Mary Mary, comprised of sisters Erica Atkins-Campbell and Trecina Atkins-Campbell, was formed in 1998. The duo has sold over 8 million records worldwide and won 4 Grammy Awards (nominated for 11.) The name Mary Mary was coined to honor the two Mary’s of the Bible, Mary– Jesus Mother and Mary Magdalene.
After inking a deal with EMI with producer Warryn Campbell, the duo wrote and recorded several songs for movie soundtracks like Dr. Doolittle and The Prince of Egypt. However, Mary Mary really made a splash as a musical entity when they penned several tracks for 702 and Yolanda Adams’ Mountain High… Valley Low.
In 2000, Mary Mary gained mainstream recognition with the release of their debut album Thankful featuring hit lead single “Shackles (Praise You).” The song charted on the Billboard Hot 100 and got airplay on MTV– the first Gospel song in 5 years to do so.
After four more albums, Mary Mary premiered their own television series, Mary Mary, on WEtv in March 2012. Two years later, the group decided to take a hiatus and Erica Campbell released a solo project Help which won Best Gospel Album at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. In 2015 she released another, Help 2.0. Tina Campbell released her debut solo project It’s Personal to coincide with the release of her memoir I Need A Day to Pray.
Erica now hosts a morning radio show, Get Up! Mornings with Erica Campbell owned by Radio One with comedian Arlen “Griff” Griffin, since 2016. That same year, Mary Mary released a new joint single “Back to You” and made their reunion performance début at the 2017 Stellar Awards.
Erica Campbell and husband announced their upcoming new series premiering on TVOne this Fall.
But back to the music. You decide…
Which Song is Mary Mary’s Greatest Hit?
Shackles (Praise You) (2000)
“Shackles (Praise You)” became a crossover hit, being popular with Gospel, R&B, and Pop audiences.
It was a top 10 R&B (the first in five years) and top 40 Pop hit, and peaked at number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
It also gained wide exposure on the MTV video cable channel.