The artist that brought us gospel hits such as "Bout A Thang", "God Has Not 4Got", and "Make Me Over" has called it quits. He announced his retirement from the gospel music scene during a on-air interview with KJLH radio, which is based in Los Angelos, California ( http://www.kjlhradio.com/tonex.htm) and through his personal blog.
Because I have personally spent time with Tonex and his wife Yvette and held in-depth conversations with them, it was quite a shock to hear this information about his sudden retirement. From an outsider, it would appear that Tonex was at the top of his game. His last three albums have been on the music charts. His concerts were in high demand. And his stature as one of the gospel industry leaders appeared to be cemented. LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING!
Below you find Tonex's official statement (from his blog) about his feelings towards the gospel music industry and his personal struggles.
After reading Tonex's message I asked myself one question. Do we think of gospel music artists and/or pastors as invincible when it comes to the trials and tribulations of life?
Tonex's story should let the consumer know that artists are "human" too. They have trials and tribulations just like we do. During the last couple of years we have seen Kirk Franklin reveal his past issues with pornography. We have seen Yolanda Adams, Fred Hammond, Hezekiah Walker get divorced. We have seen several prominent pastors involved in some form of scandal.
We have to constantly keep these artists and pastors in our prayers. Many of these artists are ministering to the consumers through their songs, but are struggling in their private lives. Tonex talks about receiving numerous Stellar and Dove awards but don't have any furniture in his house (can't afford it).
For those inspiring artists that think the money and "good life" will appear instantly after you release that first CD, please do your homework.
Written by COWBOY4EVER
TONEX RETIRES FROM THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
Salutations 2 all, After long contemplation and much financial & emotional hardship I have decided that Tonex needs go on hiatus from the music industry. I have tried very hard to endure all that I can from being misunderstodd to being down right lied on and I don't physically or emotionally have the capacity to continue on anymore under the current circumstances. My record Label ZLG (Zomba Label Group) has repeatedly ignored my requests for help and they just don't get me as an artist. But I'm not blaming them, it's hard for anyone to really get me as an artist because I am not the normal type of artist. I bow out. And I don't know when I'm coming back.Honestly I don't feel that I fit into anyone's catergory but my own, but in a world that's filled with labels, sections & catergories people can't function if they can't put you in a certain box. I don't fit totally into Gospel because I don't sing JESUS JESUS JESUS all day and I don't fit into mainstream because I don't sing SEX SEX SEX all day either. I'm at a serious crossroads right now in life. And I don't have the answers. I cried and cried and cried last night to God for help because I can't go any further.I'm not writing this so that people can feel sorry, I'm blogging my thoughts out. And I think I need to just bow out gracefully while I'm still on a fairly successful run off of OTB. I will continue to sell my projects online and things like that via YOTONEX but I think I need to just dissappear until I can find a place where I can live at least comfortably. Right now I am an 8 time Stellar Award winning , 2 time Dove award winning, Grammy nominated, Gold Selling artist with no furniture, Divorced, No chairs, No money. The label doesn't give me advances because my contract a is real wack. And they don't communicate.I don't know what else to say world.What's funny is I still have people writing to me kicking me while I'm down. So now I say y'all can have it. Tonex will be out of your way once and for all. You win. Please congratulate Ex-Ministries, some Chick from England named Alexandria and a host of other so called Christians who have literally destroyed,defamated , embarrased and fatigue my life, my family and my spirit. I'm done y'all. Really. Sorry that I let some of you down but it wasn't intentional. I don't have ANY options right now so I have to do what I have to do which is "Nothing".They don't even ask me what the real deal is but they use and twist my words for controversy sake to sell CD's DVD's and magazines. I had no idea Christians get down like this ????Now the Gospel industry can finally be at rest because the funny guy isn't around any more.Lauryn Hill said it best. " You superstar you Stupid star they hail you to nail you no matter who you are." Until I find peace and a real reason to get back in this game called the record business, I retire. I might still write for others and stuff like that but as for me and my house?, y'all take it and have it because i've been nothing but slung in through the mud. I haven't done everything right, but what I 've been expericencing here recently is wrong.My faith in Christianity is fading because I'm not understanding alot of "Christians" mentality when it comes to love. I have found nothing but anguish, lies, hatefulness and deception. I believe in the Kingdom of God and I definitely believe in Jesus. But western civilization's version of Christ is very disturbing because they have totally disconnected Him from real life. He lives in THEIR church and THEIR church only. I don't wanna hear any scriptures and I don't wanna hear any Oh, God's gonna bring you out type stuff right now. I need a miracle and I need it fast. I've still been pastoring and that's been the only thing that really brings me joy, to see others blessed. But now I'm at the point where I'm drained and I don't have the physical energy anymore to continue on. God gives me the strength to deliever a rhema word every week for others but it's crazy when you still need one yourself.I see so many Gospel Artist that literally HATE each other and when I see them celebrated like oh God is so pleased with them and I'm just being me and now I'm the ANTI CHRIST ? I'm like y'all niggaz can have this. I can't take the fakeness no more. I'm wide open and now I'm like y'all take a hit cuz I ain't got nothing to lose. I've lost everything so you really can't hurt me anymore than I've already been hurt. And that's what hurts. So many people call themselves ministers but they don't minister they COMPETE. I'm gonna tell y'all the truth what you see on TV ain't real..... because if you're "real" then you're a sinner, if you're real then you're out of the will of God. But I don't have the energy to be fake. I never have been and I never will be.Until God sends me a word through somebody for real that don't care that I'm Tonex but cares about the man of God who really needs the love of Christ to be demonstrated through a human being , I don't wanna hear it.This is not a ploy to get you to worry about me or start more rumors; so let's clarify something right now......tonex is IS NOT leaving "Gospel" to go sing the dreaded "R&B". TONEX is retiring from an industry and religion that has completly stipped and cut and scarred his heart to the point he feels there's no repair. And yes I blame CHURCH FOLKS. You have caused so much hurt and pain to so many people that needed to see the Love of a Real Christ. I'm done with Church. I'm all about kingdom now. And in my pursuit of the real Jesus I leave your fictious, vindictive country club and cancel my membership to the industry and denounce it. I don't fit in and I don't want to. Whatever my mission is for God I wanna do it with the right heart and the right spirit. But that's just it I don't have a spirit right now. I'm too bruised to know what to feel.Maybe one day someone with real discernment will know how to minister to someone like me right now. But if there was someone like that then I'm sure that Michael Jackson, Dennis Rodman, and some random heavily pierced skater on the beach would have experienced that real agape love by now. So until I find it , I've gotta get out of this matrix before I end up never wanting to sing again ever.Thanx to every person that wrote to me and I do my best to write you all back because I want you to know that I'm a real person with real feelings and a real family. I read everything.thanx to Yolanda Adams for being a real big sister to me. Kirk you really came through for me in Houston, I'm grateful. Judith McCallister thank u so much.Until you hear from me again musically. Kingdom Kulture Kool2 each His own