Creative Classic Agency’s event series StrikeSplitMix produced a special ‘Vegas Charity Bowl’ edition during this years Stellar Awards weekend where eight charities, represented by eight different teams, competed for the title of winner. Newly formed charity Gospel Gives earned the championship slot.
Archive for the ‘Stellar Awards’ Category
The 29th Annual Stellar Awards was the backdrop for the release and unveiling of new music from perennial choir master Ricky Dillard and New G. Amazing, the new single featuring Tiff-Joy on lead vocals captured the audience instantly and has been one of the most talk about performances from this year’s Stellar event. Helping to cement this is the track’s rising popularity at radio; the song is at #16 on the BDS National Gospel Songs chart and was cited as most added and most increased plays.
Amazing is available digitally at iTunes.
It’s arguably one of the most anticipated events of the Stellar Award Weekend. Hundreds come from across the nation in anticipation of the sweet presence that always invades the room. For many it sets the tone for their year, and is a time to be uplifted and encouraged. I’m writing about none other than the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Luncheon.
For the past 15 years the event has been hailed as the hottest ticket in town. The invitation only event is the brain child of BMI Vice President Catherine Brewton and her team. The idea was stemmed from other industries hosting events and parties to celebrate their legends. Brewton felt that Gospel music with its life changing power needed that as well. It was there that the luncheon was birthed and since its inception it continues to get better. Throughout the years the event has maintained its intimacy by gathering Gospel’s top artist, musicians, writers, and industry executives into one room. Each person in the room represents a brand and function that makes the industry work.
The anticipation and energy was high on January 15th as legends Daryl Coley and Richard Smallwood were set to be honored. Despite the cold temperatures hundreds pressed their way to the Rocket Town venue for an afternoon of praise and worship. The presence was strong as you entered the beautifully decorated room. The lighting was warm and the center pieces shined brightly. Oprah Winfrey once stated, “Love Is In The Detail”, and that’s surely something that the BMI team believes. From the personalized invitations that were sent in the mail, to the seating assignments everything about the afternoon was excellence.
After the opening prayer by Bishop Joseph Walker of Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Nashville, the coveted “BMI Most Performed Gospel Song Of The Year Award” was presented to Kirk Franklin. Franklin penned Tamela Mann’s smash single, “Take Me To The King”. Both Franklin and Mann took the stage tearful and Franklin shared how both him and Mann were friends since the age of 15. Tamela’s, “Best Days” album was nearly complete but Franklin insisted they save a slot for him on the album. That slot was the now ground breaking single, “Take Me To The King”. The song has spent over 20 weeks at #1 and the “Best Days” album remains in the Billboard Top 10. With the release of the Deluxe Edition the album is quickly headed to Gold Status. This win prepared Tamela for an amazing weekend , as the next day she won the Stellar Award for “Artist Of The Year”.
Hosts Donnie McClurkin and Erica Campbell greeted the attendees and the afternoon was underway. To honor the legendary Daryl Coley, BMI put together some of the most versatile and beastly vocalist to pay tribute to one of the best male vocalist of all time:
- Floyd Wilkinson- “2nd Chronicles”
- Earnest Pugh- “More Like Jesus”
- Zacardi Cortez- “Jesus Saves”
- Tasha Page Lockart- “He’s Preparing Me”
- Jason Nelson- “Sovereign”
- Pastor Beverly Crawford- “Can’t Tell It All”.
Pastor Beverly Crawford got the entire room in a shout as she took us to church on “Can’t Tell it All”. Zacardi Cortez’s rendition of “Jesus Saves” would be a refreshing radio hit as he breathe new life into the classic. Tasha Page Lockhart’s rendition of “He’s Preparing Me” brought forth testimony service. Host Erica Campbell explained how she listened to that song many years ago when her and her sister Tina were just starting out. Jason Nelsons amazing tone on “Sovereign” made the song an even greater masterpiece. Donald Lawrence and Company sang heaven down holding the background vocals along with the band.
To honor the maestro Dr. Richard Smallwood the following artist gave the following tributes:
- Y’Anna Crawley- “Don’t Worry”
- Donnie McClurkin- “Center Of My Joy”
- Dorinda Clark Cole- “What He’s Done for Me”
- Marvin Sapp- “Healing”
- Yolanda Adams- “I Love The Lord and Total Praise”
- Anyasha Figueroa and Timiney Figueroa- “Angels”
BMI VP Catherine Brewton announced this years luncheon will be available on CD as a compilation and released later in the year. Yolanda Adams’s “I Love The Lord” was reminiscent of her powerful tribute to Whitney Houston at the NAACP Image Awards, and Anyasha and Timiney’s “Angels” brought a new light to the song as well as honored the previous version. Keep it locked to GOSPELflava.com for updates concerning the 2014 BMI Trailblazers Compilation.
