Rockledge Mother and Son Hit Billboard Gospel Chart as Recording Artists 25 Years Apart
By Steve Wilson // May 29, 2020
mother and son are graduates of Rockledge High
BREVARD COUNTY • ROCKLEDGE, FLORIDA – What are the odds that a mother and son would both hit the Charts as recording artists? Well, if you are Angela Smith and Gerald Thomas, and are as talented as they both are, the odds are good.
Angela, and her son Gerald, are both from Rockledge, Florida. In fact, they are both graduates of Rockledge High School as Angela graduated in 1985 and Gerald in 2003.
Angela’s parents were pastors at Salvation Healing and Miracle Center in Cocoa so it was only natural that both Angela and Gerald grew up in the church and fell in love with gospel music.
As a child, Gerald loved attending his grand-parents church.
He enjoyed playing music in the church and directing the choir. According to Gerald, “Music was in my blood and in my system ever since I was a baby.”
Angela’s music career began quite by accident. She would sing at weddings, anniversaries and funerals, and was well known in the area. One day, she was invited to sing at a workshop event in Fort Pierce, Florida.
While she was sitting in the audience listening to the performers on stage, it was apparent the lead singer was having difficulties singing her part. Angela then stood up, and without rehearsing, started to sing the lead vocals.
She did such an amazing job that she was asked to sing lead vocals on a live recording with the Edwin Hawkins Music and Arts Seminar Mass Choir.
The very first song she recorded with the Choir, “He is God Alone,” was recorded in Atlanta in 1994, and went all the way to #1 on the Billboard Gospel Chart. Little did she know that 25 years later her son Gerald would reach the U.S. R&B chart as a recording artist.
Not only was Gerald involved with music, but he was also quite an athlete. Gerald played youth sports and was a member of both Rockledge High School state championship football teams.
Approximately three years ago, Gerald decided to make the move to Atlanta. He had no business ties in Brevard County, and according to him, “the music was going very slow.” It was the perfect time to go “all in!”
About two months after his move, doors started opening for Gerald and things started taking off. He is currently a music producer, and an A&R, which helps find talent for major record labels. Gerald has worked with such artists as Chris Brown, Ty Dolla $ign, and Rick Ross.
Although we in Brevard County know him as Gerald Thomas, he is known in the music industry as “Tha Genius.”
As a recording artist, Tha Genius hit the charts with his album, “Truth Love & Lies, Volume 2.” It climbed as high as #12 on the U.S. R&B chart.
Along with being a recording artist, he also produced, wrote and engineered the album. He describes the album as, “asking for forgiveness.” It is an album that many people can identify with.
It was a special achievement for Gerald to hit the charts. As a producer, Tha Genius had hit the charts before, but this was his first time as a recording artist.
Not only is Gerald heavily involved in the music industry, he recently started a work-at-home call center, JGH Media Group. They are an out-sourcing call center for Instacart. JGH offers chat support and currently employees approximately 30 people.
The bond between Gerald and his mom, Angela, is special. When Gerald was a child, Angela sang with the Community Choir, out of Melbourne, Florida.
They would travel together and when Angela would sing she said, “Gerald would follow me to the altar and just stand there and hold onto my dress.”
She went on to say that “he would not move, not make a sound, just stand there.” Angela believes that those were days of impartation of her gift of music to him.
Angela and Gerald are two very special people as they have done something that is extremely difficult to achieve. When listening to both of them talk about hitting the charts they are more proud of the other than of themselves. That tells you all you need to know.
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