At Carnegie Hall, gospel singer Wintley Phipps delivers perhaps the most powerful rendition of Amazing Grace ever recorded. He says, "A lot of people don't realize that just about all Negro spirituals are written on the black notes of the piano. Probably the most famous on this slave scale was written by John Newton, who used to be the captain of a slave ship, and many believe he heard this melody that sounds very much like a West African sorrow chant. And it has a haunting, haunting plaintive quality to it that reaches past your arrogance, past your pride, and it speaks to that part of you that's in bondage. And we feel it. We feel it. It's just one of the most amazing melodies in all of human history." After sharing the noteworthy history of the song, Mr. Phipps delivers a stirring performance that brings the audience to its feet!


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  • Lou

    The history and beauty of this song...

  • Beth

    Let a man like this show and share true Christianity and the world will be richer for it And he has a gift of a wonderful voice compassion hope joy and warmth Amen

  • Sosanna

    Sincerity and the amazing love of God

  • Sandy Armour

    I love Amazing Grace and Mr. Phipps sang it beautifully. I never tire of hearing this song.

  • Coleda Schwaller

    The history of my very favorite hymn, Amazing Grace. I love this song and am inspired by it every time I hear it. Sometime at night when I can't sleep I hear Amazing Grace in my head. I also am impressed with the voice of Wintley Phipps.

  • Margie

    This man is filled with the compassion of Christ. Praise God!

  • Joe Graci

    All our emotions are the same regRdless of race, coupler or creed Joe Graci

  • Patricia Levine

    I was impressed by.......Mr Phipps pure heart that shows thru his face....... his amazing talent and his smile......really precious! The song has long been my favorite! It was my Dad's favorite too!

  • Philippe Chaperon

    Listening to Wintley Phipps introducing some history of Negro Sprituals and his version of Amazing Grace made me feel at one with all humanity, whatever their culture, religion or skin colour. We are truly one. What an amazing voice!

  • esther detally

    EVERYTHING! I totally believe in the oneness of mankind.

  • Robert Francis Jr

    History not known, powerful!!

  • Roy B.

    This Black man will show all the people who believe the way!!!!!

  • Patricia Henderson

    Everything, Mr. Phipps was so passionate a sincere in relating the history and origin of the song.

  • Jessica

    The Passion!!!

  • linda

    Everything, from the history of the written song, to the video, to Wintley singing this amazing song, hallelujah AMEN

  • Graham

    This is amazing, it's just so incredibly inspiring. The song almost makes you want to cry

  • Fred

    The feeling he exhibited, and the sincerity, made me appreciate his purpose !!

  • Carol

    The history of the song, the inspiration of the song itself and of course the person who sung it in this video. Very moving song. Always bring a tear to my eyes and makes me feel so humble inside.

  • DON


  • R Bonck

    Nothing. It keeps breaking up and will not play continuously.

  • Joyce

    Very moving, all should be in tune with this to education the people

  • Steve K

    This song always moves me. It also makes me sweat. It seems to touch ones soul like many Gospel songs do, goes right to your heart especially done with the feeling of the singer, whether white or black who somehow always transmits Newton's words into a deep feeling in ones guts. You can't help feeling it, even if your the most anally retentive person, it grabs you and wont let you go.

  • Sandy

    I was so moved by this video and the song I have always loved, to learn the TRUE HISTORY of this melody. Wintley Phipps rendition was absolutely incredible!!! Thank you for informing us of the Black Keys history.

  • Harrison

    The information about the black keys was really interesting. Awsome the way the pain and soul feeling that comes from a Voice that touches every feeling that is in a human soul. Would like to hear more from Mr. Phipps and his glorious voice.

  • Helen

    I was very moved, and wanted so much to share this with everyone I've known through the years. Especially a former music teacher I worked with in my old school district. I'm not really sure if she's aware of this information or not. Even though she was a dynamite and well informed instructor and always included a little music history along with musical instruction. I am going to try to track her down and pass this along. Someone sent me this info in an email.

  • normie geske

    beyond beautiful! words could never convey this message...only music from the soul to the soul

  • Carole

    Oh well,made me cry!!

  • sam

    The message in Amazing Grace makes me know that it is only by the Amazing Grace of God through his son Jesus Christ that I will live with him forever. Praise God.

