Rickie Byars is one of the most acclaimed and beloved singer-songwriters there is in the genre of inspirational/New Thought music. Through her three decade career as both a solo artist and as founder /director of the world-renowned Agape International Choir, Byars’ deeply soulful and heart-felt songs of spiritual renewal, uplift and empowerment have struck a powerful chord with audiences around the globe and she has built an impressive international following. Indeed, the vibrations of “realness” in her music are so strong that they resonate with everyone from residents of L.A.’s SkidRow to South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, all of whom she has had the honor of performing for,the latter on five different occasions.
Byars’ charismatic joy and authenticity on stage ensure that she is in high demand to appear in concert and perform at festivals and conferences. But she has amassed such an impressive catalog of compositions — writing and co-writing over 100 original songs and chants — that even when she’s not physically on hand to present her work her message of transcendent love is still being delivered by the many individual singers and choirs that regularly perform her material at New Thought churches and spiritual centers across the country every Sunday. Several of her songs, “I Release”, “We Let it Be”, “Th eSpirit of God is Upon Me” and “Wholly Holy Way” are considered tobe modern classics of inspirational/New Thought music.
Rickie Byars is a committed spiritual activist who dedicates much of her time, energy and talents to encouraging and empowering others to be free so that they can develop their own unique gifts and talents that contribute to humanity and the planet as whole. Recognizing that freedom must exist on both the individual and collective levels, Byars is fully engaged in a number of endeavors that address both.
“Soul Sisters Retreat” — for the past twenty years, Byars has developed and led a three-day spiritual retreat that is attended annually by hundreds of women who range from their early teens to their early nineties, and who come from a wide variety of socioeconomic, ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds. The women’s empowerment retreat fosters a deep spiritual connection that transcends superficial differences and forges the greater compassion and understanding that are necessary to create genuine social change.