35TH ANNIVERSARY STELLAR GOSPEL MUSIC AWARDS NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED:
DONALD LAWRENCE PRESENTS THE TRI-CITY SINGERS TOPS THE LIST WITH NINE, FOLLOWED BY KIRK FRANKLIN, TASHA COBBS LEONARD AND JJ HAIRSTON WITH MULTIPLE NOMINATIONS
TOP NOMINEES THIS YEAR ALSO INCLUDE
BISHOP PAUL S. MORTON, JOHN P. KEE, KURT CARR & THE KURT CARR SINGERS, WILLIAM MURPHY, PASTOR MIKE JR.,
MARANDA CURTIS, AND FRESH START WORSHIP
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT HONORS TO BE BESTOWED UPON ICONIC CLARK SISTERS
Rising Gospel Superstars Koryn Hawthorne and
Jonathan McReynolds Pair to Host the Milestone 35th Annual Salute to Gospel Music Taping on Friday, March 27th
in Las Vegas.
KORYN HAWTHORNE AND JONATHAN MCREYNOLDS
PAIR TO HOST THE MILESTONE
35TH ANNUAL STELLAR GOSPEL MUSIC AWARDS
We're excited to return to Las Vegas for the Stellar Gospel Music Awards. We were not in attendance last year, but we can't wait to get back to the biggest weekend in gospel music! -Fred W., SP Radio
he Stellar Award nominees in 28 categories were announced by Central City Productions for the milestone 35th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards taping on Friday, March 27 at the Las Vegas Orleans Arena. The Stellar Awards recognizes the year's best performances in the genre, honors Gospel music icons and acknowledges the accomplishments of individuals instrumental in advocating for the industry. Gospel music’s most epic celebration is co-hosted for the first time by rising Gospel superstars and Stellar Award winners, Koryn Hawthorne and Jonathan McReynolds.
Don Jackson, Founder of the Stellar Awards and Chairman of Central City Productions, Inc. commented, “I am elated to celebrate this landmark 35th year of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards. Our flagship show is now one of the longest-running nationally televised African-American award programs in history. We are proud to honor Gospel music artists and industry professionals for their priceless contributions to Gospel music. We look forward to another spectacular weekend of family-friendly entertainment in Las Vegas."
In addition to celebrating the year’s best album releases, Jackson will bestow special honors upon Gospel greats who have elevated the genre. This year’s James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award will honor none other than the iconic Clark Sisters -- Karen Clark Sheard, Dorinda Clark Cole, Twinkie Clark and Jacky Clark Chisholm -- who hold a collective fifteen Stellar Awards, in addition to the Thomas Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award (2007). Additional special honorees will be named at a later date.
Veteran Gospel collective, Donald Lawrence Presents The Tri-City Singers leads the field of nominees this year with nine nominations. The powerhouse choir and its leader earned recognition this year for its work on the album “Goshen” (RCA Inspiration) in the key categories of Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Choir of the Year, Producer of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary Album of the Year, Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year, and Contemporary Choir of the Year.
With eight nominations, Gospel icon and Stellar Awards Host emeritus, Kirk Franklin is being recognized by the voting body for excellence in the categories of Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, Producer of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary Album of the Year, and Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year for his work on “Long Live Love” (Fo Yo Soul/RCA/RCA Inspiration).
Tasha Cobbs Leonard continues to bless audiences with her gift and is rewarded this year with eight nominations for her work on “Heart. Passion. Pursuit. Live at Passion City Church” (Motown Gospel), including Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary Album of the Year, and Praise and Worship Album of the Year. She is also nominated for Producer of the Year for her work on William Murphy's "Settle Here" (RCA Inspiration) project.
Receiving seven nominations this year, JJ Hairston continues the praise party with his project “Miracle Worker” (JamesTown Music/Entertainment One), recognized in the categories of Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, Choir of the Year, Contemporary Album of the Year, Contemporary Choir of the Year and Praise and Worship Album of the Year.
