What Katy Perry, John Legend and Whitney Houston Have in Common

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend at the Oscars.
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend at the Oscars. (REUTERS/Mike Blake)
Whitney Houston, Katy Perry, and John Legend have something significant in common: They all grew up singing in the church.

Gospel music has not only given roots to many performers, it's influenced everything from blues to country to rock 'n' roll and R&B.

But you may not know that gospel has even played a big role in major historic events.

"They were sung in Tiananmen Square. They were sung at the Arab Spring. They were sung at the fall of the Berlin Wall," said Prof. Robert Darden, former gospel music editor for Billboard Magazine.

Darden is also the author of Nothing but Love in God's Water.

"You don't have to be black. You don't have to be Christian. But there was something about these sacred songs that crossed generations, crossed race, crossed religion for oppressed people everywhere."

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