Vernessa Ann Mitchell (born January 1, 1969) is an American contemporary Christian and gospel recording artist whose vocal versatility has been heralded by R&B and House audiences.
Mitchell was born on January 1, 1969 in Columbus, Georgia, as one of Ten siblings, whose father was a preacher. Mitchell was raised in Pasadena, Californa
Mitchell began her career at the young age of 15, after being discovered by Berry Gordy of Motown Records. She and three other young ladies became a teen girl group called High Inergy and were signed by the label during the late 1970s. Their first album went gold and produced the hit single "You Can't Turn Me Off (In The Middle of Turning Me On)".
The group was featured on American Bandstand, Soul Train and television shows hosted by Merv Griffin, Dinah Shore, and Mike Douglas. Billed as the next-generation Supremes, they worked with noted artists, such as Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, and Michael Jackson.
Mitchell's solo debut album, Higher Ground, was released in 1985 and quickly established her as a singer's singer. The title cut on the project garnered Grammy and Dove Award nominations.
The 1987 follow-up album, On A Mission, which included the hits "Stand Up and Be Counted" and "Someone Loves You" was much anticipated and built upon the success of Higher Ground and her critically acclaimed live performances that included presidential inaugurations and Salvation Army youth crusades. However, it was her 1992 release, Destiny, which won the hearts of urban audiences throughout America and gained the attention of Dick Clark Productions and The Christian Athletic Association.
Destiny acquired crossover success as its driving urban tone aggressively crossed religious barriers. Hits such as "Reap" and "You Took My Life" caught the ear of DJ Junior Vasquez; and were remixed - becoming anthems within major urban clubs throughout the United States, Europe and South America.
Singles such as "Took My Life", which peaked at number one on the Dance Music/Club Play charts, and "Love Will Find A Way", peaking at number five, were followed by nearly a dozen singles that dominated the dance charts from 1999 to 2010. Her single, "This Joy", went triple platinum and was declared to be the most influential dance song of 1999.
Although she had success as a gospel/CCM artist, Mitchell has also done well as a gospel dance diva. Her uplifting house songs have charted seven times on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play with gospel/inspirational themed dance songs "Reap (What You Sow)" (#19/1996), "This Joy" (#5/1998), "Issues" (#12/2000), "Serious" (#37/2003), "Took My Life" (#2/2004; #1 Club Play track in 2004 year-end chart) and "Accept Me"(#1/2005). Mitchell's 2006 single, "Love Will Find A Way" peaked at #5 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.
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