Tonex (pronounced toe-nay) is a 20-something musical prodigy that has mesmerized audiences all over the world. All of this is accomplished through the power of God and the overwhelming amount of purity, truth and freedom in his music ministry. Raised in holiness, his parents, District Elder Anthony & Betty Williams are the Pastor and Co-Pastor of Truth Apostolic Community Church (P.A.W. California District council #19) in Spring Valley, California. Tonex initially served as Assistant Pastor and Executive Director of Music Ministry, along with his wife Yvette. Upon his father’s death in the summer of 2004, Tonex assumed the role of Pastor at Truth Apostolic Community Church. Building off the Godly foundation that his parents have set for him, has been Tonex’s key in the freedom of expression that people have come to know.
In 1997, an album that changed the gospel music industry forever entitled Pronounced Toe-Nay was released on Rescue Records, an independent Christian label in San Diego. That album catapulted Tonex into Gospel music super-stardom. This occurred despite the fact that there was no marketing used in promoting this album – the label had no financing for marketing the album. "I wasn’t expecting a lot from them (Rescue Records). I was just thankful that they gave me a chance." says the award winning artist. Pronounced Toe-Nay garnered the attention of the producers at the Stellar Awards and placed him on the billing, and "THAT" performance by Tonex on the 14th Annual Stellar Awards made such a bold statement and had such an impact, it has been compared to the impact Michael Jackson made on the Motown 25th Anniversary Special back in 1983 when he introduced the moonwalk to the world. A re-release of this once unavailable classic album has been released as of September 26, 2000 on Jive/Verity Records.
The year 2002 saw the arrival of Tonex’s follow up album entitled O2, which USA TODAY gave 3 stars (3 out of 4). O2 was released on Verity/Jive Records. That album birthed two #1, international hits: "Bout A Thang", which received heavy rotation on BET and MTV Australia, and the monumental church anthem "God has Not 4 Got", which was nominated for a Stellar Award in the category of SONG OF THE YEAR. “God has Not 4 Got” stayed in the top five of the gospel charts for over a year and has been a mainstay at Gospel radio since its release. That same year, Tonex received five additional Stellar Award nominations and won in the category of Hip Hop CD of the YEAR.
Later that year, in support of the release, Tonex hit the road on the Evolution Tour along with Gospel contemporaries Trin-i-tee 5:7 and Men of Standard. An undeniable show stopper, Tonex’s dynamism forced promoters to revise the line up and by the third stop he was closing out the show. Thereafter, Tonex won the 2003 Dove Award for Urban Album of the Year.
In 2003, Tonex set the stage for what would be an awesome year for him. He recorded his brand new offering entitled Out the Box, that would actually be released in early 2004. This was the first live recording and DVD from the artist and was garnered an instant classic upon its release. The Double Disc CD and DVD feature guest appearances from Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams and Sheila E. The supporting cast includes a 10-piece band, 4 dancers, a 16-voice ensemble, and a 40-voice choir. This was not just a concert, but a production of epic proportions that had such a phenomenal effect it must be seen in order to be believed.
Out the Box is electrifying, explosive, and uplifting. It displays the artistic illustration of Tonex’s musical ability and the extraordinary range and true caliber of his vocal repertoire. The listener will travel through a journey of Tonex’s life experiences all while being submerged in the presence of God. Throughout this project, there are various musical flavors that compose Tonex’s songs, ranging in musical style from hip-hop to rock to worship. Out the Box demonstrates Tonex's ability to move within and between different musical spectrums, showcasing his knowledge and highlighting a creative finesse that cannot be duplicated.
The first single off the new album, “Make Me Over” is a beautiful and unforgettable praise and worship ballad. Tonex’s sincere plea for restoration is clear on this fluid song.
Since its release, Out the Box has garnered #1 status on the Billboard Top 40 Gospel chart, #5 on the Contemporary Christian Chart and also appeared on Billboard’s Top 200 and Top R&B Chart. This project took the Gospel world by storm, reaching new heights and setting new standards for what we call Gospel music. The double-disc CD fused many musical genres, including rock, R&B and traditional gospel to create a sound that had never been heard before.
On the helm of the Out the Box craze, 2004 brought several nominations and awards for Tonex, including his first Grammy Nomination and an enormous 6 Stellar Award including Album of the Year and Song of the Year. He also received two 619 Awards for Best Disc Jockey and Best Solo Artist, two Urban Gospel Industry Awards for Gospel Artist/Group of the Year and Urban Contemporary Gospel Artist /Group.
Through this latest album, Tonex continues to enthrall the hearts and souls of listeners while repelling critics who thought a new image and change of style might weaken his music. The shift has only enhanced his diverse talents and gifts, which now allow him to excel in performance ability beyond his past efforts. He breaks free, coming Out the Box, and still remains innovative and progressive. His new debut, Out the Box, ushers in the presence and prophetic elements of the Lord. It showcases “the man, the talent, the music, and the ministry.”
In 2005, it looks like it will only get bigger and better for this world-renowned artist.
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