2023 GRAMMY Nominees in Gospel/CCM

Nominees for the 2023 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 65th GRAMMY Awards, were announced today, November 15, and here are artists who received nominations in the Gospel/CCM categories.

Best Gospel Performance/Song

DOE - "When I Pray" cover art
  • “Positive”
    Erica Campbell; Erica Campbell, Warryn Campbell & Juan Winans, songwriters
  • “When I Pray”
    DOE; Dominique Jones & Dewitt Jones, songwriters
  • “Kingdom”
    Maverick City Music & Kirk Franklin; Kirk Franklin, Jonathan Jay, Chandler Moore & Jacob Poole, songwriters
  • “The Better Benediction”
    PJ Morton Featuring Zacardi Cortez, Gene Moore, Samoht, Tim Rogers & Darrel Walls; PJ Morton, songwriter
  • “Get Up”
    Tye Tribbett; Brandon Jones, Christopher Michael Stevens, Thaddaeus Tribbett & Tye Tribbett, songwriters

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song

  • “God Really Loves Us (Radio Version)”
    Crowder Featuring Dante Bowe and Maverick City Music; Dante Bowe, David Crowder, Ben Glover & Jeff Sojka, songwriters
  • “So Good”
    DOE; Chuck Butler, Dominique Jones & Ethan Hulse, songwriters
  • “For God Is With Us”
    for KING & COUNTRY & Hillary Scott; Josh Kerr, Jordan Reynolds, Joel Smallbone & Luke Smallbone, songwriters
  • “Fear Is Not My Future”
    Maverick City Music & Kirk Franklin; Kirk Franklin, Nicole Hannel, Jonathan Jay, Brandon Lake & Hannah Shackelford, songwriters
  • “Holy Forever”
    Chris Tomlin; Jason Ingram, Brian Johnson, Jenn Johnson, Chris Tomlin & Phil Wickham, songwriters
  • “Hymn Of Heaven (Radio Version)”
    Phil Wickham; Chris Davenport, Bill Johnson, Brian Johnson & Phil Wickham, songwriters
Maverick City Music cover art

Best Gospel Album

  • Die To Live
    Maranda Curtis
  • Breakthrough: The Exodus (Live)
    Ricky Dillard
  • Clarity
  • One Deluxe
    Maverick City Music & Kirk Franklin
  • All Things New
    Tye Tribbett

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album

  • Lion
    Elevation Worship
  • Breathe
    Maverick City Music
  • Life After Death
  • Always
    Chris Tomlin
  • My Jesus
    Anne Wilson
TSU cover art

Best Roots Gospel Album

  • Let’s Just Praise The Lord
    Gaither Vocal Band
  • Confessio – Irish American Roots
    Keith & Kristyn Getty
  • The Willie Nelson Family
    Willie Nelson
  • 2:22
    Karen Peck & New River
  • The Urban Hymnal
    Tennessee State University Marching Band

The Blind Boys of Alabama also earned another GRAMMY nomination this year in the Best Americana Performance category. The legendary group is nominated for their performance of “The Message,” featuring Black Violin.

Check out the list of nominees in all categories here. The GRAMMYs are set to air live Sunday, February 5, on CBS and stream live on-demand on Paramount+ at 8 pm ET.

DunAmis Gospel Awards 2022: List of Winners

DunAmis Gospel Awards logo

T.L. Young Ministries celebrated its 9th year honoring independent gospel artists and faith-based leaders during a spirited weekend of events, which concluded with the sold-out DunAmis Gospel Awards main show Saturday, November 12, at Cedar Grove Tabernacle of Praise in Greensboro, NC. Yves Mckenzie and Mya Fountain shared hosting duties for the evening.

Christian Anderson was among this year’s winners, picking up the Artist of the Year Award. Gospel Music Fever’s Libra Boyd took home the award for Media Publication of the Year. She also was a presenter for the Producer of the Year Award, which Chris Adams won for the song, “We Are One.”

The program featured performances from Mike Yelverton, Dr. Victoria Hanchell, East Coast Mass Choir, Kingdom Sound, Will Harris & Friends, MillUnz DaGospel, St. Thomas Chapel Mass Choir, David Spencer, Voices of BK, Voices of Life Fellowship Chorale, and Sir’Jerry Sadler & SOP. 

