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I cry when I see hungry people – Judith Gayle

Judith Gayle was born in Clarendon, Jamaica. The America- based popular international gospel singer found solace in music and began a journey in the 1980’s singing background for secular artists such as Richie Stephens. She rose to prominence as a cabaret singer in Jamaica’s most prestigious hotels. In 1999, Judith was invited by a friend to a local church in Clarendon. According to her, it was there that her life changed “as God captivated my heart”. From her own account, Judith’s early years as a young Christian brought seemingly unbearable servings of loss, heartache, despair, fear, pain, struggle and suffering. Judith said: ‘’Having been stripped of everything and isolated in misery, I was forced to grab hold of a holy boldness in God, who taught me how to smile again”

In 2007,  Judith as an international gospel singer/songwriter, was nominated for the “Mahalia Jackson” award in Canada.  With hard work, she placed 2nd in the 1998 Jamaica National Song Festival with the song “Mi Nah Lef Jamaica”. In 2009, she was named Female Artist of the Year in Jamaica. In the same year, Judith captured the MegaJamz Gospel Awards Artist of the Year in Jamaica. Two years later, she copped the Atlanta Gospel Music Award for Best Collaboration. Going further in  her harvest of awards,  in 2015, she was awarded the “Trail Blazer Award” from Gospel Vibes Radio in Connecticut.  Also in 2015, Judith made appearance at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York, singing alongside some of America’s greats, including Vickie Winans.

Her  mega hit “Give Me Jesus” has become an anthem at concerts, radio stations and on YouTube where it has amassed over 7 million views, an achievement that is second to none among Caribbean gospel artists. Judith has so far captivated her fans with six albums which are:  The Sun Shines Again (2003); Broken to be Blessed (2005); Designed to Worship (2009); I Believe (2012); It’s Gonna Be Alright (2013) and The Winner in Me (2017). She is also  an author and humanitarian. The singer has published two inspiring and challenging books: “Broken to be Blessed; Destined to Win” and “This is Real, Take the Mask Off”.

She speaks to Green Savannah Diplomatic Cable about her journey to stardom

Excerpts

What inspired you into music?

I am not sure I want to call it an inspiration, I would choose to say, a calling to make music according to how He leads me. I also believe that’s what makes the difference, being led to do music. That means lives will be transformed.

What were the initial challenges?

I will just deal with the main one, which was submitting to the call. It wasn’t easy to leave the known for the unknown. I guess that’s where faith as a  teacher steps in.

At what stage did you have your breakthrough in music?

It came at  a point of losing all  I gained in the world, the car the money, the friends, the popularity, all the material things I possess. I put it like this. I was broken to be blessed His way. I  had to lose it all, I had to be tested and tried to see if I was fit to handle the blessings.

How did you feel when you became the first runner up in the 1998 Jamaica Cultural Development Commission Popular Song Competition ?

It felt great from a secular perspective, my mother wrote the song and I did it to make her feel good .I gave my life to the Lord after that.

You teamed up with Lady Saw to record a song titled Matey, you were also a backup singer for Ritchie Stephens , why did you break up with the two of them?

I wouldn’t call it break up, but life goes on. Those experiences were great while they  lasted, I enjoyed working with both of them, great people. Marian Hall {aka} Lady Saw is now a Christian and my prayer is that Richie Stephens follows  soon.

Would you say your music has changed the society in a little way?

Yes, I believe so. The songs God gave me have influenced the society in a great way. You can hear it through testimonies  given by those who were delivered. I believe when God appoints, He anoints and that’s what makes the difference in changing lives.

What has been the major challenge in your music career especially since you became famous?

I always try to stay positive. Even if something is there, I learn to stand in Gods strength believing that nothing can stop a child of God. When God has predestined you for greatness, there will be challenges but I really and truly don’t focus on that, I focus on the one who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all I can ask or think.. I know I have the greatest power man can ever possess, and that is the power of the Holy Ghost. He guides us into all truth, come  what may.

What should your fans look out for this year?

Great music, great videos, great messages to uplift their spirit to a higher level in God.

How does Jamaicans receive  you when you walk on the street?

They say we are celebrities,(laughter). They need autograph, they need prayer and so on. They just love us. I really don’t do much walking on the street, it can be overwhelming sometimes. But when I want to have a one on one with my people I go. I love to serve.

What are you planning to  give back to  your roots, Africa?

I have not been to Africa yet, but my greatest aspiration is to minister in Africa. I am believing and really hoping to tour Africa one of these days, and what do I have to give? some great music, the word of God to transform  lives through my testimonies of how I overcame the many obstacles that came my way. See you soon Mother land.

What is that thing the world does not know about Judith Gayle?

How much I love people, and If I had money, no one would be hungry. It pains my heart and makes me cry when I see hungry people. I would  take my shoes off to give to those who don’t have. I give a lot to people, but I hate to make it known to the public.

Would you say you are fulfilled in your career?

Oh no! I have not been to Africa yet. I have not helped all I need to help yet, I have not preached my greatest sermon or write my greatest song yet.

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