Southern gospel music has had a major impact on many who listen to it. The same can also be said for those who sing it as well. As a member of The Talleys, Lauren Talley’s life has been transformed by this life changing music.
Talley joined her parents as the third member of the trio at a young age. Her soulful, powerful voice and equally infectious personality has delighted audiences all over the world. Now, in 2020, a new season approaches for Talley as she enters into full time solo ministry.
In 1996, The Talleys reformed after a three years hiatus, with Lauren officially joining her parents Roger and Debra. However, Talley’s journey into Southern gospel began much earlier.
“I was a toddler when my family formed The Talleys,” recalls Lauren. “I sat backstage or on the front row for their concerts every night until I was 10 years old. At that time, my mom and dad felt the Lord’s leading to put their career on pause and stay home. For the next three years, God began to make the calling on my life known to me, and I developed my own interest in singing. My parents and I began performing together as the second version of the Talleys in 1996. I was 13.”
Her unmistakable soprano voice has now become a fixture of the group as well as the genre. Lauren cites several influences on her unique sound.
“Pretty much anybody who’s good,” says Lauren. “I listened to everything growing up, every style. I tried my hardest to sing like the Martins, Wynonna Judd and CeCe Winans as a twelve year old in my bedroom. I’ve tried to learn from anyone who does what they do well.”
This vocalist’s unique sound is featured on Lauren’s latest two recordings. “Glorious God: Songs of Worship and Wonder,” is a worship album, featuring the song, “Glorious God.”
“‘Loudest Praise: Hymns of Mercy, Love and Grace,’ is a collection of hymns that I think aren’t sung enough these days. I tried to pick the ones that were superbly written, but aren’t heard every day. Hymns done the LT way,” Lauren states.
Both albums were well received with the latest single being a standout.
“’Glorious God’ was written by two 12-year-old boys, Mac Duren and Miles LaPointe,” reveals Lauren. “They wrote the song at the 2018 Write About Jesus conference, and I heard it when the choral arrangement debuted at the Lifeway Worship Conference. I asked the publisher and Mac’s dad, Cliff Duren, if I could have it right then and there! I’m glad they said yes. Mac and Miles have a very bright future.”
Though she has experienced great success, Lauren remains grounded in her faith and focused on the message.
“I just want to bring hope to people. I know what it is to struggle, and what it is to survive,”confesses the soloist. “I want people to feel like they have a friend, and they can have joy in Christ. I want everything I do, whether in music, speaking, writing, or just life, to reflect that.”
Lauren wants all who attend her concerts or listen to her music come see Jesus and His Love.
“I hope people know that they can make it and have joy doing so. Jesus loves them, has a plan for them and we can find peace and joy in Him,” Lauren declares.
“I hope people feel like they’ve made a friend when they come to see me in concert,” confesses Ms. Talley. “I’m a person just like you; I don’t have everything figured out, as much as I want to. But I know He’s faithful, and He’s good, and we can laugh together about life and praise Him at the same time.”
“Honestly, I keep it pretty simple. The gospel doesn’t need my help. The fact that He loved us even in our sinful, helpless state, and died for our sins is pretty amazing all by itself. It’s a simple gospel, but it still works. I think sometimes we make things too complicated for our ego’s sake. Just proclaim Christ crucified,” explains Lauren.
In her career and life, Christ has truly been faithful. Throughout her time singing gospel, she has been blessed with many incredible experiences.
“There have been many, but probably the most recent was singing for the United Nations in December, 2019. I met approximately 60 ambassadors from all over the world, and was able to share Christ with them in my songs. One of them even recognized me from the Gaither videos! It’s a small world,” Lauren recalls.
In addition to meeting Heads of State, she has had many meaningful and sometimes funny encounters with her fans.
Lauren shares, “Last year at a concert in North Carolina, a man walked up to me and said, ‘You know what I like about you?’ I thought, ‘Well, there’s no telling,’ but I said, ‘What’s that?’ He said, ‘I just love your little buck teeth!’ I don’t have buck teeth. I managed not to howl with laughter while saying, ‘Well, I didn’t realize I had buck teeth.’ He put the cherry on top when he replied, ‘Well, it’s good it doesn’t bother you!’
“For the record I was not insulted,” Lauren continues. “I went backstage and told the story to Karen Peck’s group, who were also on the program, and we all screamed laughing.”
Encounters like this one put things into perspective for Talley. “My life has consisted of gospel music since I was born,” Lauren explains. “My time with my parents largely happens on a bus. I have also been blessed to form the greatest friendships and connections through this music, but amazingly, it’s not about that. Gospel music was just the vehicle that God used to make all of that happen. Life is all about relationships. When people stop clapping and the lights go off, the people you love will still be there. It’s important to take care of them.”
2020 has already been quite a tumultuous time for the world. Despite the fear that surrounds, Lauren Talley continues to look toward the positives the future brings.
“The Talleys have announced that 2020 is our final year to tour full time as a group. I will launch a full-time solo career in 2021, and I am already performing and recording as a soloist. I’m thoroughly enjoying the next chapter of ministry and career,” the artist states.
“I’m also getting married in October to the most wonderful, Godly man, and becoming a bonus mom to the four sweetest, funniest kids on earth!” reveals Lauren.
“Everything’s changing all at once, and that part is a little scary, but everything I have prayed for, for so long, is in front of me. I couldn’t be more excited or more grateful. God is good,” Lauren concludes.
As this new chapter approaches, Lauren Talley remains dedicated to sharing the gospel using her God-given gift of music.
By Justin Gilmore
First published in SGNScoops Magazine April 2020
For more on Lauren Talley click HERE