Birth: Unknown
Location: Unknown
Band: Beyoncé, Brandy, Mary J. Blige, Blackstreet, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Missy Elliot, Puff Daddy, Coolio
Genres: Hip Hop, R&B, Soul
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician


Gerald Heyward is often called the Godfather of both R&B and gospel drumming. A brief glance at his resume quickly confirms the moniker—Gerald Heyward's worked with industry figures like Blackstreet, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Chris Brown, Missy Elliot, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Mary J. Blige, Coolio, Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, and Brandy.

Gerald Heyward began his drumming career in his church, but soon his outstanding talent inevitably brought him from the altar into the spotlight. Known for his “fat grooves,” Gerald Heyward's playing philosophy is as straightforward as his style: he always keeps it simple and plays for the song, not himself.  

Today, Gerald Heyward finds himself constantly in demand, and he shows no sign of slowing down. Most recently, he has toured with the likes of Chris Brown and Beyonce.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1995 Not the Same St. Paul Sounds of Praise Chorale
1996 I Will Give You Praise Institutional Radio Choir
2000 Girl Director Natalie Wilson & the S.O.P. Chorale
2000 His Woman His Wife Original Soundtrack
2002 Full Moon [UK Bonus Track] Brandy
2002 Full Moon Brandy
2003 Good Life Natalie Wilson & The S.O.P. Chorale
2003 Level II [Clean] Blackstreet
2003 Level II Blackstreet
2004 Live at Wembley Beyonce
2005 Something to Be [Australia Import] Rob Thomas
2005 Something to Be Rob Thomas
2006 Beautiful Awakening [EMI/Virgin] Stacie Orrico
2006 Testimony Virtue!
2006 Beautiful Awakening Stacie Orrico
2006 Woman to Woman: Songs of Life Vickie Winans
2007 Joyous Salvation JoAnn Rosario
2008 Best of Stacie Orrico Stacie Orrico
2010 Michael Jackson: The King of Pop Michael Jackson


  • Gerald Heyward has performed at the Drummers for Jesus Clinic and with Psalm Drummers.
  • He appeared in Rob Thomas’s rockumentary, My Secret Record, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love the Biz.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Drum Workshop
Cymbals: Zildjan
Hardware: Drum Workshop
Heads: Remo
Percussion: Yamaha Russ Miller Signature Wedges
Sticks: Vic Firth

Pics & Clips