(ATLANTA, GA – FEBRUARY 22, 2024) BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) will pay tribute to the songwriters and publishers behind the best in Gospel at the 2024 BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards, held at Flourish Atlanta on Thursday, March 28th. Gospel legend and world-renowned evangelist Dorinda Clark-Cole will receive the evening’s highest honor as a Trailblazer of Gospel in recognition of her illustrious career spanning over 50 years and incomparable influence on the genre and beyond. Jonathan McReynolds will receive the BMI Champion Award for his exceptional artistry and impact on Gospel music, marking the first time this accolade has been presented at this ceremony. The private event will be hosted by BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill and BMI Vice President, Creative, Atlanta, Catherine Brewton.
“We’re thrilled to be recognizing our BMI family of songwriters and publishers for their contributions to Gospel music and the Gospel community,” said Brewton. “When I think of a trailblazer in Gospel music, Dorinda stands out as a pioneering figure. The Clark Sisters are among the legends of Gospel, and Dorinda’s distinctive jazzy sound lends a unique brilliance to the group. I’m so proud to be honoring her work and highlighting the impact she’s made on the genre and community through her music and evangelism. We’re also paying tribute to one of the most incredible voices in Gospel, Jonathan McReynolds, whose music is often referred to as ‘life’ songs, speaking to the hearts of all. We’re looking forward to celebrating all of our honorees and bringing the community together for an afternoon of faith, fellowship and incredible music.”
Throughout the ceremony, BMI will also recognize the songwriters, producers and music publishers of the past year’s 25 most-performed Gospel songs in the United States. The BMI Gospel Song, Songwriter and Publisher of the Year will also be named during the inspirational event.
Dorinda Clark-Cole, known as the “Rose of Gospel Music,” is a multiple award-winning singer/songwriter, a talk show host, and world-renowned evangelist. Born and raised in Detroit, Clark–Cole is the daughter of pioneering choral director Mattie Moss Clark, and is best known as a member of The Clark Sisters, one of the most successful and groundbreaking Gospel music groups of all time. Some of the iconic group’s crossover hits include “Blessed & Highly Favored,” “Hallelujah,” “He Gave Me Nothing to Lose,” “Jesus Is A Love Song,” “Pure Gold,” “Expect A Miracle,” and “You Brought The Sunshine,” to name a few. Throughout Clark-Cole’s remarkable career she’s received many accolades as part of The Clark Sisters and as a solo artist, including two GRAMMY Awards, two Dove Awards, three BMI Awards, 13 Stellar Gospel Music Awards and a Lady of Soul Award. The sisters also received a Lifetime Achievement honor at this year’s GRAMMY Awards, which followed a James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award at the Stellar Awards in 2020 and induction to the Black Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2022. In 2020, The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel biopic, produced by Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott and Queen Latifah, premiered on Lifetime to over 20 million viewers.
Mastering a balance between music and evangelism, Clark-Cole currently serves as International Elect Lady of the International Department of Evangelism (IDOE) to the Church of God in Christ and is the church administrator for Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ.
Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, Jonathan McReynolds cultivated his love for music at an early age in church and continues to share his music, heart, and journey as he travels the world professing the Gospel through his inspiring song ministry. The award-winning singer/songwriter has released six full-length albums including his 2018 release Make Room, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Gospel charts, winning eight Stellar Awards and earning two GRAMMY nominations. In 2020, he released, People, which garnered his first GRAMMY for Best Gospel Performance/Song for his hit single “Moving On.” His latest release My Truth (2023) spent several weeks on Billboard’s Gospel charts and earned McReynolds a Dove Award for Contemporary Gospel/Urban Recorded Song of the Year for his single “Your World” and a GRAMMY nomination for Best Gospel Album. McReynolds has also received four BMI Awards and was named BMI’s Gospel Songwriter of the Year in 2023.
In addition to his successful career in music, Jonathan has a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from Moody Theological Seminary and founded Elihu Nation, a nonprofit organization that has awarded tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to youth across the country.
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.