Pop songstress Tori Kelly makes her first appearance on Billboard's Hot Gospel Songs with "Help Us to Love," featuring The HamilTones. The song debuts on the chart at # 10. The track's start is fueled by sales of 2,000 downloads, as it enters Gospel Digital Song Sales at No. 2. "Love" was written and produced by gospel music star Kirk Franklin.
Tori Kelly said, "I grew up on gospel music, so the fact that a legend like Kirk Franklin would take me under his wing was just a dream come true. He genuinely cares for people and the warm environment he created really helped me to be able to pour my heart into this song."
During a recent interview at the Rock Church, Kelly said that looking back, she can see God's hand guiding her life -- especially after being rejected from American Idol when she was 16 years old.
"Through all of that, I came out so much stronger, because I had to experience that and I really felt that, now looking back, I can see God's hand and being like, 'No, no no you're going to learn this from this...and then I'm shaping you to be who I want you to be,'" she shared.
"Working with Tori has been one of the greatest highlights of my career," added Kirk Franklin. "But it's more than music, it's the moment we're facing in culture where the need for a voice of hope speaks to the healing in her voice and the compassion in this song. I'm honored to be a part of this historic moment in time."
The members of The Hamiltones have been performing together since they were teenagers growing up in North Carolina. As the official background vocalists for GRAMMY award winner Anthony Hamilton, they received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Traditional R&B Performance for their contribution to the title song from Hamilton's latest album, What I'm Feelin'. The Hamiltones will release their debut album later this year.
Following the release of her 2015 debut album, Unbreakable Smile, Tori was nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best New Artist category and received the Billboard Women in Music Breakthrough Artist award. Unbreakable Smile, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, contained the Gold-certified singles "Nobody Love," "Should've Been Us" and "Hollow."
Tori starred alongside Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly and Taron Egerton in the animated film SING, voicing the part of Meena, the shy elephant. She recorded two songs for the accompanying soundtrack - Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing." Tori can currently be seen performing in the "Songs for All Your Sides" ad campaign for Nationwide, which is airing nationally. View HERE