||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2013)|
|Born||October 11, 1948|
|Origin||Houston, Texas, USA|
|Genres||CCM, worship, gospel|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, composer|
|Associated acts||Bill and Gloria Gaither, Bruce Greer|
Cynthia Clawson (born October 11, 1948 in Austin, Texas) is a Grammy Award-winning American gospel singer. She has been called "The most awesome voice in gospel music" by Billboard Magazine, and has received five Dove Awards, 15 Dove Award nominations, and a Grammy for her work.
Clawson was three years old when her father asked her to sing in the small church of which he was the minister. From that time, she sang in local neighborhood churches and in Robert Schuller's Hour of Power.
Clawson was spotted by a CBS television producer who signed her to headline a summer replacement for The Carol Burnett Show called the CBS Newcomers. That show led her to a recording contract with record producer Buryl Red. Around that time, Buryl was writing a new musical with lyricist, poet and playwright Ragan Courtney titled Celebrate Life; Clawson was invited to record the solos for the original cast album.
Ragan Courtney and Cynthia Clawson were married within six months and began a creative collaboration.
In 1981, her recording of "The Lord's Prayer" with Andrae Crouch, The Archers (Janice Archer, Steve Archer, Tim Archer), B.J. Thomas, Dony McGuire, Reba Rambo, Tramaine Hawkins & Walter Hawkins won the Grammy Award for the Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary Or Inspirational category. She performed on the Grammy show that year.
In 1985, Clawson's rendition of "Softly and Tenderly" was included in the soundtrack of the Academy Award winning movie The Trip to Bountiful. In 1992, she recorded "Somewhere In Between" on the "Where the Red Fern Grows: Part 2" soundtrack. In 2014, Clawson recorded the closing song "You Are Home" for the original score soundtrack of the movie "Heaven is Real."
In 1986, Cynthia was featured in Lou Rawls Parade of Stars, along with The Judds, New Addition, Bill Cosby, Charlton Heston, and Natalie Cole. In later years, Clawson became closely associated with Bill and Gloria Gaither and frequently sang with them in their Gaither Homecoming recordings and concerts. She has sung in a variety of prestigious venues, including a concert at London's Wembley Stadium.
Clawson was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Houston Baptist University in 1995, and was awarded the same degree from Howard Payne University in 2007.
Cynthia has performed regularly as a guest artist for Grammy-nominated Conspirare, a choral group recognized as the preeminent a cappella choral ensemble in the United States. She's also performed with the Houston Chamber Choir as well as years of singing with church choirs around the world.
Current life and family
Cynthia Clawson Courtney and Ragan Courtney were co-ministers of The Sanctuary in Austin, Texas, where they designed worship services using theatre and music as a means of religious expression.
Clawson has a son, Will, and a daughter, Lily. Lily graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Religious Studies and is a Family Therapist based out of Sante Fe. Will and Lily released their own Indie rock CD called Brothers and Sisters, and Will currently tours, writes and records on his own.
- In The Garden (1974)
- A Private Showing (1975)
- The Way I Feel (1977, reissue 2005)
- It Was His Love (1979)
- You're Welcome Here (1981, reissue 2005)
- Finest Hour (1982, reissue 2005)
- Forever (1983 resissue 2005)
- Immortal (1986, reissue 2005)
- Hymnsinger (1988)
- Carolsinger (1989)
- Words Will Never Do (1990)
- Cynthia's Greatest Hits (1991)
- Blessed Assurance: Songs My Grandmother Taught Me (1993)
- River of Memories (1994)
- Prayers and Plainsong (1995)
- Smoke on the Mountain (1998)
- Broken: Healing the Heart (1999)
- Carols and Chant (2005)
- See Me, God (2006)
- Episodes (2008)
- Always (2009)
- 1980 Dove award Female Vocalist of the Year
- 1981 Dove award Female Vocalist of the Year
- 1981 Dove Award Inspirational Album of the Year—You're Welcome Here
- 1981 Dove Award Recorded Music Packaging of the Year—You're Welcome Here
- 1981 Grammy Award Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary Or Inspirational--"The Lord's Prayer"
- 1982 Dove Award Recorded Music Packaging of the Year—Finest Hour
- 2005 Texas Gospel Music Hall of Fame (July 2005)