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Marvin Sapp

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Marvin Sapp
Sapp performing in 2013
Marvin Louis Sapp

(1967-01-28) January 28, 1967 (age 57)
Spouse(s)MaLinda Prince Sapp
(m. 1992, d. 2010)[1]
  • (Marvin II
  • MaKaila
  • Madisson)
Musical career
Years active1990–present

Bishop Marvin Louis Sapp (born January 28, 1967)[2] is an American Gospel music singer-songwriter who recorded with the group Commissioned during the 1990s before beginning a record-breaking solo career.

Early life and education[edit]

Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Sapp began singing in church at age four. In third grade he met MaLinda Prince, his future wife. [1]

He was a student at the unaccredited Aenon Bible College in Indianapolis, Indiana.[3]

Solo career[edit]

In 1996, Sapp decided to establish himself as a contemporary gospel solo artist and has recorded seven albums. Sapp first achieved crossover fame with the release of "Never Would Have Made It" from the album Thirsty in 2007. It peaked at No. 14 on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, No. 82 on the Billboard Hot 100, and also at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart. Thirsty debuted at No. 28 on the U.S. Billboard 200, No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, and also No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Top Gospel Albums. It has been certified gold by the RIAA due to the album selling over 500,000 copies, making it Sapp's best selling album of his solo career, and has so far sold over 712,000 copies.[4] In 2009, Sapp won all seven Gospel Stellar Awards that he was nominated for.

Sapp recorded Thirsty's follow-up album, Here I Am, on October 16, 2009, at Resurrection Life Church in Wyoming, Michigan and released it on March 16, 2010. With its release, Sapp became the all-time highest charting gospel artist in Billboard's 54-year history of tracking album sales.[5] By selling approximately 76,000 copies of Here I Am its first week out, the album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, making Here I Am the highest-charting album ever by a gospel artist.[4] Here I Am's lead single, "The Best in Me," which was co-written by the album's producer, Aaron Lindsey (Israel Houghton), peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, No. 1 on Billboard's Gospel Songs chart[6] and reached No. 20 (with a bullet) on Billboard's Urban AC chart. On January 15, 2011, Marvin Sapp topped the list of winners during the 26th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards[7]

Personal life[edit]

Sapp is the widower of MaLinda Prince Sapp, who served as the administrative pastor at his Lighthouse Full Life Center Church. MaLinda died September 9, 2010, from complications of colon cancer.[8] Marvin Sapp had three children with MaLinda: Marvin L. II (b. August 30, 1994), MiKaila D. (b. September 8, 1997), and Madisson (b. June 9, 1999).[1]


In the early 2010s following the death of his wife, Sapp experienced harassment from a stalker: Dr. Teleka Patrick, a medical student who had moved from California to Kalamazoo, Michigan, to pursue Sapp. Patrick made numerous Twitter posts and YouTube videos containing romantic intentions towards Sapp, including wanting to bear children with him, but only a few of which addressed him by name directly.[9]

On August 25, 2013, Sapp angrily attested to his service about an unnamed woman (now believed to have been Patrick) who the night prior had gone into his home uninvited and spoke to his three teenaged children. Sapp later filed a personal-protection order for him and his children with the Kent County Circuit Court, accusing Patrick of contacting him for over a year; joining his church; coming to his home; contacting his children; and making claims that he was her husband. He and his lawyer cited "[Sapp having] at least 400 pages of correspondence from [Patrick] which [he had] never responded to" as evidence, and the order was successfully issued against Patrick on September 17, 2013.[10][11]

Patrick's infatuation with Sapp was later brought to media attention by a police investigation into her disappearance on December 5, 2013.[9] Police stated that Sapp was not considered to be a suspect in the woman's disappearance,[12] and Patrick was ruled an accidental death following discovery of her drowned body in a pond in Porter, Indiana, on April 16, 2014.[13]


In April 2022, it was revealed that there would be a biopic airing on TV One in August 2022 on Marvin Sapp, entitled after Marvin's top song, "Never Would've Made It: The Marvin Sapp Story". The biopic features Chaz Lamar Shepherd who portrays Marvin and Ambre Anderson portrays Marvin's late wife, Dr. MaLinda Sapp. [14]


Achievements and awards[edit]

Billboard Music Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / Work Award Result
2021[15] Marvin Sapp, "Thank You For It All" Top Gospel Song Nominated

BET Awards[edit]

Year Award Result
2008 Best Gospel Artist Won
2010 Best Gospel Artist Won

GMA Dove Awards[edit]

Year Award Result
2008 Male Vocalist of the Year Nominated
2009 Artist of the Year Nominated
Male Vocalist of the Year Nominated
2011 Artist of the Year Nominated
Male Vocalist of the Year Nominated
Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of the Year ("The Best In Me") Won

Grammy Awards[edit]

Marvin Sapp has been nominated for eleven Grammy Awards.


  1. ^ a b c Findley, Monae (August 4, 2022). "Through the Years: Marvin Sapp's Musical Journey". TV One. Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  2. ^ Rose, Mike (January 28, 2023). "Today's famous birthdays list for January 28, 2023 includes celebrities Ariel Winter, Will Poulter". Cleveland.com. Retrieved January 28, 2023.
  3. ^ Soul Man: Preacher and Singer Marvin Sapp | MLive.com. Blog.mlive.com. Retrieved on May 1, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Grein, Paul (March 24, 2010 ) Week Ending March 21, 2010: Pastor Sapp's Chart Miracle. Yahoo Music.
  5. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (March 24, 2010). "Lady Antebellum Returns to Top the Albums Chart, Followed Closely by Marvin Sapp". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 24, 2010.
  6. ^ Deboer, Terry (March 24, 2010). "Marvin Sapp's 'Here I Am' Hits No. 2 on Billboard Top 200, Highest Position of Any Gospel Album". The Grand Rapids Press. Retrieved March 26, 2010.
  8. ^ MaLinda Sapp Passes Away (BREAKING NEWS) | MyPraise 102.5, Atlanta, Inspiration, Gospel, Radio, WPZE. Mypraiseatl.com (September 9, 2010). Retrieved on 2015-05-01.
  9. ^ a b Hall, Rex Jr. (December 18, 2013). "Teleka Patrick timeline: What we know about Kalamazoo medical resident who disappeared". Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  10. ^ Hall, Rex Jr. (January 9, 2014). "Teleka Patrick case: Marvin Sapp called out stalker believed to be Patrick at church service". Michigan Live. Kalamazoo. Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  11. ^ "Gospel Singer Had Protection Order Against Missing Female Doctor He Says Stalked Him". CBS News. January 4, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  12. ^ Mack, Julie (January 22, 2014). "Teleka Patrick's disappearance had no connection to Marvin Sapp, Kalamazoo investigators say". Michigan Live. Kalamazoo. Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  13. ^ Hall, Rex Jr. (April 6, 2015). "The Teleka Patrick case: One year later". Michigan Live. Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  14. ^ GMA (April 13, 2022). "TV One Begins Production of Marvin Sapp Biopic". The Gospel Music Association. Retrieved November 8, 2022.
  15. ^ "The Weeknd wins big at the Billboard Music Awards: See the full winners list". EW.com. Retrieved May 25, 2021.

External links[edit]