DJ retires after kidney transplant, nearly 40 years on Nashville airwaves

Connie Denell (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – For more than 30 years, her voice has been head on the airwaves of a Nashville radio station.

Connie Denell, known as the Gospel Diva, is use to uplifting and praying for people in Middle Tennessee. Now, she has found herself in need and it’s a matter of life and death.

The Gospel Diva is the type of person who just can’t say no, and she’s often found at area restaurants meeting and greeting fans and emceeing programs after her Sunday morning radio show.

“Somebody said you are everybody else’s church – those people who can’t get there,” she said.

For 37 years, Denell’s voice has shone as bright as her signature glittered covered hair.

“I didn’t not know it was going to turn out to be this long – 37 years. And that people would be blessed about what I was doing on Sunday morning. I had no idea,” she said.

Over the years though, Denell’s journey hasn’t always been easy and her health has deteriorated.

(Photo: WKRN)

“I’m a walking miracle,” she told News 2. “When you look at me, my doctor looked at me and said, ‘You should be in the grave.’”

Denell has had four strokes and her blood pressure is out of control.

“God has kept me through 21 surgeries over the last five years. When you’re looking at me, you’re looking at a miracle,” she explained.

Now, after years of prayers and waiting, Denell has undergone a kidney transplant.

“[I’ve] been on dialysis for 8 years,” she said. “I’ve prayed; I cried. I’m a cry baby.”

Now after years of prayers, she is recovering from a kidney transplant and Denell decided it was a good time to turn off her mic and retire at the end of the year.

“I’m going to miss most about the people calling, praying, and calling me on the radio, will you pray for my mother, my father, my sister, my brother,” she said, adding, “I scream a lot, ‘Thank you Jesus,’ and I’m going to miss my listeners doing that with me.”

“My last day, if it’s the Master’s will [is] December 31, New Year’s Eve at 12 o’clock, I will turn my show over to Ernie Allen and I’ll walk out of these doors for the last time,” she said.

A retirement celebration will be held on December 29 at First Baptist Church South Inglewood.