Chicago, IL (January 22, 2020)
Nominations for the Stellar Awards have been released in 28 categories 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 awards 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.
Gospel icon and Stellar Awards Host emeritus Kirk Franklin is being recognized by the voting body for excellence in eight categories 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).
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.
Other artists earning multiple Stellar nominations include: Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers, William Murphy, Pastor Mike Jr., The Walls Group, Todd Dulaney, Maranda Curtis, Fresh Start Worship, Le’Andria Johnson, Jekalyn Carr and Jerard & Jovaun.