In his teens he moved to Arkansas and began listening to popular music for the first time in his life, and found inspiration there, too. He formed a local band called Sounds of Joy, and began writing songs that combined the spiritual truths of his childhood with the music of his generation.
Two years after his band served as an opening act for the legendary Imperials, Taff was invited to join them as lead vocalist. With the Imperials he toured extensively and gained recognition as 'The Voice' behind award-winning songs and albums that successfully completed the group's transition from traditional to contemporary Christian.
After four and a half years with the Imperials, wanting to experience and explore all aspects of music, Russ decided it was time to pursue a solo career. He captured the imagination of the industry by successfully releasing a series of innovative works that delved into his musical heritage while pushing the boundaries of contemporary Christian music. With lyrics often co-written with his wife Tori, Russ's recordings and live concerts draw from all genres-- rock, pop, blues, Southern gospel, Black gospel, country, even big band. "I guess I'm just not a right-down-the-middle kind of guy," he cheerfully admits. "I've been influenced musically by so many styles that I try to never place restrictions on myself. If it moves me, I figure it will probably move other people too."
Apparently he's right. Russ's music has won him not only a wide audience and critical acclaim, but a total of five Grammy awards and nine Gospel Music Association Dove awards. He has been hailed by Billboard Magazine as "the single most electrifying voice in Christian music."