Nashville, TN was on fire as the 29th Annual Stellar Awards came into time. This year’s award show was hosted by two comedians who truly love GOD. The View’s, Sherri Shepherd, and Rickey Smiley from The Rickey Smiley Morning Show had the crowd in stitches the entire evening. The night kicked off with Bishop Hezekiah Walker singing, “Every Praise”. The song is still the #1 song at Gospel Radio and the crowds reaction to it explained why. The entire room stood as one big choir and lifted their voice in praise unto GOD. The show was being broadcast live on upTV and the praise in the room was high. In between commercial breaks Comedian Jonathan Slocumb kept the crowd entertained and warmed up. Central City Productions might want to consider doing a behind the scene of the show as some of the funniest moments happened when the cameras weren’t on. The first award of the night was given to Tye Tribbett for Male Vocalist of the Year. After such a big debut of his latest album “Greater Than”, and the smash single, “If He Did It Before”, this award was well deserved.
Next up there was an all female lineup that included Lexi, Erica Campbell, LaTice Crawford, and JeKalyn Carr. Lexi started it off singing her two step theme song, “Abide”, and Latice Crawford followed behind with some hot new music. The little vocal powerhouse JeKalyn Carr set the house on fire with her song, “Greater Is Come”. Many marveled at how much vocal power and anointing the young lady had. Perhaps if she had more time, we probably would have went over time as the anointing fell thick. Lastly Erica Campbell took is in with some down home Gospel singing her song, “A Little More Jesus”. Erica’s sister Tina was her biggest fan in the audience cheering her on. In between commercial breaks the crowd got a chance to see a sneak peak of the new season of Mary Mary which premiers on February 27th.
Actress Kimberly Elise presented Bishop Hezekiah Walker with the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award. Pastor Joel Osteen appeared via video and sent his congrats to the Bishop. Next the now Stellar Award Winning Anthony Brown and Group Therapy took to the stage to sing his song, “Testimony”. The entire room went into a frenzy when the group added vocal inflections to their hit song. I just happened to be sitting near Anthony’s mother who had the biggest smile on her face as she watched her son minister in song on this national stage.
Now the Stellar Awards would not be complete without a performance from the First Lady of Gospel, Pastor Shirley Caesar. Looking beautiful and never aging Pastor Shirley Caesar sang her song, “God Will Make A Way”. Next Melinda Doolittle and Jason and Jonathan Nelson presented Tasha Cobbs with the UNCF award for “New Artist Of The Year”. Despite their being a mixup of the envelopes, Cobbs graciously accepted the award and thanked her parents. This proved to be bittersweet as when she returned home from the Awards, her Father suddenly passed away.
There was a special tribute to the late great Nelson Mandela. Kirk Franklin who performed at Mandela’s memorial service talked about this great South Africa leader and how honored he was to be there. Jennifer Holiday, The Original Dreamgirl sang a special song in tribute, delivering a song only the way she can.
Sister Bernice Jenkins made a special appearance to this year’s show and read this years church announcements. Tamela Mann was presented the Albertina Walker Female Vocalist Of The Year by Kierra Sheard who won the award previously and past Stellar Nominee Anita Wilson. Next Donald Lawrence and Company took to the stage doing choreography to their single, “The Gift”. The Tankards from Bravo’s, “Thicker Than Water”, presented Bishop Hezekiah Walker with “Choir Of The Year”. After a successful debut of Azusa: The Next Generation no one was surprised Bishop received this honor.
Isaac Carree gave a unique performance of his song, “Clean This House”. The performance started off with a video that set up the theme of the song. In the video Carree sat a conference table with this legal team. The team brought up some of the issues the song talks about. Next Carree was on stage in a press conference style setting, setting the record straight through song. Carree’s performance will go down in the Stellar history books as one of the most unique live performances.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee was presented with the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award. This was a well deserved award as Congresswoman Lee works tirelessly for the Gospel music industry in Washington, DC. She was the driving force behind making September: Gospel Music Heritage Month.
For All the quartet fans there was a special performance featuring The Wardlaw Brothers, The Canton Spirituals , and The Gospel Legends. Dr. Bobby Jones presented Reverend Maceo Woods with the Bobby Jones Legends Awards. Erica Campbell and Tye Tribett presented Anthony Brown and Group TherAPY the award for “Group/DUO of the Year”. Anthony thanked his team and his parents who went into a Baptist fit when his name was called.
When Tasha Cobbs took the stage to sing her hit “Break Every Chain” the atmosphere was immediately charged. Cobbs took the stage and the power of GOD fell strongly in the room. The Ford “Song Of The Year” was presented to Kirk Franklin for writing Tamela Mann’s smash hit, “Take Me To The King”.
