Tasha Cobbs Leonard
Sometimes there are not enough hyphens to accommodate a mega talent. Tasha Cobbs Leonard is a worship singer/songwriter/actress/author/musician/entrepreneur/GRAMMY® Award winner
and an Executive Pastor at The Purpose Place where she Co-Pastors with her husband, Kenneth Leonard, Jr.
The 39-year-old Georgia native comes by her ministry and gospel roots quite naturally – she sang and grew up with a father who launched and Pastored their family church and impressed upon her to “stay at the feet of Jesus.” At home, her mother was often found listening to worship, southern gospel, and country music. In a full-circle moment, Tasha’s latest album Royalty: Live At The Ryman from TeeLee Records/Motown Gospel is an incredible acknowledgement of both undisputedly authentic influences.
Tasha is a “worshipper first.” She is sure about her purpose and intentional about focus. She launched her solo singing career in 2010, after serving as Worship Pastor for several years at her local church home. Greater things were ahead for this passionately committed leader whose purpose in life is to “always bring awareness to the presence of God.”
With her debut release, Tasha racked up three Dove Awards, three Stellar Awards, and a 2014 GRAMMY® Award for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance for her crossover single, “Break Every Chain.” The song, from her debut album, Grace, was a Billboard No.1 song for 12 weeks and has since been certified Platinum by the RIAA®. That was followed in 2015 by another No. 1 Gospel hit for the album, One Place Live, and a win for Gospel Artist of the Year at the GMA Dove Awards. In 2017, her album Heart. Passion. Pursuit. was released, featuring worship leaders from across the country, including Kierra Sheard and Anna Golden. It even included a track with pop icon Nicki Minaj. Tasha is no stranger to mixing musical styles.
The plan to record Royalty: Live At The Ryman was initially set for May of 2020. However, a production delay due to COVID-19 forced Tasha to push the session back a few months. “Nashville is so unique, with its firmly-rooted tradition of county music. Recording at the legendary Ryman Auditorium, which was originally designed as a sanctuary in the late 1800’s, was incredible. “We were on stage in the middle of a pandemic, performing only to the empty original pews of the Ryman. The room was filled with revival energy from years of history.”
Tasha co-wrote most of the songs on the new album, and even played the guitar on the lead single “In Spite of Me.” The offerings are wide-ranging. Tracks flow from the emotionally moving ballad “Mary’s Song” about what Mary may have been feeling as she sat at the feet of Jesus, to the raucous “God’s Been Good” reminiscent of an old-time revival meeting, to “Never Gave Up” an anthem for those who feel hopeless. Kierra Sheard makes a show-stopping appearance on “You Must Break” and Tasha’s full-throttle voice unleashes all its preaching power on “Release the Sound.”
“My music gives me an opportunity to do something that changes people’s lives from the inside out. Few career choices can do that. I minister to hearts, minds and souls,” she says gratefully.
Collaborations that include artists as diverse as Common and Ciara prove she’s not afraid to take on new challenges. She’s finishing up her degree in Pastoral Leadership at Valor College. She is a savvy entrepreneur heading up several businesses including a trendy Eyewear Collection, Fritz Eyewear Collection, in honor of her late father, Fritz Cobbs and a Plus Size focused athletic wear line, Curve Athletics.
Who knows what faith-based music project Tasha will take on next…it seems her potential is limitless!