Bishop Myron K. Dawson, Will Harris and Friends, and Apostle Alicia F. Lindsay were among this year’s special honorees, receiving the Humanitarian Award, Bishop John H. Heath Music of Excellence Award, and Trailblazer Award, respectively. Also honored were Bishop Tyrone D. Hunter, recipient of the Doris S. Harbor Pioneer Award; Bishop John C. Parks, recipient of the Living Legend Award; and Apostle Janice Thomas, recipient of the Bishop Jerome O. Dawson Lifetime Achievement Award. 

The full list of DunAmis Gospel Award winners and honorees is below, and GMF extends congratulations to all.

Female Pastor of the Year
Apostle Janice Thomas – His Kingdom Ministries

Male Pastor of the Year
Bishop Richard Adkins – Impact Redzone

First Lady of the Year
Lady Tina Hairston – Zion Tabernacle of Deliverance

Praise & Worship Team of the Year
The Remnant Church – Danville, VA

Worship Leader of the Year
Dominique Prunty – The Remnant Church

Choir Director of the Year
Jonathan Parker-Ashley & Higher Dimension Praise Chorale

Church of the Year
The Victory Center – Thomasville, NC

Holy Hip-Hop Artist of the Year
MillUnz DaGospel

Quartet of the Year
Tammy Edwards and the Edwards Sisters

Media Publication of the Year
Gospel Music Fever Online Publication

Dance Ministry of the Year
Unheard Mime – Alexis Lambert

Community Choir of the Year
Anthony Sutton & Fresh Wind

Producer of the Year
Chris Adams
“We Are One”

Female Musician of the Year
Gloria Butler-Graves

Male Musician of the Year
Charles Wright

Songwriter of the Year
Alicia Moore

Female Vocalist of the Year
Jalessa Cade

Male Vocalist of the Year
David Spencer

Artist of the Year
Christian Anderson

Humanitarian Award
Bishop Myron K. Dawson

Bishop John H. Heath Music of Excellence Award
Will Harris & Friends

Trailblazer Award
Apostle Alicia F. Lindsay

Doris S. Harbor Pioneer Award
Bishop Tyrone D. Hunter

Living Legend Award
Bishop John C. Parks

Bishop Jerome O. Dawson Lifetime Achievement Award
Apostle Janice F. Thomas

Inaugural Scholarship Presentation
Northeast Guilford High School

Tracy Morgan, radio veteran, becomes first woman Spin Awards Hall of Fame inductee

Veteran radio announcer and programmer Tracy Morgan recently made history when she became the first woman inducted into the Spin Awards Hall of Fame at the sixth annual ceremony at the Sylvia Beard Theatre in Atlanta, GA.

“This started as a dream when I was just 13 years old,” she said after stepping on stage to accept the award that was presented to her by Tyscot Records VP of Promotions, Jeff Hargrove. “I actually wanted to be a TV newscaster, so I began to pursue this at a very young age.”

Morgan first thanked her support system. She said her deceased father “would be cheesin’ from ear to ear” to see her win and she thanked her mother who has always been her biggest encourager. She went on to credit her husband Keith’s support for allowing her the freedom to program the historic WBBP 1480 AM in Memphis, to host the daily show “Morning Inspiration” on WHUR 96.3 FM in Washington, D.C. (the lead-in to the Steve Harvey Morning Show), and to host the syndicated Tracy Morgan Show on the Rejoice! Musical Soul Food network.  She then thanked her daughter Katrina, a graduating senior at New York University. Morgan also spoke of her gratitude to the radio executives who gave her some of her biggest breaks such as Louise Patterson of WBBP, and Mike &  April Chandler of Rejoice! Musical Soul Food.

Finally, Morgan spoke to her peers in broadcasting.

“We are rocking this thing,” she told them. “Stay encouraged and let us continue to do what we do, and that is impact the lives of many all across the country through inspirational and gospel music. He [God] gets all the glory.”

The ceremony was hosted by radio personalities Tony Gee of WFMV in Columbia, SC, and GRIFF from the syndicated Get Up! Mornings with Erica Campbell program. The program airs November 26, 2022, at 7 PM EST on the NOW Television Network.

A Washington, D.C. native, Morgan has been a program director, music director, producer, and on-air talent for various stations around the country. She’s worked for CBS Radio, Radio One, and other networks. Morgan is a multi-Stellar Gospel Music Award winner as Announcer of the Year. In addition, she was inducted into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio in 2005.  She was also inducted into the Columbia School of Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2014.

– From a press release

Editor’s Note: Visit https://www.thespinawards.com/2022-winners/ for a complete list of this year’s winners and finalists.

