2006 McDonald's Gospelfest Winners - Groups
2007 McDonald's Gospelfest Winners - Groups

The Velazquez Family Singers began their music ministryin late 2002.While Victor Velazquez was hosting a New
Year’s Eve concert at his church, The Israel House ofPrayer for All People in northern N.J., he invited his two
daughters, Victoria(age 7 at that time) and Alexia (age 5)to sing  "The Lord's Prayer."  With Alexia singing and
Victoria on the organ, the attendees were absolutelyamazed by the musical abilities demonstrated by these
two little girls, who first joined the church children's choirwhen they were still in high chairs. They followed with a         duet sung in perfect harmony.

Listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, the church pastor, Shepherd Mother and Prophetess Bessie Odino,
invited Victor and his daughters to host the 2003 New Year’s Eve Concert, thus solidifying the group known
as The Velazquez Family Singers (VFS). Again, attendees were impressed with the girls’ singing, as well as the
stylish interpretation of Negro Spirituals by Victor - who sings with Opera Ebony, the oldest surviving black
opera company in America.  Soon after, The Family received invitations to make guest appearances and
perform full concerts at local and regional churches.  At the age of 6, Emmanuel was incorporated into the

The Family received their religious foundation from the teachings at The Israel House of Prayer for All People. 
Here, the words of the Holy Bible and a strong belief in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were embedded in
all.  It was also here where Shepherd Mother Bessie Odino prophesied all three children’s musical gifts while
still in their mother’s womb.

Encouraged by a good friend, The Velazquez Family Singers entered the 2006 McDonald’s Gospelfest
Competition at the New York City Center.  To the amazement of many, this single father and his three children
not only won a slot in this contest which auditioned over 80,000 applicants, they also won First Place in the
Group Category.  As a result of their win, The Family made their first television appearance on the UPN-My9
(Channel 9 in New York City) broadcast of the 2006 McDonald’s Gospelfest, which also featured Gospel
superstars Donnie McClurkin, Vickie Winans, Tye Tribbett, Hezekiah Walker, and Cissy Houston.  Later that
summer, The Velazquez Family Singers opened for Cissy Houston at an outdoor community awareness
concert given by the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Neighborhood Redevelopment Corporation.  The Family
was also honored at this event with an Award of Recognition for representing their home town in such a
positive light.

In February of 2007, the VFS, along with the Children of God Choir, traveled to Germany for their first
European Tour.  In April 2007, The Velazquez Family Singers won their second McDonald’s Gospelfest
contest, this time at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom. 

At the 2nd Annual Black Girls Rock Awards, held in the Alan Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Victoria and
Alexia opened the awards show performing a special rendition of  "I'm Every Women."  Black Girls Rock,
Inc., is a non-profit organization whose mission is best summed up by it's motto "Don't just look like a model,
be one!"   Awards were presented Susan L. Taylor - Editorial Director of Essence Magazine; Sylvia Rhone -
music mogul and pioneer;  and self-made rap icon - Missy Elliot.

In late 2007, the Velazquez children were invited to record a CD with children's choir called Keedz.  "Stand
On The Word," the first single from this CD features Alexia and is now  on rotation on French and British
radio. Alexia, Victoria, and Emmanuel are featured on 6 songs on this CD, which will be distributed by ULM,
Universal Music Group - France. 

In March 2008, Alexia Velazquez madeher off Broadway debut singing in the play,'Who Is A Virtuous Woman.'  
Also, theVelazquez Kids recorded a song with auntSarah Dash, of the legendary group Labelleslated for a 2009
release onSarah's newgospel CD.  A new LaBelle  CD and tourwill materialize in late 2008.

But that's not all.  The Velazquez Family Singers released their own CD in late 2008.  This CD features 6
original songs written by Victor and remakes of gospel classics such as "Key To The Kingdom,"  "The
Prayer," and "My Liberty," the song that introduced Yolanda Adams to the world.  This project will be
released on the Velazquez family's independent label. More info on 'New CD - Family & Friends' tab.

The Velazquez children could sing before they were able talk in complete sentences.  With both parents having
such strong musical background:  Barbara Douglas, a recording artist and winner of the 2007 McDonald’s
Gospelfest - Female Soloist category; and Opera Singer Victor Velazquez, the kids had a great musical start. 
However, even more important, the children have a strong appreciation of family and hard work, something
that was pasted down from their grandparents, Mary and Efrain Velazquez.  Now at the ages of 12, 10, and
8, the children, along with Dad, are appearing at national and international venues; making the most of every
opportunity!  Not only will God open doors for the Velazquez Family Singers, He'll open the right doors.

My God Continue to Bless you and The Velazquez Family Singers.

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