Louisiana-based Gospel Hip-Hop/ R&B artist, Al “big AL” Cherry is a family man, motivational speaker, preacher, and program director of KBYO – 92.7 FM.
As a child, music was an escape route into a limitless realm of comfort and joy to him. This medium was the tool that God used to draw him into a relationship with the Lord. He actually accepted salvation in his bedroom while listening to gospel music. Since that time, his singing ability became an expression of his love for Jesus Christ.
During his college career at Grambling State University, the Lord allowed him to serve as praise and worship leader for a campus ministry and a local church. After accepting the call of God to youth ministry, big AL served his home church as youth pastor for more than a decade. Simultaneously, big AL took on the role of educator. In addition to music and preaching, he served as the mathematics department head of Richwood High School, teaching Geometry, Trigonometry, AP Calculus; and administering dual-enrollment for the University of Louisiana-Monroe in College Algebra, Calculus I, Statistics, and Psychology. big AL used the classroom as an extension of his ministry to be an example and role model to youths in inner-city America.
Throughout his years of as an educator and youth pastor, Al came to understand the responsibility of having a special gift from God that he can use to draw people closer to HIM. He firmly believes that ministry is far more important than artistry, and it is his sincere prayer that God will use his music to lead people to Christ — just as he was.
God has indeed gifted Al with an anointing to reach people of all ages. Using wit and an unapologetic transparent message, big AL has been able to share his story and the message of Christ all over this country and abroad. He has shared the stage with the likes of Lecrae, Kirk Franklin, Fantasia, Ruben Studdard, Andy Mineo, Canton Jones, Swoope, Boyz II Men, Dr. Bobby Jones, and a host of other artists, speakers, and entertainers.
With the release of his debut album, “the.next.level.”, (2004), big AL began experiencing fulfillment of the promises of God. His release of two mixtapes – “4106.Mixtape” and “Son of Jor-EL: Mixtape Vol. 2”, big AL grabbed the attention of industry heavyweights. The single, Back Man, caught the attention of Dr. Bobby Jones, who then sought big AL to appear on his Word Network and Gospel Music Channel shows. The popularity of the song pushed big AL to make an incredibly unique video that garnered big AL a top-six finish of Gospel Music Channels Video Music Awards (Christian Hip-Hop) in 2009.
big AL released his sophomore LP, “The Opening Act” (2008), to high anticipation and rave reviews. He called on industry heavyweights like Canton Jones, Claude Deuce, and a host of other producers to aid him in his is explosive outcry to the industry about humility. big AL’s personality is synonymous with his stage presence in that his express interest in what he does is to set the stage for the Lord to have His way. “The Opening Act” is who big AL is as he prepares the crowd to meet the consummate performer himself, Jesus Christ. The album spawned a nationally-recognized hit, “Rest of My Days (featuring Canton Jones)”, an urban up-tempo ballad about praising the Lord through any circumstance. The song grew in such demand that big AL filmed another music video, and that video is still in regular rotation on BETs Video Gospel and GMCs Soulful Voices. The album also caught the attention of many in the industry, like those in the National Independent Gospel Music Association (NIGMA). The Rhythm of Gospel Awards recognizes the work and progress of independent artists in over 33 cities and is sponsored by NIGMA. In 2009, big AL was nominated for three “Rhythm of Gospel Awards”: Holy Hip-Hop Album of the Year, Holy Hip-Hop Artist of the Year, and Holy Hip-Hop Song of the Year, of which he won Album of the Year and Artist of the Year. It also garnered big AL 2010 Stellar Awards, first-round balloting, and the same in the 2011 GMA Dove Awards.
2011 would witness the release of big AL’s third, full-length LP, “The Balancing Act”. Full of great production and amazing dance songs, there was not stopping what big AL had begun. The single, “B.F.F.”, would garner a following of listeners who would start to ask big AL to “sing more”, and its accompanying video would rock the internet and make the song a huge hit! The birth of a collaborative project with one of his best friends, gospel producer/artist, Claude Deuce, would release and garner attention from both genres in 2013! “Super Friends” was/is as epic and ‘heroic’ as the title suggests.
After a long thought of what’s next in life, Al left the school system in 2014 to lead out something that the world had not seen. In September 2014, Power927.FM – “Positive Hip-Hop and R&B” launched, terrestrially and on the internet! It is the first, full-power FM terrestrial positive Hip-Hop and R&B radio station in the country. big AL was named and currently serves as the Brand Advancement Director (Program Director, Station Manager, and Morning Show Host); and the station has made significant progress in a short amount of time! At the same time, big AL continued to feel the desire to get in the studio and finally in 2015, he stepped back in the studio to record his most incredible and compelling project to-date, “Leaving Metropolis”.
“Leaving Metropolis” is full of songs that, again, showcase big AL’s willingness to be vulnerable on record by transparently sharing what life has thrown and is throwing at him. Soliciting production and features from the likes of B. Slade, Black Knight, Claude Deuce, Big Juice, and Naomi Holder, big AL left no stone unturned as he offered his most intimate piece of art! The lead single, “Fly”, has received rave reviews, along with the video produced/shot by Ben Boutwell of Creative Insomniacs!!
big AL is currently traveling throughout the country, and abroad, performing and speaking to all ages, all races, and all denominations! Whether sharing his story, performing songs, entertaining an audience, and/or preaching the Gospel, big AL definitely shares the message of love…the message of hope…the message of peace…the message of Jesus Christ – like no one else!!