by Alana Seldon
January 18, 2022
Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Tasha Cobbs-Leonard is adding another honor to the collection after the 2022 Urban One Honors.
The decorated artist, recognized for her many contributions to Gospel music, took home the Inspiration Impact Award during the show.
While accepting the honor, Cobbs-Leonard told the audience her life serves as a testimony to those “who may be in the back woods and no one knows your name, but you feel a calling on your life to impact the world.”
The proud Jesup, GA native continued: “God has used my life as a testimony to you. That you can do whatever you’re called to do.”
Fellow gospel musician and friend VaShawn Mitchell presented Cobbs-Leonard with the honor and introduced her performance, reminding viewers of her ability to “take us to chuuuch” every time she steps foot on stage.
And she did not disappoint!
Her U1H renditions of “Put a Praise On It,” “You Know My Name” and “Break Every Chain” were electrifying and empowering. Black Twitter was shouting together!
Even gospel legend Yolanda Adams made a cameo, submitting a congratulatory video that cheered Tasha on.
The Inspiration Impact Award honoree continued blessing the audience and viewers even after she got off stage. Tasha’s exclusive interview with backstage pass host Eva Marcille let fans in on her inspiring takes on purpose and living one’s truth.
When discussing new music and upcoming projects, the model and media personality acknowledged Tasha’s history of playing with secular artists and asked why she’s comfortable singing with everyone as a gospel singer.
Cobbs-Leonard quickly responded, saying it’s important that we know our purpose.
“Years ago, I found out my purpose was to bring God wherever I go,” she said. “So, whether it’s through business, whether it’s through arts, whether it’s through ministry, I’m taking God with me.”
She continued, touching on the impact that non-gospel artists also have on spreading the word.
“You have artists like Kanye, artists like Snoop, all these artists who are outside of the four walls of the church, representing God. People are saying his name all over the world and it may be people that gospel artists may not be able to reach, but I believe when we all come together, we can represent God in the fullness of who he is.”
The debate between gospel and secular music has permeated fans’ conversations and ways of life for decades. However, the Soundtrack of Black America would never be complete without sounds from both worlds.
It was refreshing to see all spaces, from the pulpit to the club, be celebrated. For an internationally known artist to encourage that inclusivity and togetherness simply spoke to why she is so beloved in music and the world.
Tasha Cobbs-Leonard was among a superstar lineup of honorees on MLK Day, including Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Timbaland, Gamble and Huff and Jennifer Hudson.
If you missed the Urban One Honors, you can catch an encore on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 8/7c on TV One and Friday, Jan. 21 at 10/11c on CLEO TV.
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