Gospel singer/songwriter VaShawn Mitchell was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, where, in his early teens, he became assistant music director of St. Mark Baptist Church, working with choir leader Lonnie Hunter. He then became Minister of Music at Sweet Holy Spirit Church under Bishop Larry D. Trotter. As a songwriter, his compositions have been recorded by Smokie Norful ("Just Can't Stop"), Vanessa Bell Armstrong ("Help"), and Bishop Paul Morton ("Cry Your Last Tear"). On December 15, 1998, Manatee Records released So Satisfied by VaShawn Mitchell with the New Image Chorale. Tyscot Records released Mitchell's second album, Believe in Your Dreams, on April 5, 2005, and it peaked at number 26 in the Billboard gospel chart. Promises, credited to VaShawn Mitchell & Friends, appeared on September 25, 2007, and reached number 20. The same year, Mitchell relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, to head the music ministry at Higher Living Church. There he recorded his next album, the Grammy-nominated Triumphant, which was released by EMI Gospel on August 10, 2010. One of the album's singles, "Nobody Greater," found major success on Billboard's gospel chart and became the most played gospel track of 2011. Arriving in 2012, the Created 4 This LP found similar success and also crossed over to the R&B chart, opening up a new audience to Mitchell's music. Following the success of his 2014 live album, Unstoppable, he recorded another live set, this time in South Africa. Released in late 2016, Secret Place was Mitchell's seventh album.