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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  • 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

  • Carolyn Ellertson

    So few of us knew the history of one of the most revered songs in the world. It is the only song my mother requested specially for her funeral. She would have loved this for all the right reasons..and now I love it even more..I could not help but shed tears..Miss you mom. Thank you Wintley for this unforgettable rendition of her favorite song.. Did I mention our Scotch/Irish ancestors were strong abolitionists? They were known to hide many a slave and help them to freedom on the underground railroad..

  • Bob Luebkeman

    WOW!!!! No way to describe the feeling I got when saw this. LOVE IT>

  • P. Crawford

    Amazing Grace has always been one of my most treasured songs. It just give me chills when I hear it. Now, when I hear it I will have the vision of Wintley Phipps singing it.

  • T. Smith

    Mr Phipps sincerity, talent and heartfelt Christianity. What a talent!! Glory to God! So thankful for people like Mr Phipps!

  • Ian Richardson

    I was most inspired by Wintley Phipps magnificent voice; he sings from the bottom of his soul & reaches the hearts of those that listen to his wonderful message and sound. He raises all who hear him to the spirit of God & Jesus Christ & the fellowship of man.

  • fred james

    Beautiful! As a longtime jazz musician, I played often with a dear friend who played only black keys, key of Db; he could sing, swing, cook, preach, and in thousands of gigs the only people who knew were the musicians. The people just loved him and so did I!

  • k.j.baker

    phipps voice and his rendition of one of our treasured songs.learned something about the song i never knew. beautiful. thanks for sharing that wintley phipps. god bless you. peace, k.j. baker from melbourne, fl

  • Richard DuCharme


  • Phipps Agnes

    Surely, the Holy Spirit is channelling through Wintley Phipps and through him...Us... True, the black keys have produced haunting melodies, but, the blending of both the black and the white keys has accomplished the impossible...Harmonious majesty and ultimate beauty. Imagine if everyone learned this lesson!

  • Rosetta garfield

    The truth as the heart speaks when you allow yourself to go back in time. Yes, the black keys speak to the soul, and bring tears of angish as one reflect. Powerful! Yet so beautiful.

  • Santina Tutino

    Despite the discrimination, even the dark keys can bring a very powerful, inspiring and amazing song!!!! Thank you Mr. Phipps for this rendition. Its words and melody touch the very depth of the soul!

  • Mark E. Morehead

    God does not care what color we are.....We are all Christians...We are Gods people...We are all one ! What a wonderful performance....Thank you Mr Phipps

  • Sherilyn

    One of my favorite gospel songs. Wintley's rendition is absolutely beautiful.

  • Maureen

    The most aaamazzing performance of this song...Thank You Mr. Phipps, I had chills and goosebumps, and lots of tears.

  • Nathalee

    This astounding rendition of Amazing Grace touches our souls before the first word is uttered by Wintley Phipps. He is a masterful singer and his historical perspective and gift from God (voice) surely touches the heart and soul of every listener and brings tears of joy to most. Thanks for sharing another exceptional rendition of Amazing Grace for God Is Amazing and all powerful.

  • Nancy

    Thank you, Wintley Phipps, for reminding all of us that we are one in Christ Jesus. I do think that the Holy Spirit works greatly thru your voice to touch our heart and soul.

  • Rae Richen

    The pentatonic scale is a powerful sound and its notes can encompass many wonderful tunes. This rendition by Wintley Phipps, of Amazing Grace is stunning and his work to unite us and to educate children in great need is an important endeavor. By the way, he did not say that slaves were not allowed to use white keys, or even that they were allowed to use black piano keys. What he said was that slaves came to the United States with this great tradition of pentatonic tunes (which correspond to those on the black keys). They used that tradition to continue making music on whatever instruments they created. They may or may not eve have had access to piano keys -- either black or white. They didn't need any other notes than that pentatonic scale to create a world of powerful song based on their old country traditions.

  • David Tariang

    Its enlightening, Inspirational, self-realization of the Fact and that fact is the TRUTH, which is-- WE ARE SAVED BY THE AMAZING GRACE OF OF OUR LORD

  • Dan

    I cannot play or sing but I know where the sound orriginated - with black (great)great cooks -- off the cuff singers show their soul in their music.

  • John E Vawter Sr

    I believe Some credit must be awarded to the chiefs of the tribes that arranged for their members to be chained & on average twenty ships crew controlled three hundred prospective SLAVES. This period in our History is documented in book authored by (Peter Freuchen's Book of the Seven Seas). Library of Congress Catalog # 57-11723. Amazing Grace is one of my favorites along with Sweet Beulah Land.

  • Maurine

    AMAZING!!! Loved it!

  • James007

    I have many different recordings of versions/genres of this piece. All of them are inspiring...this one is enlightening, as well. Enjoy

  • Charlie

    Thee most beautiful song I have ever heard !!!

