NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 4, 2017) — Joshua’s Troop received the surprise of a
lifetime when fellow Chicago-native and GRAMMY® winner Chance The Rapper invited
them to perform with him at OPENMIKE Chicago. OPENMIKE serves as an outreach to
Chicago’s high school students by hosting regular events where teens can perform
their original works and learn from professionals within their craft.
Joshua’s Troop president Percy Gray, Jr., received a call personally from the rapper
after Chance tweeted asking if anyone had a way to reach the group. Chance had
previously shared an InstaStory of himself with his daughter, while “Clap Your
Hands”—the ensemble’s Top 20 single—played in the background.
Chance took home three Grammy awards earlier this year. As an aspiring artist,
the 23-year-old originally honed his craft on the OPENMIKE stage. Today, OPENMIKE
Chicago is supported by Chance’s organization SocialWorks, an incubator for creativity. highlighted the one-of-a-kind collaboration in an online feature.
Sharing time on and off the stage with Chance gave Joshua’s Troop a first-hand
glimpse at the significant work SocialWorks is doing and the impact they’re having
on youth in their hometown though events like OPENMIKE. Additionally, Chance The
Rapper recently donated $1,000,000 to schools in Chicago.
“To have a famous rapper, who is not just famous in our city but in the nation,
want us—a young gospel group—to come sing with him, that’s not necessarily the
cool thing to do,” Joshua’s Troop member Brittney Gray told Billboard. “But
that’s what’s great; Chance is setting a new standard.” 

This collaboration is not over yet. Chance has stayed in touch with Joshua's
Troop and is planning another performance. Percy Gray, Jr. comments, "Chance has
invited us to sing with him again at his home church".   

Under the leadership of the Gray brothers, Chicago-based gospel youth choir
Joshua’s Troop has blossomed into a global phenomenon. The group’s latest
single, “It’s My Time,” released to acclaim last spring. The song was
recently named Youth Project of the Year at the 32nd Annual Stellar Awards.

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Chicago-based gospel youth choir Joshua’s Troop blends contemporary urban
R&B and soul with traditional gospel. Founded by Pastor Clay Evans and his
successor at Fellowship Methodist Baptist Church of Chicago, Pastor Charles
Jenkins, the choir’s aim has always been to create music that appeals to young,
teenaged churchgoers. The group released its self-titled debut in 2000. In 2007,
the choir came under the direction of brothers Percy and Jeral Gray. Joshua’s
Troop released its latest single, “It’s My Time,” in 2016. 

New Haven Records is a Nashville-based music corporation that includes label,
publishing and film companies focusing on the uniquely American genres of Black Gospel,
Southern Gospel, and Country & Bluegrass Gospel. New Haven’s products are serviced to
Christian retail through Provident Music Distribution and to the mainstream marketplace
through SONY Distribution. For additional information, go to
For more information, contact:
Keri Sawyer, New Haven Records
Phone: 615-327-3300


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