Armed with a remarkable legacy and a powerful musical gift, Dr. Dorinda Clark-Cole has built an iconic career in music and ministry. Having amassed three Grammy® Awards and six Stellar Gospel Music Awards, Dorinda is walking into her fifth full-length solo album with renewed grace and faith-fueled confidence tested by enduring seemingly insurmountable odds.
LIVING IT is her second release on Light Records and the three-time Grammy® Award winning singer, ground-breaking evangelist and entertainment pioneer soars to new creative and thematic heights on this project. “My world is finally coming to where I need it to be. I feel comfortable about my career and excited about the journey I am on now,” says Cole. LIVING IT is the culmination of this dynamic legend’s testimony and message, firing up listeners’ faith with an immerse spiritual and sonic experience.
The purpose and calling on Dorinda’s life show up boldly on this album. Her faith is firm and resolute as never before, and she embraces her calling with a striking new creative path and sound. While Dorinda has always cast her cares on the One above, it was not until experiencing the recent scare of possibly losing her home to foreclosure that she really came to understand the true power of her faith and what it really means to walk with God. Indeed, LIVING IT embodies what Dorinda Clark Cole has lived through. “God came through for me,” she says. “Every song you hear [on Living It] is definitely about this journey. I never knew what faith really was…I preach about faith, I tell people about it, but I never really knew what faith was until this journey. For over 25 years, I’ve said ‘as you go through trials, each trial gets harder. You have to go through the test, to have a testimony; you have to go through the mess, to have a message.’ If I never knew this to be true for myself, I absolutely know it now.”
Bold, inspiring, and powerful, LIVING IT is a tour-de-force for this vocal powerhouse. The album is an 11-track experience that boasts big gospel chords, the stratospheric singing that the The Clark Sisters and Dorinda Clark Cole are known for, and fresh, up-tempo grooves that are infectious as Dorinda’s energetic and motivating personality. Songs such as “The Name,” “Antidote,” “Use Me,” “He Still Loves Me,” and “Win”, and of course the lead singles “You Are” and “Bless This House,” reflect Dorinda’s journey to a transcendent new understanding in faith.
“You Are,” co-written by Dorinda, Deon Kipping, Daniel Weatherspoon, Joe “Flip” Wilson and Courtney Harrell, is the album’s Billboard Top 20 first single. The song was inspired by a young woman at Dorinda’s church who declared that Dorinda was her personal inspiration. Touched by the sentiment, Dorinda quickly began to pen the up-tempo praise jam in total admiration and thankfulness to God. She proclaims: “God, if you were not my inspiration, I could not inspire others. You are my inspiration, the reason I live.”
The title track “Living It,” co-written by Dorinda, Courtney Harrell, Shanika Deshun Bereal, and Rick Robinson, is stripped down to simply vocals and piano chords as Dorinda’s celebrated vocals are deftly delivered with intensity, repentance and gratitude. Birthed during Dorinda’s inaugural writer’s colony experience in 2013, the song is one of Dorinda’s favorites. “The words of the song actually bring you into this place with God,” she says. “It’s just me and God. He’s walking with me, like the poem “Footprints in the Sand.” He’s taking me on this journey by myself. He tells me ‘I’ve been always with you, and I will never leave you’. To know that, now I am actually living it.”
“Bless This House,” the second single, which was also co-written by Dorinda, is a soul stirring and bluesy song that belongs in the church hymnal, to be sung every Sunday morning during praise & worship. Dorinda acknowledges that, particularly because of her traveling ministry, she too is in need of covering. “I almost lost my house. My house caught on fire. Yet, I am still ministering. So, the song is saying, as I travel, Lord, bless this house, as I bless you. As I help someone else out of what they’re going through bless my house, as I bless you. As I go to prisons to minister to women who might not ever have a chance to get out, or as I go to those who are sick or shut in, Lord bless this house, as I bless you. I’m doing the work so, Lord, please bless my children. I need you to bless my house.”