  • David

    Beautiful! What would be helpful is for us all to realize that we are soul having a physical experience. And most of us have lived many times with many different colors of skin!

  • chuck may

    Listen and allow the holy spirit to work!

  • Tom


  • Zee

    This video teaches us a lot of history about Black music and it's beginning. Intrigued about the black keys on the piano.


    I have never in my life heard such a cry of glory and a cry of pain at the same time. Mr. Phipps brings forth his deep spiritual love from the tips of his toes, and it's absolutely spell binding, and brought me to tears! I'm not black, but all of my life I've heard this this deep spiritual expression through music, yet never, ever, as Mr. Phipps does here. This video is joining my special collection, and will be wending it's way throughout the country, until my fingers just can't type another name. This is so very beautiful, my eyes are still watering and my soul has been touched so deeply. Who is this man? I've never heard his name before. I don't know where I've been to never have heard of him, but now I'd like to know everything I can about him. If we could ever hear our precious God, He would sound like this, with all of the universe's pain and suffering and love in his voice! Thank you SO much for putting this on YouTube. I will now listen to this spiritual miracle every single day for the rest of my life.

  • Rev. Matt Garrigan

    I have a ministry of about 600. Maybe 50 that bring us and teach the Negro Spiritual and they always bring us to our soul spirit. My experience is that I feel the Holy Spirit. They teach us that walking the walk is not the same as walking the walk. I take the soul Spirit and mind and find myself humming while walking,waiting in line and humming, in the shower. I AM a white 62 years in this body That.s what I bring to the table to break bread. God is Omnipresent/Absent nowhere. He is in and around each one of us. I ask for your forgiveness not because we need to, but because you need too.we need to end the slavery the white mans Not because You need to but also because we are all Radiant Lights and we are all free. "the 5 black keys that saved the world The 5 black keys that freed the white man. The five Black keys that freed us all from keys........ YOU ARE A HUAN SPARKLER------YOU ARE"

  • Marjorie Ray

    I can't begin to express what the story about "the black keys" does way down in my soul! Amazing Grace has always filled my spirit knowing how much God loves each one of us though none of us deserves it. I knew John Newton wrote this & he had been a captain of a slave ship before knowing God through Jesus Christ. Now this all makes sense about the melody, and hearing Wintley Phipps voice singing it may bring others to know God. Praise Go

  • Donna Lundborg

    Amazing! What a voice! What a sweet spirit! What a heart! What a soul! What a story! I'm blessed!

  • Robert Putnam

    It tells us what people had to go through years ago and never again shall this ever happen to anyone!!!!

  • Leslie Lagarde

    I took 12 years of piano lessons, hoping to be a concert pianist and travel the world. I never heard about 'the black keys', or the tearful way to sing 'Amazing Grace', even though I went to church every week 3 times. God is revealing His special meanings of many things in the last days for you and I to continue to spread the gospel before it's too late for many. Listen to God, and do your part in His name. God bless those in 'harms way' spreading the Word. My only son and his family are telling the Message around the world, as I speak. God bless all.

  • mary

    I've listened to and sang this song all my life; eventually learned of its history but this video presented even more as it provided a muscical background which made this rendition profound beyond words.

  • Crsytal

    Awesome learned a little history and got to listen to a awesome song sung with all this Wintley Phipps heart. Won't be amazing if we all saw each other as God sees us then there would be no need for hatred, violence, greed or racism. Instead we would see the worth and goodness in everyone and treat everyone with respect and love. for God says Love one another as I have Loved you for Gods word states in John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. amen thank you Jesus

  • GME

    The story is total BS. Amazing Grace was first written as a poem. It was never set to music originally. After it was published, it was sang to the melody of many popular tunes of the day, as was common practice. There was also no restriction against playing white keys on the piano. There were no piano's in slave shacks on plantations, and slaves who were taught piano for their masters enjoyment, were taught all the keys so as to be able to perform the pieces the master enjoyed. This entire rewriting of history by this individual amounts to nothing more than a hoax, and a pretty poor one at that. Read more -

  • George S.


  • Jeni Robinson

    With the history behind this, it is no wonder this beautiful piece touches people from all walks of life all around the world. I am astounded and bewildered at the arrogance of people - especially so many of us with fair skin down through the ages - to think we are above another. If we all saw each other as God sees us then there would be no need for hatred, violence, greed or racism. Instead we would see the worth and goodness in everyone and treat everyone with respect and love. Thank you for sharing this here.

