A gospel recording artist whose music is informed by contemporary R&B, pop, and hip-hop as well as classic gospel, Anthony Evans is known for songs that merge a message of faith with a contemporary sound. On early albums such as 2008′s The Bridge, Evans’ vocals, rooted in gospel tradition, were matched to pop and R&B arrangements, while 2011′s Home looked back to his roots in traditional gospel. With 2017′s Back to Life, the arrangements and studio techniques became more adventurous, creating a better match for his vocal style and his spiritual concerns.
The son of Dr. Tony Evans — founder and pastor of Dallas, Texas’ Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, as well as a high-profile radio and television host — Anthony Evans started his career in Christian music in 2001, as a background singer for Kirk Franklin. After a few years with Franklin, Evans established his solo career, beginning with the 2004 album Even More, released on the INO label through Epic. A promising debut, it peaked at number 17 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart. Additional albums followed for INO, Integrity, EMI Gospel, and Fair Trade. Evans broadened his reach in early 2012, when he competed on The Voice during the talent competition’s second season. While he didn’t make it past the sixth episode, his performances of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” and Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You” introduced him to a new audience and opened doors to secular music. He also continued to work on The Voice as an audition producer. His sixth proper studio album, Real Life/Real Worship, followed in April 2014 and was his most successful release. Produced entirely by Max Stark, the music was stylistically broad, while the lyrics remained connected to those of Evans’ previous releases. It incorporated Evans’ CCM and contemporary gospel flavors, as well as straightforward rock and EDM-laced dance-pop. It debuted at number 60 on the Billboard 200. In 2017, Evans released his much-anticipated seventh studio LP, Back to Life. Working once again with Max Stark, the ten-track set included the singles “Believe,” “See You Again,” “Ever Be,” and the stirring title cut. The prolific artist was back in 2018 with the album Everything Else, another set produced by Stark that dealt with difficult issues of life and faith as experienced by Evans. That same year, Evans published the book Unexpected Places: Thoughts on God, Faith, and Finding Your Voice. After the darker themes of Everything Else, 2019′s Altared took a more positive outlook, embracing the joy of faith and God’s love. ~ Andy Kellman