September 25, 2016
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Stellar Awards Honors Gospel's Best


BLACK NEWS, AFRICAN AMERICAN NEWS, MINORITY NEWS, CIVIL RIGHTS NEWS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY, AFRO AMERICAN NEWS 
Top Winner Marvin Sapp at the 26th Annual Stellar Awards

NASHVILLE - Platinum artist Marvin Sapp topped the list of winners during the 26TH ANNUAL STELLAR GOSPEL MUSIC AWARDS at Nashville's iconic Grand Ole Opry House Theater. Sapp took home four awards, including Artist of the Year, Traditional Male of the Year, CD of the Year and Traditional CD of the Year. A highlight of the evening, his emotion-filled finale performance of his biggest hit "Never Would Have Made It" with Stellar Awards host Donnie McClurkin created an overwhelming audience response as he dedicated the night to his recently-deceased wife Dr. Malinda P. Sapp. The Grand Ole Opry landmark was transformed into a spirit-filled sanctuary as Pastor McClurkin led the ‘congregation in a prayer for Sapp and provided one of the night's biggest moments.

"It's great to be honored by your peers, and you do your best to give honor and glory to God," said Sapp. "But it's bittersweet with my wife not here with me."

Before introducing the performance, McClurkin added, "If it wasn't for Pastor Marvin Sapp's wife Malinda, this song would have never made it on the CD."

Other top winners included James Fortune & FIYA who received two awards for Group/Duo of the Year and Contemporary CD of the Year, and presented his award to his wife who joined him on stage for standing by him while they were homeless, sleeping out of their car and expecting their third child. James Fortune was also named Contemporary Male of the Year. Seasoned vets Bebe & Cece Winans won awards individually and collectively; the duo received the Urban Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year and Music Video of the Year awards. Bebe Winans also received the Song of the Year award while CeCe Winans was named Contemporary Female of the Year.

Karen Clark Sheard received the first-ever Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year award, presented to her by legends Shirley Caesar (former member of The Caravans) and Vickie Winans. In addition, Serump/Psalms/Universal Music Group artist Kristina Halloway won the hotly-contested Best New Artist category.

Gospel superstar Kirk Franklin, who was honored with the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award for his Haitian relief efforts, was moved to tears during an All-Star tribute of the song he wrote to benefit disaster victims "Are You Listening: A Love Song for Haiti" by his friends and colleagues. The choir included stars CeCe Winans, Vickie Winans, Karen Clark Sheard, Marvin Sapp, Wess Morgan, Dorinda Clark Cole, Shirley Caesar, J Moss, Myron Butler, The Nevel Sisters and others. The award was presented to Franklin by Haitian-born actor Jimmy Jean-Louis (NBC's "Heroes").

Franklin spoke of the industry's response to the tragedy in Haiti, saying "Gospel music - we were the first genre to come together and respond musically."

The hand-clapping, foot-stomping revival began with star-studded red carpet arrivals featuring stars from Gospel, television and film, such as Andrae Crouch, Omari Hardwick (For Colored Girls), Meagan Good (The Game), Yvette Nicole Brown (NBC's Community), BET's Dr. Bobby Jones (Bobby Jones Gospel), Beth Payne, Shari Addison and Jessica Reedy from Sunday Best, Committed (winners of NBC's "The Sing Off"), and Trin-I-Tee 5:7 as well as other notable personalities. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee presented Central City Productions CEO and founder of the Stellar Awards Don Jackson with a proclamation celebrating the establishment of September as national Gospel Music Heritage month.

The show was filled with stirring performances, including a heart-pumping opening performance of "Lord You're Mighty" by JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise; Beverly Crawford brought the audience to their feet with a rendition of "It's About Time for a Miracle;" Forever Jones masterfully sang "He Wants It All;" and Joshua's Troop delighted the crowd with the youthful praise song, "Everybody Clap Your Hands." Other big performers included Voices of Destiny - 2010 Verizon Wireless "How Sweet the Sound" Choir Contest Winners, Deitrick Haddon, VaShawn Mitchell, a quartet collaboration between The Rance Allen Group, The Soul Seekers, and The Williams Brothers, and more.

The show also recognized the great accomplishments of some of Gospel's brightest stars as Donald Lawrence received the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award and Vanessa Bell Armstrong received the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award. Both were lauded for their significant contributions to Gospel music which have set the bar for future generations of artists.

