The ROYALHEIRS are one of Michigan’s longest tenured male trio’s, organized in 1995 for the primary purpose of praising the Lord through Gospel Music. Our music puts an emphasis on ministering through tight harmonies with soul stirring words that are a welcome change of pace from other forms of music. Each member has an extensive background in Gospel Music and have committed themselves to sharing their talents in this unique way. The Royalheirs have been privileged to share their ministry in concerts throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and are committed to traveling wherever else the Lord may lead. In addition to morning and evening worship services, they also can be found performing in concert at county fairs, banquets, festivals and camp meetings.
Shem Koutz is the lead singer and manager of The Royalheirs. He began singing around the same time he learned to talk. He previously traveled for 13 years as a soloist to various churches around the mid-Michigan area. He joined The Royalheirs in the fall of 2008, and took over the management of the group in 2017. Shem and his wife, Jessica have called Lansing home since they married in 2003. They are the proud parents of 3 children, Lionel, Brooklyn, and Weston.
Adam Thurston is the tenor singer and is the sound engineer for The Royalheirs. Adam is no stranger to the local Southern Gospel scene; he traveled with his family’s group, the Thurstons from the time he was 3 years old until he turned 19. Since leaving the Thurstons, Adam has been focused on helping churches upgrade their sound systems as well as helping them understand the best way to maximize their acoustics with the help of proper p.a. equipment. Adam has also been responsible for running sound at some of Michigan’s premier concert events including the Lloyd Severance Gospel Sing at Bayshore Camp and the Northern Michigan Gospel Music Festival near Petoskey. Adam and his wife make their home in Holt, Michigan with their son Luke.
Steve Ratliff sings baritone with the Royalheirs along with playing the piano on select features. Whether singing in a group or choir, musicals, or just playing the piano, Steve has always been involved in some sort of music. For 8 years, Steve played, sang and arranged the music for Company C, a unique gospel Jazz band. Steve also spent 8 years singing baritone with the Calvarymen Quartet from Flint. Steve and his wife Kari make their home on Rock Lake in Vestaburg, Michigan.