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The Kingdom Choir: Royal wedding's gospel ensemble lands record deal

Choir in royal wedding lands record deal
Royal wedding's Kingdom Choir lands record deal 04:06

LONDON -- The gospel choir that performed at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is celebrating a new achievement: a record deal. London's Kingdom Choir thrilled a worldwide audience of nearly two billion people with their rendition of "Stand By Me." 

Karen Gibson directs the Kingdom Choir through rehearsals, same as she ever did. But from that day forward everything has changed.

"I do feel that my life is completely different to, say, two, three months ago. Completely," Gibson told CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata. With a laugh, she said she gets recognized on the street.

Choir members react to royal wedding performance 03:35

"That's nice. I'll tell you why it's nice. Not because, you know, people know who I am. Because they rarely know my name. But because you can see from their responses, you can see from the look in their eye, that actually they're being so sincere, you know, when they say, 'Thank you,'" Gibson said.

The choir didn't exactly steal the show that day, but for three and a half glorious minutes, they owned it. That week the song soared to No. 1 in the Billboard Hot Gospel Chart. The performance has been viewed 10 million times on YouTube. 

For members Elaine Simpson and Sharlene Monique Morris, the whirlwind began before they even got to the chapel that morning.

"When we had a police escort, that's when I thought, mate, I can go home. I literally can tell my grandkids this," Simpson said.

"We didn't have to stop at any red lights. It was crazy, that's the one thing I always talk about," Morris said.


The "overnight success" actually began more than 20 years ago when the London choir was formed. The wedding – and the Sony record deal – was the result of hard work and an answer to a prayer.

"You've got to understand, we rehearse in Karen's living room. ... This is just, we pray, we worship, we sing in her living room," Morris said.

"Repeat," Simpson said with a laugh.

"And repeat. We do it again. So the Sony thing is just like, for us, I'll be very honest, it's like, wow, we actually get to reach so many more people, and that's the exciting thing for us. It's like, this is really, really cool," Morris said.

Tyrone Sinclair said it's a challenge they're ready for.

"Now we get to do what we've been talking about and praying about and asking for for years. ... You've got an opportunity. Let's go get it," Sinclair said.

An opportunity granted by God, Gibson said. Not to mention Prince Harry and Meghan.

"We were singing for the couple, definitely because it's their wedding, their very private, personal, intimate ceremony on a world stage," Gibson said.

The Kingdom Choir's album releases Nov. 2, 2018.

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