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J.J. Hairston        

Gospel Music Artist; Leader of Youthful Praise

Youthful Praise and worship leader, James "J.J." Hairston, have both traveled the world, ministered the gospel and garnered national and international recognition. Through their career, YP has set a new standard for the "church choir" and have no signs of slowing down. With 17 years in the ministry, YP has undoubtedly learned to trust what God has done and will continue to do for them.

Founded in 1992, the 35-member choir was birthed out of their home church. Cathedral of Praise in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where the group remains as one of the church's choirs. As their ministry grew they began singing background for artists such as Destiny's Child, Pastor Shirley Caesar and SWV, to name a few.

Currently Hairston writes, produces and leads YP, although in his youth he did not imagine himself in such a position. Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Hairston spent most of his time at Mt. Sinai Cathedral COGIC where his grandfather Bishop C.L. Sexton was the pastor and his mother served as choir director. J.J. would watch daily as the ministry was laid before him, but never thought he would follow in his mother's footsteps. Soon after his family moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut, J.J. was struck with a tragedy as a good friend was shot and killed. At that point, Hairston made a decision to make a change in his life and began directing the Central High School Gospel Choir, subsequently joining YP.

After years of singing in the choir, Hairston became co-director of YP alongside Shawn Brown. When Brown left YP to become a pastor, Hairston stepped into the position as director. Already co-writing, arranging and producing many of the songs, Hairston took his responsibilities and continued developing the signature sound that people have grown to love from YP.

He and his choir Youthful Praise continue to travel extensively due to the huge success of songs that J.J. has written or co-written including his current Billboard chart-topping song, "Resting on Promise," his hit worship song, "Lord You're Mighty," and of course, Youthful Praise's groundbreaking song, "Incredible God - Incredible Praise."


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