The title says it all. Gospel artists Donnie McClurkin and Fred Hammond are headed out on the Festival of Praise tour, which opens tomorrow and will run for 31 dates across the country. But the biggest question is – who’s closing the show? The Tom Joyner Morning Show tried to get to the bottom of the lineup but neither man was willing to say for sure.
“When I go to the cruise or go to the concert, I see a party atmosphere is something that we don’t know how to do,” says Hammond. “You’re going to think you’re on a Tom Joyner cruise,” says McClurkin. “On the cruise, when Chuck Brown was there, we always tried to make it to his lounge. When he hits the stage, it’s just on and you don’t know what’s coming next. I want to created that. We want to give that to God. Why do you have to say let’s sing these three songs and then stop and talk? If the first song goes as long as it goes, let’s just go. It’s a party.”
In that vein, the duo has invited a deejay on the road with them as well. “You might worship and you might wobble,” Hammond says. “Just be ready.”
If McClurkin breaks out into the Nae Nae, don’t be surprised. Special guests are part of the show and Hammond says McClurkin will be honored along the way as well for his accomplishments in gospel music.
“We come out together, I’m singing his songs and he’s singing my songs,” says Hammond. “We end together,” adds McClurkin. “Literally he sang ‘Stand’ on Sunday.” Bishop T.D. Jakes performed with the duo, and McClurkin says that he was healed at Potter’s House. The pastor had throat surgery in August to remove cancerous throat tissue – the same surgery that the late Joan Rivers had. But after the performance at Potter’s House, McClurkin says he was healed.
“Every time I sing it gets better,” he says. “And it stretches and goes further. Anything I can’t do –“
“I can do it,” Hammond says.” Yolanda Adams is gonna jump up there sometimes and James Fortune and Kirk Franklin – we’re reaching out to our partners around the world to say when we’re in your city, we’re going to call you up and if he falters one bit, we’re going to make it happen, because the world loves Donnie.”