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Dennis Reed is greater than the sum of his parts. He’s an award-winning songwriter, recording artist, entertainer, and CEO of Inspire the Fire Inc. a nonprofit organization serving hundreds of youth in the Carolinas and surrounding areas. He’s also an inspirational leader, a teacher, and an incredible motivator. He is already a veteran in the gospel music industry and a Young Artist in Residence and adjunct professor in the music department at his alma mater, Catawba College. And his star continues to rise.
Reed has won both accolades and awards for his songwriting. While he was still a student at Catawba College, where he was music major, he beat out over 1,200 student songwriters nationwide to win the 9th Annual BMI John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship. The winning song, “Out of Control,” is featured on Water Walker. He then had an unprecedented three songs in the finals of the International Songwriting Competition, for which there were 15,000 entries from around the world. He placed third in that competition.
Dennis Reed and his group Dennis Reed & GAP performed with pop sensations New Kids On the Block during their 2008-2009 tour, and performed with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra at the City of Charlotte’s Martin Luther King Celebration in 2008. In 2009, the group received GRAMMY®certificates for their work on the GRAMMY Award-winning project, Oh Happy Day: An All Star Musical Celebration, which featured Queen Latifah, Heather Hedley, Michael McDonald, Mavis Staples, Patty Griffin, and Joss Stone, among others. For this project, these world-renowned musicians collaborated with top gospel choirs to record renditions of some of the most loved and recognizable inspirational songs. The group was also honored to perform with soulful R&B singers Angie Stone and Anthony Hamilton for American Idol’s Fantasia Burrino’s private celebration of her VH1 reality show.
Reed and his non-profit were finalist on the televised talent competition America’s Got Talentwhere they won America’s Heart and were deemed as the “Urban Glee.” Reed & Inspire the Fire were honored by the city of Charlotte awarded their own “Inspire the Fire Day” by Charlotte Mayor & City Council.
Recognized for the talent, Reed & his groups performed at the Democratic National Convention. Joined by American Idol Finalist, Jessica Sanchez as they opened for Former President Bill Clinton. Inspire the Fire was also invited to open for President Obamaduring the DNC.
Reed & his Groups have had the honor of playing for Oprah Winfrey as the world celebrated the Legendary Life of Dr. Maya Angelou’s. Working alongside Bebe Winans, Donnie McClurkin, Dorinda Clark, Stephanie Mills, Valerie Simpson, Common, Kathy Taylor, and Marvin Winans.
Creative Loafing Magazinechose Reed for their cover as one of the “top 15 people to watch out for in 2015”. He was also awarded the Queen City Community Leader of the Year and the Rodney Jerkins Community Leader.
Recently, Reed was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by President Obama for his work in the community spanning over a decade. Dennis Reed continues to inspire his community all while growing his career in the music industry. Reed & his group gap recently finished a successful European Tourfollowing his billboard success with American Idol Star Fantasia Burrino. The group and Reed have recently hit the studios and is set to release a new project late 2018.
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Inspire the Fire