Kenna Turner West’s career in gospel music began in 1983 when, as a new Believer, the eighteen year-old joined the nine-time Grammy Award-winning Blackwood Brothers. (*The Blackwood Brothers were inducted into the GMA Hall of Fame in 1998, placing Kenna and her father, Ken, alongside gospel music legends James Blackwood and J.D. Sumner as fellow Blackwood alumni.) Over twenty-five years later, God has continued to open doors for Kenna to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ across the nation and around the world, alongside Christian leaders such as Franklin Graham and Dr. Jerry Falwell, at venues ranging from The Pentagon to NASCAR chapels to the local church.
Though anchored in Christian music — working with artists such as Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, CeCe Winans, Charles Billingsley, The Cathedrals, The Talleys, and producers Don Potter and Paul Overstreet — Kenna also performs country as well as big band music, garnering several Cammy Award nominations (“Female Vocalist of the Year” and “Favorite New Artist”) for her #1 big band single, Who Wouldn’t Love You. She is both a sought-after producer and session singer, recording national radio jingles for companies like Pizza Hut and Window World.
In 2001, after years of primarily being a vocalist, Kenna began penning songs for The Spring Hill Music Group, owned in part by gospel music icon Bill Gaither. Her first single,We’re Not Gonna Bow, was recorded by Jeff and Sheri Easter and became a #1 hit, giving Kenna her first Dove Award nomination. Within four years, she was voted the SGM Songwriter of the Year.
Kenna’s songs have graced over a dozen Dove Award-nominated projects. Some of her more recognizable cuts are:
The Talley Trio — Red Letter Day, That’s Why I Believe, Who Will Pray, God Lives There, Tell Somebody
Lauren Talley — The Extra Mile
The Martins — Tell Them That I Love Them
Brian Free and Assurance — Keeping the Old Man Down, You’ve Got to Pray, I Believe, God Will Close The Door, Remind Me Of The Cross
The Hoppers — We Are America
Karen Peck and New River — A Taste of Grace, Walk in Triumph, It Was Mercy, Get About God’s Business, This Is What Mercy Does
Mike and Kelly Bowling — Tell Them, This Is Your Moment, Just When We Need It Most
Legacy 5 — Faithful to the Cross, Ask Me Why, I’m Still Amazed
Ivan Parker — Mercy
The Mike Lefevre Quartet — Big Mighty God, Nothin’ But Good, Glorious, Take My Life
Larry Ford — We Are America, Get About God’s Business, Praise Him Anyway, Peace Be Still, It Takes Faith, Red Letter Day
Lordsong — His Love is Greater
Best of Friends [Joyce Martin, Karen Peck, and Sheri Easter] — If She Could, I’m a Mom, The High Road, It’s in the Attitude
Susie Luchsinger — Count it All Joy
Sisters — Mercy Leads, We All Came To The Cross, I’m Sure, Everything You Do, Unexpected Blessings
Allison Durham Speer — Rejoice
In 2007, Kenna signed with Word Entertainment/Warner Brothers — broadening her catalog of songs that include praise and worship, gospel, inspirational, adult contemporary, country, and choral — and in 2009, garnered her second Dove Award nomination for the song, Big Mighty God. Soon after, the Liberty graduate and certified counselor released her first book, Finding the Good and Seeing His Glory, which explores the sufficiency of God’s grace in adversity. The following year, Kenna won her first Diamond Award for Song of the Year, and in 2011 went on to receive honors at the AGM Awards for Songwriter of the Year. Recently, Kenna joined the team at Daywind Music Publishing, and will soon release her first musical, distributed by LifeWay, entitled Love Won. Orchestrated by Russell Maudlin, Bradley Knight, Cliff Duren, and Camp Kirkland, the musical will be available for the 2012 Easter season. The end of 2014 saw Kenna once again signing a worldwide publishing deal with Word Entertainment.