Born and brought up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Pastor Marvin Louis Sapp made his name as a gospel music singer-songwriter, and is also known for being the founder of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church, located in his home town.
Sapp first began singing at the age of four, and went from singing songs at church to being part of a number of Gospel groups and ensembles during his teenage years. He left college early after being discovered by Gospel star Fred Hammond and began singing with the group Commissioned in 1991, following the departure of member Keith Staten. He stayed with the group until 1996, singing in the albums Number 7, Matters of the Heart, and Irreplaceable Love.
Sapp released his first solo album, Marvin Sapp, to much acclaim, and this was quickly followed by Grace and Mercy. He has since released the albums Nothing Else Matters, I Believe, Diary Of A Psalmist, Be Exalted, Thirsty, Here I Am and I Win. Inspiration for the I Win album came from Sapp’s musings with God following the loss of his wife, with whom he had three children, Marvin II, MiKaila, and Madisson.
The huge hit song Never Would Have Made It, which was included on the Thirsty album, held the top slot on Gospel and R&B radio for more than 12 months, as well as topping the Urban AC chart and being the top selling ringtone with more than two million sales. Sapp has been nominated for Grammy Awards an impressive 10 times and has also picked up 22 Stellar Awards, two Soul Train Music Awards, two BET Awards and two Dove Awards. His 2015 album You Shall Live, featuring the hit single Yes You Can, has also proved very popular with both fans and critics.