Ricky Dillard & New G

May 1st, 2011 by Black Gospel Choir

Born in 1960s Chicago, Dillard’s father abandoned the family, leaving Dillard’s soft-spoken but determined mother Dorothy to chart the path for Dillard and his three siblings. By the time Dillard was in the seventh grade, his mother had moved the family to their own house on the middle-class west side of Chicago Heights.

Although, Dillard began to gain local notice for his musical skills in high school, he had been performing all his life. Since the age of three, Dillard watched church choirs. His Grandma used to stand Little Ricky on top of his baby potty and he would direct and sing. At five years old, he began directing the junior choir at St. Bethel Baptist Church. In 1981 he formed the first gospel choir at Bloom High School. “There were so many church kids there and they liked to sing,” he says. “So, I started a group called Ricky Dillard and Company and we sang at school. One of my teachers, Don Bondurant, said, `you should start a gospel choir’ and I did.”
The next year the choir was featured in Steve Martin’s movie “Leap of Faith.” By the time their second live album “A Holy Ghost Take Over” debuted in 1993, Dillard was a consultant on Whoopie Goldberg’s “Sister Act II” movie and the choir had appeared on a PBS Television Special “Going Home To Gospel” featuring Patti La Belle and Albertina Walker. In 1994 New G won their first Stellar Award for contemporary choir of the year and recorded all the background vocals for Gospel Queen Albertina Walker’s Stellar Award winning album “He Keeps On Blessing Me.” “It was a delight to work with the Queen,” Dillard laughs just thinking of the experience. “She keeps me laughing.” In 1995 New G’s third album “Hallelujah” was released and the choir had its first club hit. They collaborated with Frankie Knuckles and Adeva on “Walkin'” from their “Welcome to the Real World'” album. The Virgin Records single became a Top 20 hit on Billboard magazine’s club chart.

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