Jakelyn Carr is Praise 102.5′s new midday host

Jekalyn Carr is Praise's newest mid-day host. PUBLICITY PHOTO
Jekalyn Carr is Praise's newest mid-day host. PUBLICITY PHOTO

Credit: PUBLIC

Credit: PUBLIC

Grammy-nominated gospel singer has won several Dove Awards

Jackelyn Carr is Praise 102.5′s new midday host. She starts Tuesday in the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. slot.

Carr replaces Krystal Lee, who left after just four months on the air.

Carr, 24, is a successful musician in the gospel world with several No. 1 hits, four Grammy nominations and multiple Dove Awards.

“I think radio is a beautiful avenue to be able to inspire people,” Carr said. “I want to touch people not just with my music but with my personality.”

She said she has long admired Praise, one of the most prominent and influential gospel stations in the nation since it debuted more than 20 years ago.

“They make you feel like family,” Carr said. “I connected with Praise the minute I moved here.”

Since the pandemic began, Praise 102.5 has seen its Nielsen ratings rise in relation to other stations and is frequently in the top 5.

“She’s a young lady in the industry,” Praise 102.5 program director Derek Harper said of Carr. “Praise has always prided itself on not being a stereotypical version of a gospel station. We want to be cutting edge and bring the entire format into the 21st century. Part of that is bringing young, dynamic talent that can grow along with the station.”

Carr’s father Allen Lindsey Carr, has helped build her career and been her manager for years. “When I was a little girl, record labels didn’t take me seriously,” she said. “So my dad started our own family record label. I don’t need validation from people just because they say no. It doesn’t mean ‘no, period.’”

Although Memphis-born Carr has lived in Atlanta for many years, she frequently travels for work. But the magic of radio is she can do her show from anywhere.

Harper remembers flying to Memphis to hear Carr a decade ago. “She had this amazing presence,” he said. “I got a letter form her soon after where she thanked me for coming. I still have the letter hanging in my office.”

He said when the previous midday host Lee suddenly left after such a short time, he considered Carr as a replacement. She had previously worked on a weekend syndicated show and Carr’s father had asked Harper for feedback. She also performed at Praise in the Park at Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood in 2019 and taped it for a special.

So he asked Carr, not thinking she’d say yes, given her busy schedule. (Before the pandemic, she did 200 shows a year.)

“It was a Hail Mary and she was interested,” Harper said.

Unlike, say, the morning show featuring Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell, Carr will not be syndicated. “We want to focus on Atlanta first,’ Harper said.

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