&B and Top 40 radio. Born in St. Louis, Missouri and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, she sang in her church, was in a group during her high-school years, and also performed in a gospel choir prior. As she worked toward an economics degree at Oberlin College, she remained connected to music and performed background vocals for Howard Hewett. Following Oberlin, she earned a Master of Divinity degree from Ashland Theological Seminary, then taught seventh-grade mathematics in the Bronx. Music pulled her back to Tennessee -- specifically Nashville -- where she worked on recording sessions with a number of Christian and gospel artists, as well as jazz bassist Nathan East. With support from her husband and manager, E.J. Gaines, she landed a contract with Motown Gospel. In 2014, she appeared on the Motown Christmas compilation as Kem's duet partner on the song "Bethlehem." The following year, she released Greatest Life Ever, a short album of material she co-wrote, produced by LaShawn Daniels (Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Tamar Braxton). ~ Andy Kellman
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