MG Music Group to kick off ‘Gospel In Person’ concert series

MG Music Group photo
MG Music Group

Sponsored by the Kirby Cultural Arts Complex – MG Music Group is gearing up to perform the first concert in the “Gospel In Person” series, presented by the Kirby Cultural Arts Complex in partnership with Just Love In Person community service organization and Gentry Visuals production company. The concert takes place at the Kirby Theater in Roxboro, NC, on Saturday, November 12, 2022, at 6 PM. “Gospel In Person” is a multipart celebration of the rich Black gospel music history found in North Carolina’s rural Person County, located in the Piedmont region along Virginia’s border. The schedule of events includes live concert performances and a documentary feature film to round out the series.

MG (Mighty God) Music Group is a Christian-based record label in Person County’s city of Roxboro. Its roster of artists, also collectively known as the MG Music Group, consists of eight Christian rappers, all of whom have ties to the area. The collective has performed in multiple cities across the US and in the UK. Label founder and CEO Cedric Hester, aka Deacon Authority, is himself a Person County native who writes, produces, and performs. The upcoming concert is set to feature the international award-winning artist/producer along with labelmates George Pettiford, Curtis Clay, Bryant Lofton, Effram Winstead, Roderick Shepard, and Eli Cope, better known by their stage names, Judea, Soundman, Shoe Man, CLASS, Sim’Plea Rock, and Lil Lij, respectively. Some of MG Music Group’s most popular songs to date are “Mighty God,” “La La La,” and “Yahweh.”

The “Gospel In Person” series features several live concerts between November 2022 and April 2023 and culminates with the premiere of Gospel In Person, a documentary, in June 2023. Michael Gentry, the film’s creator and producer, hopes the documentary will duly honor some of the community’s legends whose impact has created ripple effects throughout the broader gospel music scene.

“Gospel In Person will tell the history of the great musical anointing that has rested upon Person County,” says Gentry. “You will hear the stories of legends such as Roosevelt and Michael Whitfield, Martha Pettiford, Leroy Cash, Victor Hester, Willie Carrington, and many more. And you will learn more about the living legends who walk among us and tirelessly minister to us all.”

Deacon Authority’s late grandfather is named among the legends. Victor Hester was a noted bass singer and member of an area group whose inception is believed by some to date back to the 1930s, the now defunct Traveling Sextet. Deacon Authority and his grandfather had a special relationship.

“He took me with him and taught me so many things,” he remembers.

As far as he knows, the elder Hester never got to perform overseas like him. Nevertheless, Deacon Authority says his granddad’s influence is always present with him and present wherever the music goes around the world.

“My grandfather is in all my songs. He’s the reason why I like bass so much.”

From generation to generation and in song after song shared at home and abroad, it seems likely Mr. Victor Hester’s influence is traveling farther than the Traveling Sextet singer ever dreamed was possible.

Tickets for MG Music Group’s concert are available now at https://www.etix.com/ticket/v/19211/kirby-cultural-arts-complex/.

MG Music Group reflects on humble beginnings. (Video courtesy of Gentry Visuals)

Gentry describes the entire series as “historic and monumental.”

CeCe Winans makes history at 53rd Annual Dove Awards

CeCe Winans accepts Dove Award. (Photo by Javis Dason)

Nashville, TN – The 53rd Annual GMA Dove Awards were handed out Tuesday night, October 18, 2022, at the Allen Arena in Nashville, Tennessee to a sold-out audience. The show aired Friday, October 21, exclusively on TBN and was simulcast on SiriusXM The Message. Co-hosts Erica Campbell and Chris Tomlin led the all-star night of music with performances from across the music community including Gospel, Latin, Hip Hop, and Southern Gospel.

Iconic artist CeCe Winans made Dove Awards history this year as the first Black female solo artist to win Artist of the Year. When accepting her award, instead of an acceptance speech, she sang a few lines from the Andraé Crouch classic, “To God Be the Glory,” moving many in the audience to tears. She and the co-writers for “Believe for It” were also awarded Song of the Year. Throughout her incredible career, CeCe has won a staggering 25 Dove Awards including the very first New Artist of the Year award in 1988 with her brother BeBe Winans.

“It’s amazing when we come together and we love each other and we stand for righteousness, it’s amazing what God will do,” Winans said after accepting the award for Song of the Year. “It’s amazing what He’s already done. But He wants to do so much more. I’m believing for God to move in this industry greater than He ever has before. The God we serve responds to faithfulness and the testimonies I’ve heard through this song have blessed my life.”