Choirs continue to inspire Gospel audiences and raise the roof with songs of praise, and this year, Bishop Paul S. Morton & The Full Gospel Ministry of Worship (“A Month of Sundays”; Tehillah/Integrity Music/Tyscot) and John P. Kee (“I Made It Out”; Entertainment One) receive six and five nominations respectively, going head-to-head in the categories of Choir of the Year, Traditional Choir of the Year, Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year and Traditional Album of the Year.
Representing traditional, contemporary and urban music genres on the Gospel spectrum, Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers, William Murphy and Pastor Mike Jr. are blessed with four nominations each. Carr’s recognition comes from his work on “Bless Somebody Else” (RCA Inspiration), which earned nods for Duo/Chorus Group of the Year, Traditional Duo/Chorus Group of the Year, Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year and Traditional Album of the Year. Murphy’s “Settle Here” (RCA Inspiration) generated praise in the categories of Male Vocalist of the Year, Producer of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year and Praise and Worship Album of the Year. Bringing hip hop flavor to the Gospel space, Pastor Mike Jr.’s debut album “Live Free” (Black Smoke Worldwide) received nominations for Song of the Year, New Artist of the Year, Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year and Rap/Hip Hop Gospel Album of the Year.
Other artists earning multiple Stellar nominations include: The Walls Group, Todd Dulaney, Maranda Curtis, Fresh Start Worship, Le’Andria Johnson, Jekalyn Carr and Jerard & Jovaun.
Bri Babineaux is back with her hot new single "BAPTIZE US AGAIN". The social media gospel sensation known for her passionate worship, returns with the first single from her sophomore live recording. We met Bri a few years ago when her worship went viral. With her debut album and single, she continued to reach listeners with songs like "I'll Be the One", "Jacob's Song" and "So Good". She is now married and is fresh off a live recording this past May.
We had a great time with bri on the red carpet at the 2017 Stellar gospel music awards
Musician and Pastor Alyn E. Waller of Enon Tabernacle Delivers Christmas Classic "Go Tell It On The Mountain" Featuring Mark Kibble of Take 6
Enon Music Group Offers New Music For The Christmas Season
Throughout the various and vast churches across the country, there are great Choirs, Worship Teams, Directors and musicians. Many churches have pastors who not only have a calling and anointing to deliver God's word, but, they also have an extraordinary gifting in music. Alyne E. Waller, Senior Pastor of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia, PA is one of those pastors.
Pastor Waller is a gifted musician and vocalist. His musical transference is evident at his thriving, multi-location church whose Music Ministry has garnered 3 Stellar Award nominations for the album DR. ALYN E. WALLER Presents ENON TABERNACLE THE EXPERIENCE (2015). The church also has a growing record label, Enon Music Group, that has been releasing Billboard charting albums including Pastor Waller's own albums.
His CHRISTMAS WITH ALYN E. WALLER landed on the Billboard Top Gospel Album Charts last year. Pastor Waller is releasing a new Christmas single, "Go Tell It On The Mounting", that is a jazzy and soulful arrangement of the iconic seasonal hymn. His remake of this classic features the signature stylings of Mark Kibble from the multiple Grammy Award winning group Take 6.
I chose to record 'Go Tell It On The Mountain" because there is so much confusion in our society around the reason for our celebrations during this time of year," says Pastor Alyn E. Waller. "I wanted to lift high my conviction that Jesus Christ is alive.
"Go Tell It On The Mountain"is produced by hit maker Garland "Miche" Waller and brilliantly arranged by Austin Woodlin. Miche Waller has taken on the production of music and leadership of Enon Music Group and is Director of Music at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church.
Pastor Waller once again delivers music the ignites the spirit of the season and ministers to the hearts of listeners. Miche and Pastor Waller's level of musical excellence resinates throughout their church, and now throughout the world. Pastor Waller invites everyone to enjoy all of the Christmas releases from Enon Music Group - "Hark: A Christ'mas Song" by Charles "Clef" Lundy and A RHYME & REASON CHRISTMAS by Various Artists. Celebrate life, God's love and The Birth of Jesus Christ, the true light of the season and of the world.
