Deitrick Haddon has emerged as one of the most talented artists of any genre in modern music. But he's dedicated himself to Modern Gospel and has become possibly the most creative, consistently enjoyable artist in that genre.
Born and raised in the Motor City , Haddon was another gospel child prodigy, both as minister and musician. He gave his first sermon at the church of his father, Bishop Clarence Haddon, at age 11, and was directing the choir by age 13.
Haddon began his recording career in the mid 90s with the Voices of Unity on the small Tyscot label. As the group leader for their three albums, Haddon expressed his forward looking musical view, merging elements of soul, hip-hop and funk in the group's Gospel music. VOU had some mild success on the Gospel charts, but by the late 90s Haddon was ready to move more clearly front and center as a solo artist. His first two solo albums, This is My Story and Chainbreaker continued his artistic development and made some moderate noise on the Gospel charts.
However, not even the devoted fan base he had been accumulating could have anticipated his late 2002 release, Lost and Found, his first on giant Gospel label Verity. A project as ambitious as Tonex's noted debut, Pronounced Toe-Nay, Lost and Found is an exhaustive, inspired opus by a Gospel artist who, with its release, clearly declared himself a new Gospel star.
The disc begins sounding like a dance Gospel album, leading off with two funky numbers, "D.D." and "Oh Yeah" (the latter featuring the ubiquitous Fred Hammond). From there it covers broad territory, including bluesy, southern soul ("Ain't Got Nothing" and the radio hit, "Sinner's Prayer"), Praise & Worship ("Worship Medley"), Prince-style electric soul ("It's Me"), big ballads ("Stand Still") and joyous calypso ("The Praises Go (Up, Up, Up)"). Haddon is literally bursting with musical ideas on the album and, amazingly, virtually all work. Equally impressive is the strong lyrical content of the disc - much of it autobiographical -- focusing principally on the power of redemption and the ability of faith to rescue lost or miscast souls.
Haddon followed Lost and Found with the equally ambitious and enjoyable Crossroads. It was another Tour De Force that firmly established Haddon as a visionary, immensely talented artist.
Over the next few years, Haddon continued recording solo albums as well as projects with Voices of Unity. He moved back to his native Detroit to become pastor of High Praise Church and he continued to progress in multimedia, taking his first major acting role in 2010's Blessed and Cursed, which found a sizeable underground audience. And in January, 2011, Haddon released the futuristic album, Church on the Moon, another fine release.
By Chris Rizik