Tuscaloosa Gospel Spotlight: Lisa Knowles Smith
Our Tuscaloosa Gospel Spotlight of the week is Tuscaloosa's own Lisa Knowles Smith. Lisa is very well known nationally for her hits and her most recent collaboration single "Nobody Like Jesus" with gospel artist James Fortune.
Born Alescia Nicole Knowles, she was raised as a "quartet girl" in Memphis, TN. She is the oldest of two children. At the age of 3, her family noticed that she had a great love for singing and even at an early age, she was not afraid to sing it how she felt it. Her mother recalls, “Lisa would have to have a mic at all times, even if she wasn’t singing or she would cry.” At the age of 9, she started singing with the Brown Singers as an extra background singer. People could not believe that a little girl could have such a grown up voice. They tried her out on the lead for the upbeat, bass driven, fan favorite "Sweet Jesus"and people everywhere were amazed by her ability to handle the stage and crowd. At the age of 12, she became the group's lead singer and recorded on the group's first "live" cd/dvd in 1996 "Live In Memphis"(E & J Records) along with 3 other up and coming quartets in the city.
As she got older, she became a fan of r&b, jazz, blues, rock and country music. This in turn had a massive effect on her style of singing. She began to fuse Quartet with other genres of music. It was a success; the young as well as the old now loved the group. "Work on Me", "I Need You Lord Jesus" and "What He's Done For Me" have become a few of her most popular songs. After 18 years of singing with The Brown Singers, she decided it was finally time to share her love for music on a broader spectrum. She began to step out and perform solo as just “Lisa Knowles”.
In 2012, while still singing with her family group, The Brown Singers, Lisa began to travel as a background singer for James Fortune & FIYA. She also toured with the “United as One” tour as a background vocalist for James Fortune, Vashawn Mitchell, Kierra Sheard and Zacardi Cortez. She is featured on James Fortune & FIYA’s project “Live Through It” sharing lead on the powerful song “Miracles”. In 2014, The Brown Singers released their second national project entitled "The Evolution Continues, debuting #6 on the Gospel Billboard charts. In 2015, the group won 2 Stellar Awards for Quartet of The Year and Traditional Group/Duo of The Year.
Following the group's wins, Lisa stepped out on faith and started her own record label "EvoWorld Music Group, LLC". The label's first project, "Evolution: The Legacy" which was also produced by Lisa, was released in 2016.
In 2017, Lisa Knowles-Smith launched her first women’s retreat “Loving Me Again” with over 300 women registered. The retreat took place in Birmingham, AL for 2 days, with 4 power-packed events. Many women attest that it was life changing. Currently, Lisa is working on her highly anticipated solo record along with many other amazing endeavors including starting a mentoring program and scholarship fund, opening a recording studio, and releasing her first book with her husband Marcus. She lives in Tuscaloosa with her husband Marcus who is apart of Blessed By Four. She is a member of the Mt. Carmel Community Church in Duncanville. She intends to embark on the journey of life and love, not as just another singer but as an example of faith and love through music for the upbuilding of the Kingdom.
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