GRAMMY season is officially upon us with the announcement of the 2018 nominees. This year’s category features some surprises and some well deserved recognition. The gospel category seems to always leave the category open to questioning for some, but for others a sobering reminder of the gulf that exists between the GRAMMYs, Billboard Awards and the Stellar Awards, respectively.
Celebrating Aretha Franklin’s Gospel Music Legacy
Gospel music is in the middle of an evolution. The doors are wide open as one sound is ushered out and another welcomed ‘home’. Gospel artists are making music that sounds like and appeals to church, once again. The 2018 GRAMMY gospel category is somewhat reflective of that with this year’s nominees.
Here are this year’s nominees:
Best Gospel Performance/Song:
The Recording Academy can’t go wrong with either artist chosen as a winner. These artists and their work is phenomenal and have each connected with their fans and overall listeners on such a level, that has driven gospel music back to alerting heights!
Koryn Hawthorne didn’t win on “The Voice” but she made a promise to God that if she was able to return to that level of exposure, she would only use her voice for Him. Isn’t it amazing to see how richly God rewards those that honor Him? Many people first heard “Won’t He Do It” on the groundbreaking series “Greenleaf” on OWN. Since initially airing on the weekly drama, the song has taken on a life of its own, landing on this year’s GRAMMY nominations list!
Remember Jonathan McReynolds‘ “Cycles” challenge that had everybody trying that ridiculously difficult ad-lib at the beginning of the song? Everybody ‘tried it’, but few came close! Jekalyn Carr released a book by the same title as her anthem “You Will Win” and people all over the world declared themselves ‘winners’ right along with her! Carr celebrated her first Dove Award win earlier this year. A GRAMMY win would be great for the young singer who has found herself in the same categories with legends and current contemporary leaders in Billboard, Stellar and GRAMMY award consideration!
Contemporary Gospel Sounds Different Today, Is That Bad?
Tori Kelly surprised everyone with a gospel album, but she made it clear that this album is genuine and from her heart. She celebrates both a “Best Song” and “Album of the Year” nomination, this year! The Walls Group has somewhat quietly become industry stalwarts. In short order, they’ve reached ‘the other side’ of their young career, their parents, college graduates, and seeing life through their own lens now. Their content reflects their maturation. No longer just ‘kids who can sing’, The Walls Group is here to make a statement! They can still sing anything and as a group harmonize better than any assemblage, to date. Well, let’s just say their vocal prowess is reminiscent of what we love in the Winans and The Clark Sisters! Their nomination is well deserved and truly earned!
What can I say about Brian Courtney Wilson??? One listen to his album and I was inspired to write! Literally…I had an epiphany as I listened to his album and it was this: his music is for grown up believers. Not by age, but in spiritual maturity! Ruminate on that for a moment. So much music is made and it lives on the surface of Christianity, but his music and especially “A Great Work” exists on such a higher plane that the listener is both changed and challenged! Something listeners have clamored for, for years!
His nomination in both categories is a ‘tip of the cap’ in regard to the great work of his latest album, “A Great Work“. As stated earlier, the Recording Academy has quite the job on their hands this year, and I couldn’t be more glad!
To see a full list of all the nominees, visit the GRAMMY website.
Celebrated Classical Artist Audrey DuBois Harris Releases “JOY TO THE WORLD! A Christmas Celebration”on Noble World Records
DuBois Harris Who Performed at Queen of Soul’s Homegoing
Shares the Reason for the Season in
Multi-Genre Holiday Collection
Millions know Audrey DuBois Harris on the world stage for her extraordinary vocal abilities in opera, classical, jazz, sacred, gospel, and inspirational music. She is also known as the President’s Soloist [Barack Obama]. Audrey sang at Aretha Franklin’s Celebration of Life service; and received rave reviews globally after her performance. In fact, Aretha Franklin was in negotiations to manage Audrey before she became ill.
