It was one of the highlights of the royal wedding. A gospel version of “Stand By Me” changed the life of choir leader Karen Gibson and, she believes, marked a cultural shift in Britain. Rosanna Philpott reports.
LONDON AND WINDSOR, ENGLAND, UK (REUTERS AND BBC STUDIO/ EVENTS UK SPECIAL) – Two weeks since the British royal wedding that broke tradition, and for the gospel choir that helped do it – bookings are through the roof.
“I physically can’t even keep up with the emails and the messages – requests for interview and tours and weddings.”
“I do get stopped every time I go down the road – photos being taken, sometimes they’re trying to pap you on the sly when they think you’re not looking.”
Everyone agrees – it’s been a whirlwind – of media requests and fan mail but there’s also a feeling already that this big moment for gospel has sparked a cultural change as a woman of color married into the very top of Britain’s establishment.
“I feel there’s been a shift – I do – everybody loves a good wedding – everybody loves a good love story – and what you’ve seen in the royal wedding is the coming together of two cultures. It’s done that for gospel music I think it’s done something for people of color. I could feel something hanging in the air as we sung – it was a real moment.”
“They didn’t want any of that – normally we would click and bounce – but um – no.”
“It was right for the platform – and it was right for the world.”