  • Jan

    He weaves our apparent differences into one, and does it straight from the heart--kind of like the song itself. It's all heart.

  • Thea

    I could feel the spirit of God that made me an African American originally from the Fula people of Guinee Bisau.

  • Bonnie

    Wow that was so beautiful.....

  • Ted

    Very well done! With songs and music and singers like this ... how can there be so much hate in the world!

  • Charlie B.

    The simplicity of his being is so powerful

  • Bianca

    Everything about this video is fabulous. Wintley Phipps is exquisite, so genuine .... Love, love, love !!!!

  • Betty Fletcher

    Always one of my favorite songs sung so beautiful by Wintley Phipps at Carnegie Hall. Filled my heart and brought tears to my eyes!

  • Gloria

    This song always makes me cry, and this rendition tops it all !!!! So very powerful and again made me cry.

  • Stan

    A powerful song, with a powerful history, sung with an excellent voice backed by a deep spiritual experience. Touched my heart again.

  • Juliette

    Such good information...I think a lot of Americans forget these things/have no idea. It's a humbling and beautiful reminder of the history of our country, and the beautiful spiritual contribution of black Americans.

  • Gladstone Hunte"

    My Inspiration is His unique approach in highlighting the History pertaining to the song, and putting into perspective the depths of importance played by all who contribute to the song. Brilliantly done.

  • stefano pagani

    Peace and power of god that's in my hart

  • Harry Danson

    This song is my favorite spiritual song as well as my Mother and Fathers! We had it sung at both their funerals and do hope that when my time comes, it will be sung at mine! Karen thank you for sharing, brings tears to my eyes every time! Wintley Phipps is so inspiring and amazing!

  • Jan Tanksley

    The power and the strength and his faith. Wonderful

  • Ken Cook

    Thank God for Christians like Whitley Phipps. His message of God's love and Grace through music is such a Blessing.

  • H. Lee

    Oh, What a wonderful person with a lovely voice. I had the privilege of hearing him at a Concert at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, PA.. He had us in tears when he sang "When Peace Like a River". It was a Blessed event to have him as a Guest.

  • Willy G. Colombini

    E' fantastica atmosfera di questo meraviglioso personaggio che è un grande.

  • Robert Cummings

    It reminds me of my birth and nurtured upbringing in the community of elders with common goal of the African Endemic Culture

  • Debbie

    I have watched powerful Videos but this tops them all! This brings new meaning to this well loved praise song!

  • Arlene Schwartzkopf

    This man is so full of the Spirit of God, and the song comes alive with the fullness of God's beauty when he sings it.

  • Jean Vogels

    also would like to know if he has a cd, beautiful

  • Sandra

    Does winglets have a CD

  • Edna

    This has always been one of my favorite songs, but learning the history is a blessing from God. This song does reach out all races of our universe. GOD IS AWESOME.

  • Rosmin

    After watching this I listen to the song in a different light.... awesome

  • Louise

    I never knew the history of who wrote this song. I am glad it has finally been brought to light.

  • Robin Kerr

    The amazing grace of God that transformed the life of John Newton who during his slave trading days was said to have re-wrote the record book for SIN and how the Spirit of the Lord came upon him and caused him to pen these words- "I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see" God has used the words of this song to convict thousands of people over the years of their sin and through repentance have reached out and tasted of the amazing grace of the Father. May He alone be praised! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

  • Connie Hardee

    Never knew the history behind this song! Praise God for His love, mercy & grace...& for this amazing song!!

  • Vicki

    I loved the history of the music and the message. God's love and grace, Amen Glory be to the most Highest.

  • judy lassiter

    ...thank God there are us....

  • Toni

    AMEN ! Brought me to tears and to my knees...such an angelic and powerful voice and spiritual message and unknown history of such a moving song sung by so many. Glory to God!

  • margaret

    I have always loved this song, never realizing the history of it. I had it sung at my husband s funeral, sung by my son-in-law!

  • BDunn

    Beautiful and uplifting

  • Ryan

    I was inspired not only by the melody, the history, but the truth of God's amazing Grace to all. Your Colour, gender, sexual orientation or anything else does not keep you away from the Grace of Almighty God. Mr. Wintley Phipps rendition was just beautiful, the message humbling. It is indeed grace on grace.

