Blessing Annatoria, the 18-year-old sensational vocalist and reigning champion of ‘The Voice’, has won her second major battle by convincing her management to allow her to release a debut gospel album featuring many songs of faith. “Count My Blessings” is releasedon Friday, 30 April 2021 via Universal Music and will feature classic gospel hits, as well as hymns, specially chosen and reinterpreted with a modern twist by Blessing Annatoria who recognises the burgeoning young audience like her who have faith in their lives.
The Zimbabwe-born and Christian-raised vocal powerhouse is one of the many young people with an unshakeable faith using their platforms, particularly social media such as Instagram and Tik Tok, to uplift spirits, spread joy and the message of kindness and gratitude, while bringing people together. As recent studies show, young people have increasingly turned to faith during the pandemic and are now the leading force in the resurgence of faith with many arguing that this is due to the ease with which young people can find information and like-minded people online.
This is highlighted by a recent SavantaComres study, which found that in July 2020, more than half of young people aged 18 to 24 said they had engaged in online worship. The resurgence of faith in young people is further supported by a YouGov study, conducted at the end of November 2020, which found that the number of 16 to 24-year-olds saying they believe in god increased from 21 per cent in January 2020 to 23 per cent in November 2020.
Growing up singing in church and with both her parents being pastors, Blessing Annatoria has always been surrounded by faith and music, a key component of her family and culture. Even her first ever public performance was a hymn at church, when her mum asked her to sing in front of the congregation before she started preaching. This significance of faith to Blessing Annatoria is reflected on her debut album “Count My Blessings”, which features a selection of the hymns that have been central to Blessing’s life, including How Great Thou Art, Abide With Meand In Christ Alone, all of which she’s given contemporary twist, alongside modern songs of faith, such as Moving On, Shackles and Kirk Franklin’s I Smile, Blessing Annatoria’s debut single.
Speaking about the importance of featuring hymns, Blessing Annatoria says:
“My management originally didn’t want me to include songs of faith on the album as they thought a young audience wouldn’t want that, but the hymns on my album are part of my faith DNA and there are so many of my peers that feel the same. It’s a great privilege to have an opportunity to give these hymns a contemporary twist for a new age of belief. It’s in times of great hardship and struggle when some people can lose faith but also when people need to believe in something positive and music can be a massive part of the connection to a higher power.”
Even before entering ‘The Voice’, Blessing Annatoria had been using her voice and social media channels to bring people together, spread happiness and share the message of believing in the greater good no matter how bad things are, a clear juxtaposition to the hatred often associated with these platforms. Sitting alongside make up reels, TikTok dances and fashion videos, Blessing also regularly hosts Instagram Live sessions for which she is joined by thousands of viewers from all over the world, selecting a follower at random to sing faith songs together.
Blessing Annatoria is also using her online platform to help overcome vaccine hesitancy among ethnic minority groups. Only this week, a study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that respondents from minority ethnic background were more hesitant than white adults towards the vaccine, with the odds of hesitancy six times as high in black or black British adults compared with white adults, while another study by OpenSafely earlier this year showed that black people over the age of 80 were half as likely as their white peers to have been vaccinated against Covid. Blessing is now taking to her social media channels with a special rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone to join others in building trust, reassurance and encourage her young followers and peers to speak to their families, parents and grandparents and check they are getting the vaccine.
Blessing Annatoria wowed millions of fans across the UK and was crowned the ninth winner of ‘The Voice’ in November 2020. She now returns with her gospel-inspired debut album “Count My Blessing”, which will be available on the 30 April 2021. Her first single I Smile is out now, listen here. Blessing Annatoria will also be performing songs from her debut album on BBC One’s Songs of Praise on Easter Sunday.
“COUNT MY BLESSINGS” Will be released on 30 April 2021, pre-order here: https://BlessingAnnatoria.lnk.to/CountMyBlessingsPR
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