  • Shirley

    If people only realized that God created us all on the sixth day there would be no strife between peoples. God looked and it was very good. Read Genesis. He created us just the way he wanted us.

  • Connie Strickland

    So informative, and inspirational. Wintry Phipps you did a great job inspiring us to remember all are God's children.

  • levelma

    Informative and inspiring. It was just awesome

  • Laureen

    I have seen this before on one of the Gaither videos. I cried then and I cried now. It is the most powerful rendering of this hymn that I have ever heard. Thank you Wintley for this and may you continue to sing this in your amazing gift, your voice from God.

  • irish

    There are so many versions of this story but I most certainly moved by the fact that we are all equal no matter the colour God has a great way of making it happen

  • Carolyn Stenzel

    it's history! Most interesting!!!!!

  • terry

    Just saw the true story on John Newton. He did not just hear this.After he almost drowned during one of his slave trips, and then 25 years later, wrote the words, thanking God for saving him.

  • Doris

    PTL this very sacred hymn puts us all at the beginning of our faith.

  • Kay

    This is the most stirring rendition of this Gospel song I have ever heard, It pierces my Soul..

  • Kim

    It brought me to tears. We ARE one in the eyes of our Lord and I hope I live long enough to see that day when definition of color is meaningless. This was absolutely amazing.

  • Meredyth

    Memories of reading about Ring Shouts and church balconies reserved for Blacks. Theology should be color blind. I once knew a black woman, a resident in a nursing home, who spent her days humming spirituals while she swept the floors. How I wished I had asked permission to record. Amazing Grace came from the outside in; Mr. Phipps sings from the inside out. Thank you. Through my tears, thank you.

  • Steve

    We Christians have Jesus Christ in all of us, just show it like Wintley Phipps

  • leroy bubba

    nice, but WHY is the black/white thing being pushed in my face so forcefully, it's like ubiquitous...? Can the question even be asked, by an intelligent student of human nature? Won't be surprised if my comment gets "disappeared"...

  • Helen

    Stirring words, expressing the music in our hearts, even during the darkest moments in life, surely uplift our spirits. That is what our MAKER, our eternal FATHER had in mind. A spiritual connection - overcoming the world - entering a new realm where there are neither white nor black keys - for GOD's peace is a the key.

  • Pastor Saunders

    Never heard the story of subjection of the slaves to play only the black keys. No matter how man tries to hinder the 'black' man, God always causes him to triumphant and bring glory to our God. Glory!

  • Cindi

    It tells the tell that we are and always have been a proud people. That from slavery until today, with a black man in the white house. Bless those that came before to pave the way.



  • Mary Jo Smith

    I love the song and the singer. I was fortunate enough to see him in DC with a concert choir from there. He is exceedingly good

  • Minnie Abrams

    The melody of these renditions was so heartfelt

  • jeannine

    This is music from the heart, but the author, John Newton, was one of the two Englishmen who fought to ABOLISH the slave trade. The other gentleman was in Parliament

  • Larry

    A check on actual history indicates this is mostly a fable, not true history. The rendition of the song is moving, the story is, unfortunately, not true.

  • Karen

    knowing where the music originated, From slaves, there are other songs of spiritual, Indian's, Chinese, Irish, others that were slaves also. Music is usually from the heart. This one especially is from the heart and settles in the Heart of many. God Bless those musical blessings.

  • probir mukherjea

    you always appreciate song(like this) more when you come to know the story behind-sorrow/agony/desperation of the composer

  • Marjorie

    How great our God is. God's love is for everyone. It amazes me how God's love can change people. It is all because of God's amazing grace. Thank you Jesus

  • Janice

    Such a wonderful reminder of God's grace and the struggles against slavery that pitted whites against whites to bring justice to blacks in America and the United Kingdom. We must alway stand against injustice in any form as it is a reflection of Christ himself!!

  • Ginny Biddle

    I, like others, have grown up on Negros Spirituala as well as on Amazing Grace. I was appalled at "History's" comments. His gall is only surpassed by his ignorance. John Newton and Wilberforce were men who were instrumental in the final prohibition of slavery-Newton with his spiritual and Wilberforce in parliament. History, do your homework and listen to the music with your heart and recognize repentance at its most beautiful.

  • Debbie Brewer

    Thank you God for saving me!!!!! Your Grace is amazing!!!!!!!! Thank you for loving and saving someone like me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This song was made for this man to sing to all of us!!!! BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!

  • Elizabeth Peters

    To be reminded that in God through Jesus Christ, we are the same in His eyes, there is no black, no white, He loves unconditionally. May those of us who have received the gift so freely given love like Him, so others may also receive.

