It is going to be hard for Tye Tribbett to have a better year than he is having in 2016. The Grammy Award-winning gospel artist recorded a new live album featuring a reunited G.A. He was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime to host the new Sunday morning BET show “Joyful Noise,” which premieres on Oct. 9, and for which he also wrote the theme song. He was asked to co-host one of the most coveted award shows in gospel and Christian mMusic: The Dove Awards. Beyond that, there have been some exciting changes personally, including getting settled with his family in their new city of Orlando, Florida, where they have planted a new church.
If, as the saying goes, there are some years that ask questions and others that give answers, 2016 is one that is asking Tye Tribbett one thing: do you want more?
“I am amazed,” says a characteristically exuberant Tribbett during a recent phone interview. “I literally can’t believe what is happening all at once. I know what a bad season feels like. I have mastered the low tides, but these high tides are really incredible.”
The low season for Tribbett found him at the center of a controversy that nearly cost him his marriage. The experience humbled him and forced him to take a closer look at his life. “During that time, I put a lot of things in perspective. The first adjustment was keeping [the] industry in its rightful place and not prioritizing work over everything else,” he says. “I said, ‘I am done sacrificing family time or date night.’ My priorities were off. Sometimes a career can carry you at a certain pace where you don’t even realize that your priorities are shifting. Surprisingly, once I resolved to keep my priorities in order, I started receiving more opportunities.”
One of those opportunities is a gig hosting BET’s new Sunday morning show “Joyful Noise.” Tribbett, one of the most charismatic, energetic and dynamic personalities in gospel music, is a natural for television — but the chance to regularly grace the small screen had eluded him. After five years of auditioning, shooting pilots, pitching ideas and exerting the effort to land a television show, he was done striving. “That was another part of my new resolve,” Tribbett says. “I was just over it. We tried for years, and I was ready to move on. Then BET called.
“My wife and I talked about it and decided to go for it. This is part of my new perspective: everyone is on this ride together. I don’t do anything without my wife and my kids, we function as a team and we make decisions as a team. The Bible speaks about the two becoming one flesh … I don’t have the liberty to make autonomous decisions. Yet, once I gained this perspective and embraced this reality, all of these doors began to open. It is almost like God can trust me with certain things now. We all know the scripture ‘He that findeth a wife findeth a good thing’, but the second half of that says ‘and receives FAVOR from the Lord.’ I am seeing that favor flow right now.”
Tribbett opened up to rolling out about his season of favor and the significance of “the bloody win.”
Talk about the moment that you learned you were selected to host the show.
When BET executives called and asked me to audition, I could have turned cartwheels! I was excited, but I had gone on so many auditions that didn’t work out that I really thought it would be another one of those situations. I usually don’t get the callback. When I did receive the callback, I couldn’t believe it. I did a dance around the house! Soon after, I saw Dr. Bobby Jones and I told him “it is going to be so hard to fill your shoes,” he said, “Of course you won’t do that …” Dr. Jones told me to carve out my own lane and make it mine. I went into the experience a nervous wreck, but I was grounded by what Dr. Jones told me.
How did you prepare for this first season of taping?
This is a brand new show, and I have never done television before. I was not prepared! Memorizing the scripts was challenging. All of the tech and creative people were trying to merge together, as I was trying to get my footing. It was not easy. I took the time to address everyone as a team and get to know everyone, from volunteers to the executive producer, so that we would operate as a tight unit, so there was a oneness among us. I have never been on television in my life, and I had to build a foundation for this new show. I prayed that I would be effective with every detail.
What was the highlight for you in this inaugural season?
The experience was incredible. The tapings, the guests, the audience, every aspect of bringing Joyful Noise to life was amazing. Two areas that stand out for me are the fashion segment and the backstage preshow turn-up. Both of these segments grew organically out of what was happening during production. My stylist, Mumen “Mookie” Ngenge, did an excellent job dressing me as well as the house singers. She made fashion a forefront of the show. This caught the eye of the producers, and they created a short segment where she talks about some of the looks for that day. The preshow turn-up was something I was doing backstage as a fun, high energy huddle before the show. Everyone was backstage jumping around and getting hype as the theme music played, seconds before the taping started. It was a way for me to make the show my own and keep the energy high. The producers started taping that too, so it will end up somewhere in the show.
“Joyful Noise” is balanced. I am 40 years old now, with two kids. I am right there where I get the dabbing and the turn up, but I also get James Cleveland. The show is a bridge between the generations. My prayer is that everyone appreciates the balanced presentation.
DOVE AWARDS, Airs Oct. 16 on TBN
“At the GMA Honorees Luncheon, after I finished performing, Jackie Patillo, president of the GMA, asked me to co-host the Dove Awards. I have always wanted to perform on the Dove Awards. I love how the show integrates worship and contemporary Christian music and urban gospel and various kingdom expressions. I just wanted to perform on the show. Being asked to co-host is an extreme honor,” says Tribbett.
Jackie Patillo felt that this was the perfect year for Tribbett to helm the show. “The Bible says ‘your gifts will make a way for you’, and Tye is a great example of that,” says Patillo. “His commitment to spreading the Gospel through music, using his innovative musicality and creativity, along with his animated personality, is sure to light up the Dove Awards stage. This year’s theme is ‘Love Amplified’ and I think Tye Tribbett and co-hosts For King and Country will create an atmosphere that will amp up this celebration.”
THE BLOODY WIN – New Album Coming in 2017; First Single, “Work It Out,” released this month
“I came up with the concept two years ago. I heard this song — ‘I Bet My Life’ — by Imagine Dragons. The sound intrigued me. It had a lot of tribal drums. Then I saw a video of men dancing around a campfire like they had won a war. It was a celebration, but they were bloody, battered, bruised and jacked up I thought about the scene in Rocky, when he won, he was the champion, but his eye was jacked up. I thought, ‘wow, sometimes that’s what winning looks like.’ This is a praise and worship album … the body of Christ and America, in general, is under attack. This album is saying we are going to win, but it is going to be a bloody win. It is an album of victory, but not without the reality of battle scars,” says Tribbett.
LIVE Church, Orlando, Florida
“I came to Orlando just to live, just for my family and me to experience a different quality of life. Once we got here, the Lord started speaking about the spiritual needs of the place. God said it was dry bones … he started saying, as it says in Ezekiel, ‘speak to the dry bones’ and they will come back to life …’ Jesus said ‘I come that you might have life’ not that you might have church — I am not interested in having a great church that doesn’t have a great life. I am interested in everything and everyone being alive and well — nothing dead — everything lives! God sent us here like Holy Ghost spiritual defibrillators … it is not over for anyone!! The church is the new baby of my wife and me. We talk about it every day,.” says Tribbett.
The Tribbetts started holding Wednesday evening services on Sept. 28, and the response has been “overwhelming.” The church, named LIVE (as in live and not die), will have its “official” launch in 2017.
Tye Tribbett. Husband, father, minister, singer and now television host. He is a man of many talents, wearing many hats, but what would he say is the point of it all? What is the purpose that fuels him?
“I want to be an advocate who turns people’s focus to God in a relevant way. I want to let people know that whatever they thought or think about God, He is better than that,” says Tribbett. “Even if someone has a relationship with God, I want to help them infuse new energy into that. I am a walking billboard saying ‘look at how amazing God is …’ I want to share the amazement of Jesus. I want to share that he is better.”