Some of gospel’s brightest stars will perform classics from Hawkins’ vast catalogue, ranging from “Worship the Lord” to “Imagine Heaven.” The luminaries performing either night are Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Winans, Bebe Winans, Beverly Crawford, Anita Wilson, LaShun Pace, Ted Winn, Melonie Daniels-Walker, Chrystal Rucker, BSlade, Chrystal Rucker, Minister Carole King, Tibari, and Bishop Yvette Flunder.
Donald Lawrence is supervising the music and Edwin Hawkins’ music director, Derrick Hall, is the bandleader. Kurt Carr and Ricky Dillard are guest choir directors. Jonathan Grier and Rusty Watson, the longtime musical director of the Love Center Choir, will direct the bulk of the choir vocals. There will also be a reunion of the original Edwin Hawkins Singers, as well as, an appearance by The New Edwin Hawkins Singers and the Dream Team. Speakers will include Stellar Gospel Music Awards founder, Don Jackson; Bishop Carlton Pearson; Dr. Mary Beth Gentry; and music legend, Richard Smallwood.
Edwin Hawkins was a celebrated recording artist recognized as a founder of modern gospel music. He earned 19 GRAMMY nominations between 1969 and 1996, winning his first award for Best Soul Gospel Performance for `Oh Happy Day,’ the crossover hit that solidified his status as a leading force in gospel music. He earned three more GRAMMY Awards® during his career in the Best Soul Gospel Performance and Best Gospel Album By A Choir Or Chorus categories. Edwin’s contributions to the contemporary Christian genre and commitment to music celebrating religious faith will continue to inspire both artists and audiences for years to come. Our thoughts go out to Edwin’s family and collaborators during this difficult time.
Libra Nicole Boyd, PhD is a musician, award-winning author, gospel music aficionado, and the founder and editor of Gospel Music Fever™. Her commitment to journalistic integrity includes bringing you reliable gospel music content that uplifts and advances the art form. Libra is presently working on several scholarly projects about gospel music in the media as well as gospel music in social movements.