*ATLANTA, GA – GMC TV, America’s favorite channel for uplifting family entertainment, presents the Original World Television Premiere of “The Song that Changed My Life with Marvin Sapp,” the latest installment in the network’s reality television series chronicling the impact of inspirational music by great artists.
This emotionally powerful and inspiring episode features pastor and award-winning gospel music singer-songwriter Marvin Sapp and Yolanda Bennett, a former hairdresser and mother whose life was transformed by Sapp’s 2007 hit single “Never Would Have Made It.” The show is narrated by pop icon and radio-television presenter John Tesh. “The Song that Changed My Life with Marvin Sapp” makes its world television premiere exclusively on GMC TV on Saturday, September 8th at 9:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. EST.
“The Song that Changed My Life with Marvin Sapp” tells the story of Yolanda Bennett, an Atlanta mother who fell into a deep depression and dependence on prescription drugs after the back-to-back deaths of her husband and father. Remarkably, Bennett’s downward spiral came to an overnight stop after she tuned in by chance to an awards show in which Sapp was performing “Never Would Have Made It.” Inspired by the song, Bennett quit her medications cold turkey the next day and began turning her life around. Interwoven with Bennett’s story are candid interviews with Sapp, who tells how the song came to him during a dark time of his own, when he was grieving the loss of his father in 2007.
“I broke down,” says Sapp, who recorded with the group commissioned in the 1990s before beginning a record-breaking solo career. “I sat in the pulpit with tears just rolling down my face and I just started singing these words. The next thing I know, the church just erupted. It was amazing.”
At the urging of his wife, Sapp fleshed the song out and added it—almost as an afterthought—to his 2007 album Thirsty. The rest is history. “Never Would Have Made It” went on to become No. 1 in gospel radio for 47 weeks and remains the longest-running No. 1 single on radio across all genres. It was named the Top Song of 2008 by The Associated Press and people started calling Sapp “Mr. Never Would Have Made It.”
“I want people to understand that you can get through things and move on and have a happier life,” Bennett says. Sapp, who is the pastor at Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., adds, “I never understood the power of a song until this experience. The fact that something so little can impact somebody so much, I’m astounded and thankful.”
“Everyone’s life has a soundtrack and sometimes the song that’s playing when you’re going through challenging times can be a pivotal element in your life,” says Rex Humbard, senior vice president productions and operations, GMC and executive producer. “In this episode of our series ‘The Song that Changed My Life,’ we see the power of something as simple as a heartfelt prayer that turned into a song with the power to transform lives. And let’s face it, we’ve all had our ‘never-would-have-made-it’ moments and somehow found a way through it. We are thrilled to be able to share these moments with our GMC viewers.”
In addition to Sapp and Bennett, “The Song that Changed My Life with Marvin Sapp” includes interviews with Sapp’s brother Henry Sapp, as well as Bennett’s sister Stephanie Cook; her mother, Dorothy Bennett; her daughter, Jayde Bennett; and her young son, Donavyn Bennett-Hill. Voiceover narration is by John Tesh, an award-winning American pianist and composer of pop music, as well as a prolific radio host and television presenter. GMC’s “The Song that Changed My Life with Marvin Sapp” is produced by Hirsh TV in association with GMC. The episode was produced by Logan Hirsh and GMC TV.
“The Song that Changed My Life with Marvin Sapp” is the second installment in the network’s reality television series chronicling the impact of inspirational music by great artists. The inaugural episode featured a Greenville, S.C. family whose lives were forever altered by the song “When Loves Takes You In” by Steven Curtis Chapman, an American musician, songwriter, record producer, actor, author and social activist. The song, which focuses on the topic of adoption, was especially meaningful for Chuck and Shelley Pace, who were split on whether to adopt a child. The couple already had three biological children, but Shelley wanted to adopt a little girl from China while Chuck was less sure. All that changed when Chuck attended a concert by Chapman in 2005 and saw a video for “When Love Takes You In.” The Pace family went ahead with the adoption as a result and welcomed a beautiful young girl into their family.
ABOUT MARVIN SAPP
Marvin Louis Sapp grew up in Grand Rapids, Mich., and began singing in church at age four. After singing with a number of gospel ensembles, he joined the group Commissioned in 1991, leaving five years later to go solo. His inspirational song “Never Would Have Made It,” from his 2007 album Thirsty, became a runaway hit that propelled the pastor into the musical spotlight. Born out of the pain of losing his father, the song broke numerous records, peaking at No.14 on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, No. 82 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, andalso at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart. Sapp’s next album would become the all time highest-charting gospel artist in Billboard’s 54-year history of tracking album sales. Nominated for eight Grammy© Awards, Sapp is a multiple Stellar Award winner, and also won BET’s Best Gospel Artist award in 2008 and 2010, as well as GMA Dove Award for Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of the Year in 2011 for the hit single “The Best In Me.” He is founder and senior pastor at Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids.
ABOUT GMC TV
GMC TV (www.watchGMCtv.com) is America’s favorite television channel for uplifting family entertainment. The Parents Television Council™ has twice awarded its Entertainment Seal of Approval™ to GMC for being “an authentic family-friendly cable network.” GMC TV is the only television network brand to be so honored. In 2011, GMC TV was the second fastest growing ad supported cable network in total day households and A18-49. GMC can be seen in more than 55 million homes on various cable systems around the country, as well as DISH Network on channel 188, DIRECTV on channel 338 and Verizon FiOS on channel 224. Follow GMC TV on Facebook and Twitter at http://facebook.com/gmctv and http://twitter.com/gmctv.
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