“Phil Thornton is a demonstrated leader and visionary with an infectious passion for Gospel music and breaking artists,” said Terry Hemmings. “We are thrilled to have him leading the RCA Inspiration team with its renewed focus on the future while continuing to honor the imprint’s rich decades-long heritage.” Thornton most recently served as VP and General Manager of Urban Inspirational at eOne Music, where he oversaw Gospel, Christian, and R&B artists. In 2007, he formed Ten2One Entertainment, a multimedia television production, and artist management conglomerate. Overseeing the artist management side of the company, Thornton has guided the careers of Faith Evans, Michelle Williams, Kenny Lattimore, and Mack Wilds. He served as executive producer of TV One’s hit show “R&B Divas Atlanta,” as well as its wildly popular spin-off “R&B Divas L.A.” Thornton also serves as executive producer on the hit show “It’s a Mann’s World,” which airs on BET and stars David and Tamela Mann.
“I am excited to join RCA Inspiration, and work with its exceptional roster of artists,” said Phil Thornton. “We are in the midst of an unprecedented shift in consumer music consumption and media habits and I am honored to join RCAI at a time where we are well poised to redefine and expand inspirational music experiences. Thank you to Provident Music Group President/CEO Terry Hemmings for this opportunity and endless gratitude to God for His amazing blessings and continued guidance on this new journey.”
Thornton was named one of 48 industry leaders chosen from across the country to participate in Leadership Music’s 27th class, in Nashville. He also sits on several boards including the Recording Academy’s Nashville Chapter, the Gospel Music Association, and the board for the new National Museum of African American Music.
He is a philanthropist heavily involved with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Hope for Harvest, a Charlotte-based not-for-profit organization that provides clothing, school supplies, and necessities for underprivileged children.
About RCA Inspiration
RCA Inspiration (formerly Verity Gospel Music Group), is the Gospel label operating under Provident Music Group, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. Voted Billboard’s #1 “Gospel Songs Label” for the past 15 years, RCA Inspiration is the home of mega-gospel artists Donnie McClurkin, Israel Houghton, Marvin Sapp, Le’Andria Johnson, Fred Hammond and many more, which also includes artists on Kirk Franklin’s Fo Yo Soul Recordings label.
“We count it an honor to be able to introduce the next generation of artists to the world,” says MBE Enterprises CEO Marquis Boone who manages the careers of Millennial megastars Casey J and Briana “Bri” Babineaux. “Jovonta is a great talent. We are excited that he hired our firm to assist him in introducing his music to the world. I think Jovonta has a long, wondrous career ahead of him.”
Some of the eleven-track set of R&B-flavored worships songs was produced by drummer Varo Johnson and the remainder was produced by keyboardist Daniel Weatherspoon, a longtime collaborator with Patton’s musical hero, Donald Lawrence. “I used to read album credits and I’d see Daniel’s name and I wanted to work with him some day,” Patton says. “I love Donald Lawrence’s music because he writes from the Scriptures and through his music, he teaches me the Bible.”
Taking a note from Donald Lawrence, “Finally Living” is also rooted in scripture. “It’s based on John 10:10,” Patton says. “That’s where the Bible says Jesus has come that we have life and have it more abundantly. This project is a journal of where I am in life. I’m married. I have a one year-old baby and one more on the way. A lot of financial commitment and other responsibilities come with that but with God there is no worry. There’s a song on the album, ‘Nothing To Worry About.’ Now, I’m no longer existing; now I’m living because I know Jesus. It was therapeutic.”
A part of his personal therapy is working as a social activist in the crime-infested North Minneapolis neighborhood he calls home. “I’ve seen so many friends and family die because of gang violence and drugs,” Patton adds. “Philando Castile was killed just three miles away from where I live. I went to school with his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds so my connection to all of this is direct and I want my music to help build a bridge to encourage people to come out of the street and come into the church.”