Mitchell was born and raised in Chicago where, in his early teens, he became assistant music director of St. Mark Baptist Church, working with choir leader Lonnie Hunter. In 1996, at the age of 20, he became the Minister of Music under Bishop Larry D. Trotter at Sweet Holy Spirit Church where he would go on to serve for the next ten years. Released at the end of 1998, Mitchell made his recorded debut with So Satisfied which featured backing by the New Image Chorale. Over the next few years, he remained deeply involved in all aspects of the church's musical program including producing popular songs for Bishop Trotter like "Don't Last" and "My Worship is for Real." In 2002, Mitchell released Another Chance, his second album leading the New Image Chorale. Three years later, Tyscot Records released Mitchell's third album, Believe in Your Dreams, and it peaked at number 26 in the Billboard gospel chart. Promises, credited to VaShawn Mitchell & Friends, appeared in 2007, and reached number 20.
That same year, Mitchell relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, to head the music ministry at Higher Living Church. It was there that he recorded his breakthrough album, the Grammy-nominated Triumphant, which was released by EMI Gospel in 2010. The album's single, "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 wider 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. Three years later, he returned with another robust gospel set in 2019's Elements. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi