If there’s truth to the saying “It’s not over until the fat lady sings” then Los Angeles based Chubby Girl Records is destined to become a profitable niche label of the gospel music industry. In an industry where gospel music is distinctive and revered, Chubby Girl Records celebrates and embraces gifted gospel recording artists who just happen to be ‘pleasingly plump’.
The primary focus of the label is gospel music. Gospel music is one of the few genres where physical appearance takes a backseat to good old-fashioned singing. According to Sherrie Keys, CEO and President: “The beauty of the cross is the focus of gospel music. People who hunger for God’s presence really don’t consider a singer’s image as part of gospel music’s appeal.”
Keys states that praise and worship is the passion and mission of her label and that music ministry takes precedence over image-conscious trends. “Our calling is higher than gospel music. Our mission is to exalt Christ, to magnify Him with such artistry that listeners look beyond our externals to experience Christ alone”.
Keys believes gospel music marketing offers a compelling and unique opportunity to positively influence the way plus-size women view their bodies. A gospel music collaboration with a fashion-forward plus-size artist represents both a new retail offering for Christian music lovers and a breakthrough business model for the plus-size industry. Keys, a gifted singer in her own right, will be the first gospel recording artist distributed on the label’s roster.
According to a Purdue University study, 65% of churchgoers are in the overweight or obese category. Gospel music lovers are an influential demographic with considerable purchasing power. “Music is an integral part of pop culture. The message to plus-size consumers should be that living a life with purpose can be achieved at any size. We don’t advocate obesity as a healthy lifestyle choice. We advocate a positive self-image as the foundation to holistic health.”
In conjunction with the music label’s launch, the company is designing a clothing line targeting the plus-size market. Keys believes that plus-size women deserve fashion equality and that the demographic has strong growth potential in an otherwise stagnant retail market. So are retailers poised to offer fashionable Sunday clothes to the faithful? Keys laughs, “We won’t need couture robes when we get to heaven but a few designer garments down here would be divine.”