Robert Williams Nu Gospel KeynotesRobert Williams’ Nu Gospel Keynotes

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Sang Robert!” was the command fans heard the late Willie Neal Johnson shout with such fervent passion at Robert Williams that we encouraged Robert from our church, auditorium and stadium seats to sing as if his life was in jeopardy. If you know traditional black quartet Gospel music, then you know that the Gospel Keynotes are one of the best known names in the industry. Fast forward to 2016, Robert Williams, Andrè Ellis (Smile-E), Michael “Face” Palmer and the Nu Gospel Keynotes band will be singing with that same passion for years to come. Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing Robert Williams’ Nu Gospel Keynotes.

Robert WilliamsRobert C. Williams

Known exclusively as the group of the late Willie Neal Johnson, this quartet has always kept a constant stream of awesome falsetto/tenor singers in the group. Willie Neal was known for calling on top singers like Paul Beasley, Rev. Charles McLean, and Robert C. Williams. Robert joined the Gospel Keynotes in 1984 after the group recorded their rare “Tell It to Jesus” LP. In 1985 the Keynotes moved to Malaco Records, Robert made his first appearance on record with the now famous song “Just a Rehearsal.” Robert sung on all Malaco recordings with the late legend drawing a legion of fans all across the globe.



Andre (Smile-E) EllisAndrè Ellis (Smile-E)

Andrè Ellis, a native of Waterbury, CT, was born into a musical family. He developed his love for music at an early age as Andrè began singing in his church choir at age five. Self-taught, he learned to play the drums, bass and lead guitar. Soon young Andrè made a name for himself as he began singing and playing with many gospel quartets groups in the Connecticut area.

As early as nine years old, André’s passion and goal was to sing and play guitar for the legendary Stellar award winning gospel group Willie Neal Johnson and the Gospel Keynotes. In the early 1990s, his dream became a reality as Andrè has toured extensively across the country as a member of Willie Neal Johnson and the Gospel Keynotes.

Andrè Ellis aka Smile-E loves music and wants to share his message with all that will hear him.

Love Conquers Hate – 1Luv

Michael (Face) PalmerMichael “Face” Palmer

Michael Palmer received his musical training from his aunts (Cynthia and Zell) at 10 years old in his hometown of St. Matthews, SC. Learning the art of singing and background vocal blending techniques, Michael also grew up playing instruments in his church home and listening to his favorite singers and role models, his grandfather and uncles.

After serving our country for eight years, Michael returned home and to the church. Singing with groups as the Five Singing Sons and the Zionaires, Michael joined the legendary Gospel Keynotes on January 1, 1997 as bass player. Given the moniker of “Babyface” by the late Willie Neal Johnson, the multi-talented singer and musician made the transition to drums and settled in his role as 2nd lead singer.

Playing drums and singing on the Stellar award winning album, “The Country Boy Goes Home II” and being inducted in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame brought full circle Michael’s musical ambitions as a young lad. With all of the fame, accolades and recognition, Michael just really wants people to know that he loves the Lord and hope that love is evident in is musical ministry.

Booking and Contact Information

In 2016, Robert Williams’ Nu Gospel Keynotes will perform new music sprinkled in with your favorite Gospel Keynotes classics hits. For bookings, please contact Andre Ellis at 252-325-6939. For media inquiries, please contact