  • Kay

    Grace filled!

  • Darlene Richardson

    The Amazing Grace, my Mom Love singing this and so do I a good feeling to the Heart.

  • Rosmin

    Just Amazing Grace

  • Teresa-Anne Lucas

    Wintley Phipps touched my heart and soul with his rendition of Amazing Grace. This was an invaluable history lesson that should be taught throughout every school!!!

  • Willy Helena

    This is a part of history that should be taught to our children, maybe it could teach them to be more tolerant of each other! Most touching!!!

  • Jerry M

    The words give Hope

  • Patty

    This Is beautiful, I never knew about the black notes. This is educational and brought me to tears.

  • Joy

    The beauty in only the black notes, but we are you noted!

  • glenda

    emotional sadness, it makes you cry for peace and love all over the world

  • Fem

    Wintley's total sincerity



  • Patricia Hopper

    It inspires me and reminds me--regardless of what the media tries to convince me--that there are more beautiful things and people in this world than there are "bad things/guys." Each of us can do one thing each day to encourage another person to be better and do better and make a positive contribution during our time on this planet. That, my dear friends, is the teaching of Jesus Christ. Read "the Book." Blessings to all.

  • Jeanne

    We are all brothers and sisters in Christ

  • Robert Grimm

    Mr. Wintley Phipps !

  • Robert

    The entire story AND his gorgeous voice brought tears to my eyes. I never knew about the black keys.

  • Claire

    We know that American slavery is over technically. But lest we forget, we will repeat our mistakes!!!! I will forever talk about the past so as not to forget how grateful I am not to be a slave. 150 years is not a lot of years. But for the grace of God, I could have been born a slave.

  • Helen

    I've been a church organist for over 50 years and never realized it could be played on just the black keys - interesting.

  • Tom

    Mr. Phipps, while very enlightening about the black keys melodies, is mistaken about Africans being the only slaves brought to the Western Hemisphere. There were nearly 300,000 Irish true slaves brought here also (well documented).

  • Paula James

    Wonderful rendition and Wintley Phipps was magnificent. However, Slavery ended over 150 years ago. No one alive today was a slave and No one alive today was ever a slave. We are all Americans who Equal opportunity. Some are exception as shown by Wintley. Truly God given talent. Dredging up old wounds is not healthy in America. Go forth and be fruitful. The only people that believe Blacks/Negros are not equal are the progressive politicians and the Media.

  • Keeshia

    no matter what you think of the rendition, this is a powerful message. Don't get lost or twisted in the composition. The historical meaning is impactful. Thank you Wintley for bringing this to light!!!!

  • Micheal Adams

    The story Whitney told in the intro inspired me most. The actual performance and recording disappointed me mostly because it was so overhyped above and overproduced in performance. However, I learned from the performance and recording and the learning was inspiring to me. I now know a lot more about what not to do with Amazing Grace. KISS rule. Keep it simple stupid. It was not the most powerful rendition of Amazing Grace ever recorded. Perhaps reaching for the goal of “powerful” rendition caused the problem. It was over produced, arranged and slicked up to where the beauty of it's simplicity was covered up and shockingly twisted into something too big and too artificial. Whitney a cappella and unarranged would have easily trumped this performance. Musically speaking, blue jeans, favorite comfortable shits; clothes of natural cotton and colors would have shone through for the Carpenter’s people. Instead, they were covered by many yards of leisure polyester of nauseous faux pastels not native to this world. Then followed garish modulations or color that clashed with the un-tampered parts of Whitney's competent performance. Fortunately, it was a blessedly short part of an otherwise fine evening. So, the spirit of the evening forgave the gaudy, fortunately fleeting embellishments and the light shown through for those in the venue. Good for them.

  • Pat Morrell

    So many great things and people are really simple.

  • Elizabeth Martin

    for many years, this hymn has resounded in my mind and my singing it. Though I am not Black, Amazing Grace is one of my most precious hymns because it is "my" meeting with Jesus Christ many years ago.

  • Stevens

    Loved it

  • Page 1

  • In a rare interview with PBS, Wintley Phipps shares more about his journey.
  • Learn about the connection between "Negro Spirituals" and the history of African Americans
  • Do some research into your own past and discover the music of your roots!

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