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Best Gospel Artist 

The Lofties Sisters

Gospel remains the secret sonic foundation upon which St. Louis has always staked its musical reputation. R&B, blues, rockabilly, country and even hip-hop and rap artists -- the original MCs were preachers testifying in church -- owe their souls to sacred sounds. The Lofties Sisters (who sing regularly at Douglas Memorial Church in Webster Groves) are too humble to claim any debts, though gospel audiences value their legacy. Ethyl, Forrestine, Joyce, Annie, Estella, Lorece and Velma Lofties have raised roofs and saved souls for 50 years, despite never having made an official recording. Which is fitting, actually, as neither have the archangels in paradise.

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