Make a joyful noise. The 28th annual Stellar Awards will be held this weekend and it should be another amazing evening of gospel music from the genre’s biggest stars. Hosted by gospel stalwarts Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary, the Awards will be broadcast live on GMC from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee at 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 19th. If you miss it then, you’ll still have the chance to see it as the show will be syndicated for broadcast in 200 television markets through March 3rd.
“We’ve participated in the Stellar Awards for years and always look forward to it,” says Mary Mary’s Tina Campbell, according to a press release.”Serving as hosts this year with our friend and colleague Kirk Franklin is an added bonus- we’re looking forward to having an amazing time,” Erica Campbell of Mary Mary said.
Mary Mary and Pastor Charles Jenkins and the Fellowship Choir are the leading nominees with nine nods apiece. Jenkins’ nominations include Best New Artist for their CD “Best of Both Worlds” and Best Artist and Song of the Year. Marvin Sapp and Fred Hammond have six nominations apiece, while Andrae Crouch has five. Bishop T.D. Jakes will be honored with the Thomas Dorsey Notable Achievement Award and late gospel icon Inez Andrews will be awarded the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award. Kurt Carr will receive the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award.
The lengthy list of performers on the Stellar Awards this year include the aforementioned Pastor Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Choir, Mary Mary, The Kurt Carr Singers, LeAndria Johnson, Marvin Sapp, Marvin Winans, Maurette Brown Clark, Shirley Caesar, Tamela Mann, Delores Washington, Donnie McClurkin, Dorothy Norwood, Dottie Peoples, Israel Houghton & New Breed, Jason Nelson, Kierra Clark Sheard, Tye Tribbett, and more. Presenters include Andrae Crouch, singer LeToya Luckett, Lexi, Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, Rance Allen, actor Rockmond Dunbar, and Shawn Thompson.
This is the first time in its history that the Stellar Awards will be broadcast live. The live telecast is open to the public who can go to Ticketmaster www.ticketmaster.com for tickets priced from $55 – $200. (Student balcony tickets will also be offered for $35). Tickets are also available for pre-telecast awards held on Friday January 18 at the Opry. That event will be hosted by Lexi and VaShawn Mitchell with William Murphy and Dorinda Clark Cole performing, among others. Tickets for that event can be purchased via www.tpac.org.