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Cecil Jay Roberts (born Cecil Anang, 2 September) is a minister, singer, songwriter and producer.

Early life Edit

Roberts was born Cecil Anang in Ghana during the late 1970s. His parents were George Anang, Second Secretary to Obed Asamoah 1997 Minister for Foreign Affairs (Ghana), and his wife Dinah Anang. Roberts is the last of five children. His parents moved to the United Kingdom in 1979 where he attended Donnington Primary School in Brent. They later moved back to Ghana where Roberts' father died, leaving the then sixteen year old boy to fend for himself and his mother.[1] On the family's return to Ghana, Roberts was enrolled at the Ridge Church School where he participated in a national event organised by Unicef to mark the tenth anniversary of the Ghana National Commission. During his speech, a young Roberts addressed thousands on culture, health and education. This earned him the front page splash of the 1989 September issue of a national newspaper - the Daily Graphic.[2] Roberts early brush with fame did not end there; later that year, Roberts was invited to the Osu Castle where he acted as the former president of Ghana Jerry John Rawlings.

File:Cecil Jay Roberts 3.jpg
[3] In 1990, Roberts attended the Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School after being one of the first students to gain entry to a state secondary school via the newly introduced SSCE, Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. He recalls when he was called into the headmaster's office to be congratulated for receiving the highest grade nationally, in English Language for that year, (West African Examinations Council, 1993). After three years in senior secondary school Roberts applied to the University of Ghana where he studied Social Sciences. However, during the period between 1994 and 1999 the university experienced a series of strikes over student fees, and it was at this time that Roberts was beginning to receive national attention with his group The Heritage. Following the numerous strikes during his final year of University a disgruntled Roberts left the university to return to the United Kingdom.[1][4]

Career and Ministry Edit

The Heritage group was formed in 1994.[5] The rise of the charismatic movement in Ghana welcomed the new sound which was a blend of traditional and Urban contemporary gospel Music. In 1999 after a series of successful television appearances on the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and GTV (Ghana) including numerous nationwide tours (National Theatre) Roberts departed from the group to start a solo career. The band recorded three albums with popular songs such as: 'It Is Well'" and 'Shidaa & Eteshi'. However, despite numerous sell-out tours and venues, distribution and profit from album sales were greatly affected due to the country's laxed copyright and infringement laws at the time.[1][6]

In 2000, Roberts decided to branch out into the area of film and television soundtrack with the hope of working in Broadcasting. However, in 2002 he was lured back into Gospel Music by artistes such as Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, and BeBe Winans. At this time, Roberts wanted to carve out a new sound and image so he enlisted the help of vocal coach Carrie Grant and her husband David Grant. Roberts could only afford a couple of sessions with the couple and it was at one of these sessions that the couple helped him to discover a husky voice which was hiding behind his usual Falsetto. With his new found confidence, Roberts went on to work on his solo album From There to Here. Due to a lack of support from a Major Record label, he decided to fund the project himself.[4] The low budget recording received nine out of ten stars from Tony Cummings of Cross Rhythms. Cummings described the album as "...definitely one of the best British gospel albums of the year".[7] In April 2010, Christian Today published an article under the title: 'A Star is born!'.[5] In the article, Roberts talks about his time with The Heritage and the then recorded album, 'From There to Here'.[5]

Gospel of Grace (Good News) Edit

Roberts message is influenced by the Gospel of grace. He joined the grace revolution alongside preachers such as Joseph Prince, Billy Graham and Joel Osteen.[4]

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Sutherland, ARABA The Man behind the music:(2008)
  2. Beecham, Zenobia & Amoah, Simon Nchor "Colourful Children's Durbar Marks Ten Years Of GNCC", Daily Graphic (Ghana), Accra, 1 September 1989.
  3. Foleson, Melody & Sarkodie, Michael F. "Bright Pupil Shines As He Takes The Stage At Osu Castle" Daily Graphic (Ghana), Accra, 4 November 1989.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Williams, Sika (2001), "Cecil Jay Roberts: My Life, My Story, My Words", Johnson & J. Wood, Akana Press, Pitoria
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Campbell, Marjorie."Cecil Jay Roberts - a star is born!", Christian Today, London, 26 April 2010. Retrieved on 22 January 2014.
  6. Me Firi Ghana, Ghana's Music Industry: Piracy + Loss = ... Retrieved on 4 February 2014.
  7. Cummings, Tony. "Cecil Jay Roberts - From There To Here", Cross Rhythms, Stoke-on-Trent, 24 August 2010. Retrieved on 22 January 2014.


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