From The Vault: Mary Mary – ‘Shackles (Praise You)’

This week’s From The Vault pick is the crossover Gospel classic, ‘Shackles (Praise You)’ by Mary Mary.

Released at the very beginning of the noughties, ‘Shackles’ was the Atkins-Campbell sisters’ first ever single and stands as their biggest hit. After reaching the pole position on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs, the cut managed to become a crossover hit placing #28 on the Billboard Hot 100 and coming at an impressive #9 on the R&B/Hip Hop chart. It proved to be a global smash when it hit the Top 10 of multiple countries in Europe as well as Australia.

The accompanying video, which to this day stays an MTV and VH1 favorite, underined the “life gets better” aura evoked by the song’s lyrics (which were penned by the group and Warryn Campbell).


At the time, Gospel purist disapproved of the track and Mary Mary’s work moreover labeling it “too secular”. Although such claims remain a constant about Contemporary Gospel, over the years acts such as Kirk Franklin, Trin-i-tee 5:7, Yolanda Adams and of course Mary Mary have helped the subgenre garner recognition and respect from a greater sect of the faith-based community as well as from the mainstream.

In many ways, this release broke the shackles off old school ideology and bridged a colossal gap. In every way, then, ‘Shackles’ is a classic.


Mary Mary continue their foray into the mainstream with their hit WE tv reality show, aptly titled ‘Mary Mary’. Click here to check out our interview with them on our sister site That Grape Juice TV. And be sure to keep it locked on TGJ TV for your Urban Hollywood fix!

Your thoughts?

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  1. TEE June 17, 2012

    Not just one of my all-time favorite gospel songs, but one of my favorite songs of all-time, period!

    LOVE love Mary-Mary
    Thanks for this on this blessed Sunday morning!

  2. Benron June 17, 2012

    Everybody who was any sort of religous hated that song, for real!

  3. zamoracarl June 17, 2012

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  4. john June 17, 2012

    Used to jam to this song back in the day. Mary Mary, michelle williams, and are my favorite gospel singer. Isiah Classic Food is available on kindle.

  5. Charlie June 17, 2012

    I’m so happy u guys are putting gospel related posts up! This is the real music. Mary Mary rocks and their music is off the chain! Love me some Mary Mary!

  6. Matthew Charlery-Smith June 17, 2012

    I love Mary Mary’s music. Their best albums are “Thankful” which houses this song, “Incredible” (their best IMO) and “The Sound”. A Top 5 hit in the UK. Maybe I can be the 1st solo Gospel act to do as well on the UK charts too!

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