The song “In the Dark” is another Dorinda, Courtney Harrell and Joe “Flip” Wilson collaboration. It is a brisk track with a subtle yet intense exchange between a synthesizer and drum pattern. Here Dorinda delivers the story of an eagle that can only soar high with new wings. “In order for new feathers to come, he has to pluck off the old feathers, and sit in the dark. When he sees new feathers come, he begins to come to a place and starts to fly higher because he has new wings.” There’s a double entendre with darkness for Dorinda. Experiencing darkness can really be a path to hope. “Everyone thinks the dark is a bad place, but it’s not,” she declares. “It can be a place where God renews you, where God restores you.”
On LIVING IT, Dorinda Clark-Cole delivers a strong message of hope, faith and prayer. She says: “No matter how bleak the situation looks, God can give us grace again. Life itself is a sign that tomorrow is going to be better. Ask God to increase your faith to hold on. Faith is just a hand away from your miracle. Faith is action saying ‘I can do this’. Faith is what I hope for, knowing that the hope is in God. Pray a little longer, pray a little stronger because we can do nothing without prayer.”
As the daughter of renowned choir director Dr. Mattie Moss-Clark, and sister of Jacky, Twinkie, Karen and Denise, Dorinda Clark Cole was surrounded by Gospel music since her childhood and it was no surprise that the sisters would form the legendary vocal ensemble The Clark Sisters. Now, Dorinda has skillfully mastered the delicate balance between music, life and ministry with resounding clarity — building a rich musical legacy that continues to shatter expectations in the entertainment industry. Along with her enduring music ministry, Dorinda’s extensive anointing as an inspirational leader allows her to keep her hands full serving others across broad platforms as a gospel radio host (the nationally syndicated Dorinda Clark Cole Radio Show), a television host (TCT Networks’ The Dorinda Show and The Word Network’s Gospel According to Dorinda), a fashion designer (The Dorinda Clark-Cole Rose Collection), a fitness enthusiast and entrepreneur (Feet On Fire Fitness DVD) and a CEO (Singers, Musicians and Arts Conference [SMAC]). The enterprising evangelist now also adds starring cast member to her comprehensive résumé. The 2015 series premiere of Oxygen’s Preachers of Detroit will feature the Detroit native and six other men and women of the cloth as they share their lives, transformations and triumphs in and out of the pulpit.
Through her many seasons of life, Dorinda has inspired flocks of peers, fans and followers around the world with the power of her voice and message. Hailed for her dazzling vocals and profound performances, Dorinda’s music echoes her gratitude and tells her testimony through life’s ups and downs. From contemplating suicide (Dorinda Clark Cole 2002), to her live album embracing her moniker (The Rose Of Gospel 2005); from chart topping success (Take It Back 2008), to the fire that ravaged her home (I Survived 2011), to potential home foreclosure (Living It 2015) – Dorinda emerges victorious through song and praise.
The peaks and valleys of Dorinda Clark Cole’s journey have molded her character and fortified her prominence as a gospel trailblazer. The peaks have included pioneering moments in music and evangelism as an African-American woman, moments that have expanded her ability to influence and connect with her fans and transform lives. The evangelist’s history-making milestones include being the first woman to stand in the pulpit and preach in South Africa,
the first woman to minister on the TCT Network, the first woman to preach for Convocation within the Church of God in Christ [COGIC], in addition to succeeding her mother, Dr. Mattie Moss-Clark, as the VP of the music department at COGIC, where Dorinda made history with her sixteen years of service. “As a female evangelist, God brought me the territory where women can stand in places where we were [previously] not fortunate to go, [and] now God is allowing me to go into those places. I see my ministry expanding in so many ways relating to women,” she extols.
Continuing to live boldly and on purpose, Dorinda Clark-Cole is clear about her future. Coming from a family of very strong women, “I want my legacy to be where my children see a strong woman. A woman of faith and a woman of power. As wife of Elder Gregory Cole, and mother of Nikkia and Gregory Jr., they’ve seen my struggles, my success, and all the things. My children are very strong in God, I want this to continue, and I believe God has given me two powerful kids who can carry that legacy on.”