Hall of Fame Inductee Melody Stephens

Melody Inducted in the GMA Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN along with The Nelons

One of the most renowned groups in the history of gospel music was ushered into the Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame this week in Nashville, TN and a well-known voice from Northport, AL was included in the spotlight.

The lofty honor was given to The Nelons, of Atlanta, GA. Soprano Melody Stephens is the Northport resident who entered the Hall Of Fame with the group, Tuesday, May 10th.  Melody performed with the Nelons for two years. During that time she became known as one of the finest lead singers in all of gospel music.

The Nelons were an outgrowth of the classic family trio known as The Lefevres. Rex Nelon joined the group as the bass singer in the 1970’s and, when pianist-vocalist Eva Mae Lefevre retired, reorganized it as the Rex Nelon Singers.

Through the years they featured such great singers as his daughter, Kelly Nelon Clark, Janet Paschal, Karen Peck Gooch, Charlotte Ritchie, Amy Roth, Rodney Swain, David Hill, Paul Lancaster, Stan Whitmire, Jeff Stice and others.

The Nelons are remembered for such classics as We Shall Behold The King, We Shall Wear A Robe And Crown, Oh For A Thousand Tongues, Walk Right Out Of This Valley and I’m Glad I Know Who Jesus Is.

They have won five Dove Awards and numerous No. 1 charted songs.

While touring with the Nelons, Melody gained national recognition for her soaring voice. She received Dove Award nominations as well as appearances on the popular Bill Gaither Homecoming video series. She  has performed as background vocalist for various national artists, and as studio vocalist for numerous commercial jingles.  She has also filled in for the soprano part as needed, with groups such as The Hoppers and also The Nelons, along with several others.

Kelly Nelon and Melody Stephens GMA

Melody accepting her medallion during GMA Hall Of Fame induction

“It was always a dream of mine to sing with The Nelons. I am thankful that God gave me the desires of my heart and allowed me to fulfill my dream. They were my favorite group growing up. It was a tremendous honor to fill the shoes of such great soprano vocalists like Karen Peck Gooch and Janet Paschal”, Stephens said.

Shortly after leaving the Nelons, Melody and her husband, Thom Stephens who is an accomplished vocalist, musician, and songwriter, formed a new group named The Stephens, and added her sister, Bethany Dunnam, of Hayden, AL, as the alto. Bethany’s warm, rich tones makes her one of the elite altos in the industry.

Featuring unmistakable family harmony, The Stephens also are enjoying much success. They won the Regional Artist Showcase at The National Quartet Convention which involved a large number of groups of the event. They then followed that up by participating on The Singing In The Sun at Myrtle Beach, SC last month.

In addition to Melody, Thom and Bethany, the musical group also includes 11 year old Zach, Melody and Thom’s son, who has been featured as a soloist and is already playing drums and bass guitar. Bethany’s husband, Kyle Dunnam, is the group’s bass player and assists as sound engineer.

Melody and Thom have successfully written several songs. Just Pray, the title of their latest project and charted song with The Singing News is one of their newest songs written. I Plead The Blood is The Stephens current radio single and is rapidly climbing The Singing News Charts.

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