The 2011 Award Winners are:

ARTIST OF THE YEAR:
- MARVIN SAPP, HERE I AM, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP

SONG OF THE YEAR:
- BEBE WINANS, CLOSE TO YOU - STILL, B&C/MALACO

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR:
- BYRON CAGE, FAITHFUL TO BELIEVE, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR:
- KAREN CLARK SHEARD, ALL IN ONE, KAREW RECORDS

GROUP/DUO OF THE YEAR:
- JAMES FORTUNE & FIYA, ENCORE, BLACKSMOKE MUSIC WORLDWIDE

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR:
- KRISTINA HALLOWAY, FREE, SERUM/PSALMS GROUP UNIVERSAL MUSIC CHRISTIAN GROUP

CD OF THE YEAR:
- MARVIN SAPP, HERE I AM, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP

CHOIR OF THE YEAR:
- WILMINGTON CHESTER MASS CHOIR, HE'S BEEN GOOD, EMTRO GOSPEL

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR:
- AARON LINDSEY, HERE I AM, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP

CONTEMPORARY GROUP/DUO OF THE YEAR:
- FOREVER JONES, GET READY, EMI GOSPEL

TRADITIONAL GROUP/DUO OF THE YEAR:
- THE MIGHTY CLOUDS OF JOY, AT THE REVIVAL, EMI GOSPEL

CONTEMPORARY MALE OF THE YEAR:
- JAMES FORTUNE, ENCORE, BLACKSMOKE MUSIC WORLDWIDE

TRADITIONAL MALE OF THE YEAR:
- MARVIN SAPP, HERE I AM, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP

CONTEMPORARY FEMALE OF THE YEAR:
- CECE WINANS, STILL, B&C/MALACO

TRADITIONAL FEMALE OF THE YEAR:
- LUCINDA MOORE, BLESSED, BROKEN & GIVEN, TYSCOT RECORDS/JOYFULA RECORDS

CONTEMPORARY CD OF THE YEAR:
- JAMES FORTUNE & FIYA, ENCORE, BLACKSMOKE MUSIC WORLDWIDE

TRADITIONAL CD OF THE YEAR:
- MARVIN SAPP, HERE I AM, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP

URBAN/INSPIRATIONAL SINGLE OR PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR:
- BEBE & CECE WINANS, CLOSE TO YOU - STILL, B&C/MALACO

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR:
- BEBE & CECE WINANS, CLOSE TO YOU - STILL, B&C/MALACO

TRADITIONAL CHOIR OF THE YEAR:
- WILMINGTON CHESTER MASS CHOIR, HE'S BEEN GOOD, EMTRO GOSPEL

CONTEMPORARY CHOIR OF THE YEAR:
- MYRON BUTLER & LEVI, REVEALED LIVE IN DALLAS, EMI GOSPEL

SPECIAL EVENT CD OF THE YEAR:
- VARIOUS ARTISTS, COCO BROTHER LIVE PRESENTS STAND 2010, TYSCOT RECORDS

RAP HIP HOP GOSPEL CD OF THE YEAR:
- TRIP LEE, BETWEEN TWO WORLDS, REACH RECORDS

CHILDRENS PROJECT OF THE YEAR:
- KINGDOM KIDS WORLDWIDE, KINGDOM KIDS WORLDWIDE VOLUME 1, HEADSTRATE ENTERTAINMENT

QUARTET OF THE YEAR:
- THE CHRISTIAN ANGELS, BRING IT TO THE ALTAR, 4 WINDS/MALACO

RECORDED MUSIC PACKAGING OF THE YEAR:
- DEREK BLANKS & KEN BARBOZA, BEBE & CECE WINANS - STILL, B&C/MALACO

PRAISE AND WORSHIP CD OF THE YEAR:
- DARWIN HOBBS, DARWIN HOBBS LIVE: CHAMPION, IMAGO DEI

SPECIAL AWARDS - HONOREES

THOMAS A. DORSEY MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD HONOREE
KIRK FRANKLIN

AMBASSADOR DR. BOBBY JONES LEGEND AWARD HONOREE
VANESSA BELL ARMSTRONG

JAMES CLEVELAND LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD HONOREE
DONALD LAWRENCE




STORY TAGS: BLACK NEWS, AFRICAN AMERICAN NEWS, MINORITY NEWS, CIVIL RIGHTS NEWS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY, AFRO AMERICAN NEWS



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