NFL Players w/ Donnie McClurkin and Myron Butler
DALLAS, TX -- The worst snow storm in Dallas, TX in 15 years didn't stop thousands of fans from enjoying an evening of uplifting music, soul-stirring testimonies and empowering messages from acclaimed NFL players and gospel artists at the 12th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration. Music Hall at Fair Park was packed Friday, while many events around town were cancelled.
With opening remarks by Rev. Jesse Jackson, the evening was set with CeCe Winans returning as host, and a line-up of gospel music's best including Donnie McClurkin; Mary Mary; Israel & New Breed; Marvin Sapp; and James Fortune, "Players Choice." Verizon's How Sweet the Sound winning choir, Voices of Destiny, performed an explosive version of "Lord of the Harvest."
The NFL Players Choir, featuring current and former players, had another amazing performance. Directed by Grammy Award-winning gospel artist, Myron Butler, the choir served as background vocals for Winans as she sang her and brother BeBe's #1 hit "I'll Take You There," followed by McClurkin performing his hit "I'm Walking." Choir members included Dallas Cowboys greats Eugene Lockhart, Dexter Clinkscale and Otto Stowe, joined by Ovie Mughelli (Falcons - 2011 Pro Bowler), Tommie Harris (Bears), DeAndre Lewis (Seahawks) and many more. NFL legends Tim Brown (Raiders), Mel Blount (Steelers) and Jamie Dukes (Falcons), and current players Antwaan Randle El (Steelers), Correll Buckhalter (Broncos) and Roy Williams (Bengals) and others introduced artists or gave moving testimonies. American Family Insurance's Jingle Dreams winner, Mark Patterson, sang with the choir as an honorary member.
"I kept saying they do everything big in Texas, but I wasn't expecting the biggest snow storm in over a decade," said Melanie Few-Harrison founder and executive producer of the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration and president of Results Marketing & Media Inc. "But I was truly amazed and thankful for the fans coming out . We had great talent, great NFL players and a great time."
The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration is the only NFL sanctioned gospel concert during Super Bowl Weekend. Since its inception, the event has drawn crowds in the thousands and has demonstrated growth year-over-year, with recent sell outs of venues in major markets hosting the Super Bowl including Tampa (University of South Florida's SunDome), Detroit (The Masonic Temple), Jacksonville (Shiloh Church), Houston (Reliant Arena), Phoenix (Symphony Hall) and now Dallas (Music Hall at Fair Park).
The event also serves as a fundraiser with a portion of the proceeds benefiting national and local charities. More than $400,000 and 5,000 tickets have been donated over the past eleven years. This year, the North Texas charitable partner was PESC, a charity devoted to providing unique opportunities and educational experiences for underserved children -
The 12th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration was sponsored by Verizon Wireless, the official wireless service of the NFL; American Family Insurance, the nation's third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company; I Am Second; and the School of the Legends.