VaShawn Mitchell, Jonathan McReynolds, Zacardi Cortez, and Jonathan Nelson took to the stage singing a medley of their hits. And Lastly Tamela Mann was presented the award for “Artist Of The Year”. A tearful Tamela took to the stage thanking her family and longtime friend Kirk Franklin and all who believed in and pushed her.
The Gospel music industry gathered en masse as Broadcast Music, Incorporated (BMI) celebrated the music and ministry of Daryl Coley and Richard Smallwood at its 15th annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon.
Donnie McClurkin was joined this year by Erica Campbell (Mary Mary) as hosts for the luncheon, along with Del Bryant, BMI President and Catherine Brewton, BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta. During the celebration, BMI honored Kirk Franklin for penning “Take Me to the King,” BMI’s Most-Performed Gospel Song of the Year performed by Tamela Mann and appearing on her Billboard chart topping Best Days CD.
The musical tributes were phenomenal and included presentations from Zacardi Cortez (“Jesus Saves”), Tasha Page-Lockhart (“He’s Preparing Me”), Earnest Pugh (“More Like Jesus”), Floyd Wilkinson (“II Chronicles”), Beverly Crawford (“Can’t Tell It All”) and Jason Nelson (“Sovereign”). Serving as the event’s triumphant finale, the charismatic songs of Richard Smallwood were then celebrated with dynamic performances by Yolanda Adams (“ Total Praise”/“I Love The Lord”), Anaysha Figueroa-Cooper and Timiney Figueroa (“Angel Watching Over Me”), Y’Anna Crawley (“He Won’t Leave You”), Dorinda Clark Cole (“What He’s Done For Me”), Donnie McClurkin (“Jesus Lover of My Soul”/“Center of My Joy”) and Marvin Sapp (“Healing”).
As part of its Centennial celebration, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) will honor Gospel Music during Stellar Award weekend at the 5th annual ASCAP Presents: Morning Glory breakfast. While recognizing the 2014 Stellar nominees, the breakfast will also pay tribute to Grammy Award-winning artist Edwin Hawkins with the Gospel Icon Award, and Tye Tribbett and Warryn Campbell with the newly-established Spirit of Song Award.
“We are so excited to honor an amazing group of artists as part of the Morning Glory breakfast. They have made remarkable achievements in music and have inspired so many,” states Nicole George-Middleton, ASCAP VP, Rhythm & Soul/Urban. “Artists like Edwin Hawkins, Tye Tribbett and Warryn Campbell have produced a legacy that will live on and continue to shape music.”
The nominees for the final ballot of the 2014 Stellar Awards were announced today by Don Jackson. Tasha Cobbs, Tamela Mann, Anthony Brown and Group Therapy and Tye Tribbett garner multiple nods in various categories including Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, CD of the Year and Producer of the Year. Bishop Paul Morton, Jekalyn Carr and Twinkie Clark also received multiple nominations. Listed below is the full list covering 28 categories including the newly added Fan Favorite Quartet : (more…)
Piedmont Park in Atlanta, GA will never be the same after the electrifying live performances at the BMI Trailblazers Album Release Party. Gospel’s elite traveled from all angles of the globe to celebrate the release of BMI’s first Trailblazer Gospel Compilation. The album is a collection of the live performances from the 14th annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon in Nashville, TN. This year honorees included award winning artist Edwin Hawkins, Tramaine Hawkins, and Kurt Carr.
To celebrate this accomplishment BMI and eOne Music hosted an invitation only album release party. The event was reminiscent of the luncheon, as Gospel’s elite gathered together in an intimate setting to worship and encourage one another. Isaac Carree was on hand to host the event Anyasha Figueroa- Cooper started the evening singing the lead single, “Holy One” accompanied by Donald Lawrence and Company. Jason and Jonathan nelson sang “I Need Your Spirit”, and Lisa Knowles did her rendition of “Oh My Soul Loves Jesus” which sent the place into a worship frenzy.
The BMI staff, under their leader Catherine Brewton had the Park Tavern venue decorated with soft lighting and warm colors. Catherine made it very clear this project was to celebrate Gospel music and its life changing message. She gave honor to Donald Lawrence, DeWayne Woods, and her team for working so diligently on producing this project. BMI plans to release next year’s luncheon as a compilation album as well. All proceeds from this album will go directly back to the composers of the songs.
gmcTV, the network formerly known as Gospel Music Channel has announced that it’s changing its name to “UP“. This will be the network’s most extensive re-brand since its launch in 2004. Executives at the network believe “the name change will strengthen the network’s brand as America’s destination for “Uplifting Entertainment”. With a now reach of over 60 million households in the US, the network is excited about the September 1st re launch which will include a fresh new image. It is believed that the network will continue to be the home of the annual Stellar and Dove Awards.