  • Margee Wheeler

    I am a singer and appreciate his beautiful voice. When I get goosebumps, I know it is from the heart and full body singing!!

  • Betty Mixon

    To look beyond all faults and see the need to love one another unconditionally, regardless of color, race or cultural. I want to love like Jesus.

  • Jean Nauer

    I checked my email this morning and came across this video that was sent to me from an AMAZING friend. The world is a better place when You can wake up to hear the rendition of a song to free anyone in bondage feeling like your life falls short on horrible things that happen to you. I was meant to hear this today to say great things are still in store for people that want goodness to thrive. This song is enough when the world can't give us enough...Music alone shall live!!!! Praise God Jean Nauer

  • Cinde Tadlock

    Awesome testimony and beautiful rendition of one of my most favorite hymns.

  • ruth thompson

    Most beautiful testimony i have ever heard

  • Jim Cole

    It is a Christian testimony.

  • MDaniels

    He is a beautiful man with a message of peace who understands and shared history.

  • Jananne

    Newton wrote this song when he Spirit taught him that his current way of making a living was a sin. He was deeply shamed by that he had participated in the slave trade. All of us can receive the Grace of God.

  • Arlene

    It moved me to tears as it cradled Truths and delivered them to my heart.

  • SandyH

    to the person signed in as "history:" please recheck your dictionary. WENCH means "to consort with lewd women; to fornicate" per Webster's, and was/is a derogatory term referred to females. WRETCH "a miserable person; one who is profoundly unhappy or in misfortune" again per Webster's. in short, a person of either gender. and just for the record, most slaves were in fact captured by other black tribesmen and sold to whites.

  • Carole Anderson

    To see all of the gospel singers in the back ground and their humble attitude to the word of our LORD is amazing!! I love to hear this kind of history of our black people who (by the way) have given us much more than we could give to them. I'm grateful to live in this era of freedom and love of one another no matter what you skin color. We ALL are truly blessed by THE FATHER!!

  • Jan

    The story and his singing. I've never heard that story before. I wish everyone in America could hear that story and could hear Mr. Phipps praise God like no other. Amen.

  • history

    You people act like you didn't read the first line of the song. That saved a wretch like me. John Newton considered black women sexual servants, hence the word wretch. Wretch means or is usually referred to as,a young girl or woman prostitute or servant. Newton felt black women were nothing more than whores, since their physical makeup included rounder butts and hips. Sad but it was legal to rape black women because it was considered rape anyway... read between the lines people.

  • Mary Anne

    The story I had never heard about re the song amazing grace. ANAZING!

  • elena

    Tears in my eyes !Amazing! Great voice!

  • JB

    Out of a little, God can do much....

  • Joyce

    Mr. Phipps enlightened me with the story but also gave me an appreciation for the music that I had not previously experienced. Thank you, Mr. Phipps.

  • Bonnie

    Truly a gift EVERYONE should listen to this Emotional song !!! Thank you God for your AMAZING GRACE THAT SAVED US!!!!

  • Bev

    My brother Raymond passed young and this was sung at his funeral. So happy to know its history. Thank you!

  • Kay Afonso

    so emotional am still crying

  • Roy Clark


  • tony

    Thank you so much. I never cared for this song because of the man that wrote it. My eyes are now opened and my ears have rejoiced. I still have a hard time believing that the slave trader went to heaven after all of the unspeakable crimes in which he had a hand, but that is between him and God. I can now just enjoy the song and the message that is behind it.

  • Linda Sprankle

    His Amazing Grace!

  • Lori

    This man's spirit.. Love his message and his devotion.. just awesome!

  • Joan Boylen

    This wonderful voice and this story inspired me. He is a wonderful man and I love his voice

  • sue

    wonderful story of writing negro spirituals on the black keys of the piano and the history of Amazing Grace.

  • Mariola

    The Words, The Meaning, His Voice, everything !

  • Cathy

    I felt closer to God when I truly listened. what a gift he has with that rich, deep voice. You could feel his sorrow in his expression of that spiritual. I would love to have a CD, but right now I haven't any money.



  • Doris McGillan

    This video is awesome, spiritual and beautiful!!!! The historical significance is most needed by our people.

  • sharon

    the simple message it conveys! this should be seen in all high schools

  • Mark

    WOW! ...just Wow...

  • Sallie Glisson

    Very educational as well as inspirational.

  • Ethel Rankin

    Remarkable - Phipps has an outstanding voice. I didn't know it was written by a captain of a slave ship.

  • Jan Ammons

    It's absolutely true that we are all connected by God's Amazing Grace! Hallelujah!

  • Linda Hansen

    I grew up listening to and singing this WONDERFUL music. This is how you Unite people, with God's love!

  • Alberta

    The truth, God's hand,halleuya

  • 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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