There was a recent album by Stephanie Mills entitled Born For This, and that would be a good description of Da'dra Crawford Greathouse and her brother, Steve Crawford, better known as the Gospel duo Anointed.  Born in Columbus, Ohio in a family of nine children, they sang from the time they could walk, first performing in their extended family group, The Crawford Singers.  By the time they were ten they were performing as a background instrumentalists and singers for their father, a nighttime and weekend Gospel performer.  Barry Crawford became the principal music teacher and coach for his children, working hours upon hours in perfecting their skills.

    In high school Da'dra and Steve formed the group Anointed with two friends, creating a modern Gospel/Soul sound that was a descendent of the pioneering work of Andre Crouch.  They independently released their debut album in 1993 and were signed by Word Records for their sophomore disc, The Call, working with hotshot young Gospel producers Cedric and Victor CaldwellIt turned out to be a seminal Gospel disc -- 1995's finest contemporary Gospel album and one of the decade's best.  The pristine group harmonies were combined with excellent material and slick soul arrangements to create a resulting album that fit on Gospel, CCM and Urban Adult Contemporary format beautifully. It won a Stellar Award for Best Performance by a Group or Duo and was Grammy nominated. 

    The Call began a string of Top 10 Gospel albums that continued the formula -- maybe too closely -- mixing contemporary beats and pristine arrangements to their upbeat Gospel messages, though none of their subsequent discs ever had the impact or freshness of The CallUnder the Influence was a major hit in 1996, with two strong highlights: the pleasant title cut (in two versions) and the beautiful, introspective ballad "Take Me Back." It was followed by the slightly less successful eponymously titled album in 1999, where the group worked with soul singer/songwriter Tony Rich ("Nobody Knows"). 

    By the turn of the century, Anointed was down to a duo, Steve and Da'dra.  Personal illness temporarily sidelined Da'dra and she and Steve entered a two-year ministerial program.  They returned in 2001 with If We Pray,and then took four more years off before releasing Now Is The Time on Sony Urban Music in 2005.  During that period they began to take more control of their careers, increasing their songwriting and planning to use their musical skills to direct the sound of the new disc.  The result, however, was a fairly light Anointed album, completely listenable but not particularly notable.

    by Chris Rizik

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