Gospel singer Ricky Dillard was born and raised Chicago, where he inherited a love for gospel music from his mother and grandmother, and began singing in a church choir at an early age. Dillard soon began directing the youth choir in his church (starting at the age of five), and later the young adult choirs. It was around this time that Dillard came across two specific recordings that would inspire him to pursue gospel singing even more zealously -- James Cleveland and Aretha Franklin's "Amazing Grace" with the Southern California Community Choir and the Institutional Radio Choir from Brooklyn, NY. Shortly thereafter, Dillard drew inspiration from other gospel performers as well, including Dr. Charles G. Hayes, Marvin Yancy, Thomas Whitfield, Darryl Coley, Biddy Cummings, Pastor Albert James, and the Tribal Mass Choir. Dillard continued to direct choirs locally, was a member of the Thompson Community Singers, and starting in the early '90s, began issuing solo albums (which often merged gospel with dance), including such releases as 1991's Promise, 1993's A Holy Ghost Take Over, 1995's Hallelujah, 1996's Worked It Out, and 2000's No Limit. ~ Greg Prato, RoviPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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