Bishop Marvin Sapp

When TV One’s “Unsung” announced that Marvin Sapp would appear on the show, many people were puzzled, including the award-winning artist himself.

“I was shocked because when I look at ‘Unsung,’ immediately I think about it from the standpoint of people’s careers almost being over and my career is still very much thriving,” said Sapp.

“But they assured me that we were going to talk about my life, my journey and I got excited about it. They want to talk about my trials and my triumphs.”

The behind-the-scenes look at the gospel star premieres on Sunday, July 16, at 7 p.m., local time, on TV One and viewers will learn how he evolved into a chart-topping artist. Many facts about him are well known such as his early start with the group Commissioned and the tragic death of his wife, Malinda, from colon cancer. But the show will disclose rarely publicized details like who inspired him to sing, his rebellious teenage period and his unwavering faith in God.

Also, the program will share insight from several of Sapp’s contemporaries including Kirk Franklin, Dorinda Clark Cole, Marvin Winans, Sr., Donald Lawrence and Fred Hammond.

“I’ve always been very public, but I’m very private, too. People will get to see Marvin Sapp in a different light. I think it will be a strong ministry tool that will encourage and uplift,” he said.

Sapp has excelled during his 30-year musical career; however, he experienced many challenges along the way. His parents divorced when he was nine-years-old, he experimented with marijuana and hard drugs at the age of 12 and suffered from epilepsy as a young man. Yet, his faith remained strong no matter what odds he faced.

God not only delivered him from drugs, but also freed him of his epileptic disease after Sapp decided to stop taking medication and prayed for a healing. As a result, he hasn’t had a seizure in 30 years.

“I’ve always been a man of faith and even in my faith, I maintained my position and decided I was going to stay strong in God despite all of the things that were happening in my life,” said Sapp.

“I personally don’t know how people go through anything without God. I know [that] if I didn’t have a real relationship with Him, I’d have given up a long time ago. It’s hard out here trying to maintain a life when it feels like everything in life is falling apart, so my focus has always been ‘Love on Him and He’ll love on you.’ That’s what I tell people,” he added.

Sapp applies his faith in his roles as a father to his three children, as a pastor to his congregation at Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and as a recording artist and entrepreneur. He also sings a similar message in his new single, “Close,” which encourages listeners to stay steadfast and strong when facing turbulent times in life.

Explaining that the enemy does not attack people who are distanced from God, Sapp said the enemy fights those who are earnestly striving to follow His commands.

“That’s what the song is really all about, that you understand that the crazier life gets, the closer you are,” declared Sapp. “So, don’t be weary in well doing, just know if you stay connected to Him and do as He says, ‘You will reap a harvest if you don’t faint.’”

To learn more about Marvin Sapp, visit