This week, TV One hosted the official red-carpet premiere for its highly anticipated and long-awaited biopic “Never Would Have Made It: The Marvin Sapp Story” based on the life of gospel legend Marvin Sapp. The film premiered Sunday, August 21 on TV One. Held at the Regal Atlantic Station in Atlanta, the event was packed with star power including the icon himself, Marvin Sapp alongside film stars Chaz Lamar Shepherd, Ambre Anderson, Stormy Merriweather, Zoe Greene and Jayden Griffin. Other notable attendees included director, Russ Parr, Executive Producers Phil Thornton and Keith Neal and President of TV One Michelle Rice.
In the days leading up to the premiere of the film, Sapp has much to celebrate. He was surprised by the Pandora team with the Billionaire Award celebrating more than one billion streams on the platform on Thursday at the National Museum of African American Music. There is also a re-release of his classic hit “Never Would Have Made It” out today. The impassioned unplugged version of the song continues to bring people to their feet 16 years after it was first released. The song is available for purchase and on all streaming platforms now.
Buzz has reached a fever pitch since the world premiere of the trailer exclusively within the Stellar Awards last month. Fans and industry insiders alike have been waiting to see the retelling of this legendary journey told through the lens of the man who lived it. From an intimate screening in his home state of Michigan to a prestigious showing during the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival and a special premiere at his home church The Chosen Vessel Cathedral in Fort Worth, Texas, “Never Would Have Made It” has resonated with audiences through its powerful storytelling and dynamic cast. In Nashville this week, the film will wrap up its movie premiere run with a special screening at the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville.
Marvin Sapp’s biopic chronicles the prominent gospel music artist and preacher’s Michigan upbringing, battle against teenage alcohol abuse, love for his wife MaLinda Prince, rise in the music industry and growth in his faith. Sapp came into prominence more than 30 years ago as a member of the iconic gospel group Commissioned and is widely known for his award-winning, chart-topping crossover hit “Never Would Have Made It.” Currently, he is an author, radio show host and senior pastor of The Chosen Vessel Cathedral in Fort Worth, Texas and pastor emeritus of Lighthouse Full Life Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan – the church he founded with his late wife, MaLinda Prince Sapp.
The film is directed by Russ Parr and produced for TV One by Swirl Films, with Eric F. Tomosunas, James Seppelfrick and Keith Neal serving as Executive Producers. Additionally, Marvin Sapp and Phil Thornton are Executive Producers. For TV One, Jason Ryan is the Executive Producer in Charge of Production, Donyell Kennedy-McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting and Susan Henry is Senior Director of Original Programming and Production.