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23 Apr 2011

Gospel’s Marvin Sapp talks wife’s death last year

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April 23, 2011 Category: Oasis Posted by:

By Jonathan Landrum Jr.

Associated Press


ATLANTA – Even though Marvin Sapp has reached the pinnacle of success career wise, the gospel singer still wakes up with mixed emotions when reminiscing of his wife who died seven months ago.


“Every day is a new day,” Sapp said in a recent phone interview. “There are days when I get up and I cry, thinking of her. There are days thinking of her and I smile. There are days when I’m angry. Days that I’m not. … We miss her.”


Last year, Sapp’s latest album “Here I Am” debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart, making it the highest ranking gospel album in the chart’s 54-year history of tracking album sales. His eighth album was led by single “The Best in Me.”


But about seven months after the release of his record-breaking album, his world was rocked when his wife MaLinda Sapp died in September 2010 after a nearly 18-month fight with colon cancer. He and his 43-year-old wife had three children together — a 17-year-old boy and two girls at the age of 14 and 12.


Sapp says his wife played an integral part of his crossover success into the gospel secular realm, saying she encouraged him to release the inspirational “Never Would Have Made It,” which ended up being a hit in 2007. Along with managing his career, she was also the administrative pastor of his Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, Mich.


The 44-year-old Sapp says he still finds it hard to imagine not having his wife around.


“She was a wife that I planned on having for life,” says Sapp, who had three children with his wife of 20 years. “It’s still a process. It’ll probably be a life-long process. No matter what happens in my future. Some things you just don’t get over.”


After his wife’s death, Sapp took 25 days off within a four-month span to grieve. He returned to preaching and music in January, despite some advising him not to rush back.


But Sapp says he couldn’t keep away from his career, realizing the preaching and singing is a therapeutic outlet for him to express his feelings. He hopes his music can bring some more solace to himself and other who are dealing with the death of their mate.


“It can be a testimony to others about how God can keep you in a difficult time,” he says.


Since Sapp’s return, he already claimed four awards, including artist of the year at the Stellar Awards this year. He’s also received four nominations the Dove Awards, which will be taped on April 20. The show will be aired on April 24 on the Gospel Music Channel.


If Sapp is able to come away with any awards — which includes his nomination for artist of the year — he’ll dedicate it to the memory of his wife.


“I think it’ll be some icing on the cake on my career and that we accomplished something together,” he says. “Even though she’s not here, I know she’ll be there in my mind and spirit. We left our mark musically on the world. We showed it’s all about family.”

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