Rickie Byars-Beckwith
Biography & Resources


Rickie Byars-Beckwith, a prolific composer, singer, performer, and music director, is widely known as an intuitive channel of healing music. Rickie's unique talents have brought her acclaim as a pioneer in spiritual music and have earned her an honorary doctorate of music and numerous awards.

Raised in Charlotte, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia, Rickie emerged early as a unique, multifaceted musical talent learning from choir directors in the segregated school systems of the South. The radio music of the 60's and 70's—especially the sounds of Motown, Memphis, and Liverpool—helped form the foundation of her style. Her rich beginnings in gospel and rhythm and blues were augmented by her studies at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, where she first started composing songs. In New York, she continued to mature as an artist, working as a lead singer with the Pharaoh Sanders Ensemble, Roland Hanna and the New York Jazz Quartet, Howard Johnson, and many others. Billboard magazine lauded her professional recordings, especially the originality of her musical style.

Journeying to California, Rickie continued to discover her own voice while performing in many popular venues throughout the city of Los Angeles. In 1988, she began attending the Agape International Spiritual Center, where the teachings of New Thought-Ancient Wisdom deepened and evolved her music into a whole new realm. Recognizing Rickie's talents and expanding spiritual understanding, Dr. Michael Beckwith, founder and spiritual director of Agape, asked her to form a choir for a special holiday presentation. This 30-voice ensemble grew into the 200-plus voices of the Agape International Choir, which, under Rickie's inspired leadership, is the core of Agape's music ministry.

Together Drs. Michael and Rickie have written lyrics and music performed by the Agape Choir in concert venues worldwide. Always in demand, their performances inspire peace and goodwill in the global community, using the universal language of music. Their collaboration, known the world over as the “Sound of Agape,” heals the body, mind, and heart.

Rickie B.B. (as she is affectionately known) is a multifaceted talent who delivers a dynamic concert as easily as she can facilitate a workshop or a retreat. She has co-facilitated six women's retreats, most recently with esteemed author and spiritual leader Mary Manin Morrissey. She has performed with the Agape Choir at the United Nations and the Lincoln Center in New York, at the Synthesis Dialogues in Rome, and in audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Barcelona, Spain.

other related websites


articles & interviews

Articles & interviews in EnlightenNext magazine

To Be Soulful, You Have to Flow
(with Michael Beckwith)