World-renowned classical artist Audrey DuBois Harris released her first full-length holiday collection with JOY TO THE WORLD! A Christmas Celebration on Black Friday, November 23, 2018, on her imprint, Noble World Records. The album consists of ten Christmas favorites with one bonus track, all arranged and produced by DuBois Harris. Each song specifically celebrates the birth of Christ, with unique arrangements spanning Classical, Latin, Caribbean, Gospel, Americana, and more. Throughout, these holiday favorites are enlivened by DuBois Harris’ powerful soprano voice, which combines crystalline clarity with an impressive range and sinuous soulfulness. The result is a refreshingly new take on familiar holiday fare. JOY TO THE WORLD! A Christmas Celebration will be available on iTunes, and Amazon, and other digital music platforms worldwide.
I wanted all the songs I chose to have a Christ-centered focus. That’s why I opened the CD with ‘Oh Come, Oh Come, Emanuel,’” explains DuBois Harris, a Juilliard graduate who has performed in operas and recitals in the U.S. and abroad. “The first word you hear is ‘Rejoice,’ which is the message of the album. I believe Christmas is about Christ, love, joy, giving, family, friends, and togetherness. Christ is the reason for the season.
In addition to “Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel,” the new collection includes a toe-tapping version of Handel’s “Joy To The World,” a country-tinged “Silent Night,” a Latin-tempo for “What Child is This,” a Caribbean lilt for “The First Noel,” conga drums on “Little Drummer Boy,” and church organ for “Jesus, The Light of The World,” which is dedicated in loving tribute to the memory of the late Aretha Franklin. DuBois Harris’ technique and gifts were on display for a broad TV viewing audience in August 2018, as she sang a heartfelt tribute at the Celebration of Life Homegoing Service for Aretha Franklin.
The album also features “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “Away in A Manger/Be With Me Lord Jesus,” and “Silent Night.” Proving that talent runs in the family, DuBois Harris’ eight-year-old daughter, LeeAuna Harris, performs her original solo piano arrangement of “Angels We Have Heard on High” in addition to joining the band in the percussion section.
“People all over the world celebrate Christmas in many different ways,” says DuBois Harris. “For this project, I drew from my exposure to different cultures to represent an array of sounds and rhythms. I wanted to explore and weave these musical textures with the colors of my voice. I also wanted to pay honor to the late great Aretha Franklin with my version of ‘Jesus, The Light of The World.’ My hope isthat this project will indeed bring peace and joy to the world during the Christmas season.”
“JOY TO THE WORLD! A Christmas Celebration” follows her five-song EP, God Bless America, which features the title track along with classic and contemporary compositions.
A native of Miami, Florida, DuBois Harris was raised in the Baptist church and educated at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York City, where she received a full scholarship. Her consistent artistic excellence afforded her the privilege of being hand selected by The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, for her concerts: Aretha Franklin Presents: A Two Night Revival, Aretha Presents: GospelFest and Aretha Franklin Presents: The Gospel Legends. As a result, she performed at Franklin’s Homegoing Celebration in Detroit.
She has performed on several occasions as “The President’s Soloist,” [Barack Obama] singing the National Anthem, as well as at “Christmas at The White House;” she has performed both the American and Canadian national anthems for The U.S. Consulate General Montréal on many occasions. DuBois Harris has also performed many operatic roles in the U.S. and abroad, including Mimi inLa Bohéme, the title role in Aïda, Micaëla in Carmen, Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, and Bess in Porgy & Bess.
Early in 2018, DuBois Harris joined the Reverend Jesse Jackson for a series of MLK50 events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights icon Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Memphis, Tennessee. She also performed for the Equal Justice Initiative, headed by Bryan A. Stevenson.
DuBois Harris’ debut album, Testimony, was released in 2012. A soaring collection of inspirational music and hope-filled hymns,Testimony was produced and recorded with Jerroll Lehman (producer/orchestrator) and Damien Sneed (pianist/co-arranger).
For more information, please visit www.audreyduboisharris.com.
Here, you'll find a compilation of gospel music news hosted in conjunction with our media partner, SMG.