Jekalyn Carr sings at Dove Awards
Jekalyn Carr (Photo by Terry Wyatt)

Choirmaster Ricky Dillard won his first-ever Dove award in the category of Traditional Gospel Album of the Year for his twelfth album, Breakthrough: The Exodus (Live).  Young gospel queen Jekalyn Carr picked up the third Dove award of her career. This time, she won Traditional Gospel Recorded Song of the Year for her No. 1 hit, “My Portion.”

For KING + COUNTRY, writer/producer Jeff Pardo, and Phil Wickham led the night with three awards each. Twenty year-old newcomer Anne Wilson took home two awards including New Artist of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year for “My Jesus.” The latter was recently certified gold by the R.I.A.A.

The night was packed with one-of-a-kind performances such as Steven Curtis Chapman’s career-spanning mash-up of his hits such as “The Great Adventure” and “Dive.” Phil Wickham and his electrifying band performed his current Top Ten single, “Hymn of Heaven.”

TobyMac thanked followers for their prayers and support following his son Truett’s unexpected death in 2020 before launching into a spirited performance of “The Goodness” with Nigerian-born singer Blessing Offor. “Thank you for the kindness you showed me and my family as we walked through the deepest valley in losing my firstborn son,” he said. “…There were times I never thought I would ever write another song, much less an uptempo song or a song that felt like joy. But God is good. He might not always give us what we want, or take away the pain, but He is right here with us. He doesn’t leave. He remains.”

Here are a few of the other winners. For a full list of winners, visit doveawards.com/awards/2022-winners.

Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year
KB, nobigdyl
“King Jesus”

Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of the Year
Tasha Cobbs Leonard
“Gotta Believe”

Gospel Worship Recorded Song of the Year
Maverick City Music ft. DOE, Jonathan McReynolds, Chandler Moore

Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year
Lecrae 1k phew
No Church in a While

Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year

Gospel Worship Album of the Year
Tribl, Maverick City Music
Tribl Nights Atlanta

Short Form Music Video of the Year
Tauren Wells ft. Aaron Cole
“Fake It”

The theme of this year’s show was Sound of Heaven, highlighting how all the different styles of Christian and Gospel music come together under one banner of hope. “The music created by the artists assembled tonight covers a lot of ground style-wise, but collectively they represent the sound of heaven,” said co-host Chris Tomlin. Co-host Erica Campbell added, “We bring it all together to unite as one for the kingdom of God. One mind, one voice, giving glory to God. That’s the sound of heaven.”

The 53rd Annual GMA Dove Awards is produced by the Gospel Music Association. Jackie Patillo and Justin Fratt serve as showrunners and executive producers, alongside Curtis Stoneberger and Paul Wright as producers. Russell E. Hall returned as director, Michael Nolan as scriptwriter, Scott Moore and Go Live Productions as production manager.

Watch on the TBN YouTube channel.

– From a press release

7th Annual Avidity Awards set for October 13-15

7th Annual Avidity Awards graphic

Memphis, TN – The nominees have been announced, and the date for the annual celebration honoring excellence in independent Gospel music has been set! The 7th Annual Avidity Awards is coming to Memphis, Tennessee, for the show’s live taping on Friday, October 14, 2022, at the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts and Education.  The exciting weekend of events will include an emphasis on mental health awareness in the Black community and the forthcoming launch of Avidity TV. The Avidity Awards celebrate the accomplishments of independent artists and artists signed to an independent record label. This night of excellence boasts a production that has a reach extending to non-traditional gospel audiences.  The Avidity Awards will assemble an array of independent gospel music artists, groups, and spiritual leaders on one stage for an explosive evening of great performances and excitement! 

Leading this year’s nominations is award-winning choirmaster Zak Williams (& 1AKORD) of Philadelphia, PA.  Williams has five nominations – Community Choir of the Year, Choir Director of the Year, and Artist of the Year, all stemming from his Billboard chart-topping single, “Jehovah Jireh,” which is also in the running for Song of the Year.

Kim Person, a multiple 2021 Avidity Award nominee, has received four nominations this year for Artist of the Year, Female Artist of the Year, and Song of the Year, all derived from her #1 Billboard Gospel Indicator Chart single, “Wonderful.”  Other artists with several nominations for this year’s Avidity Awards are Cardell Booker and Michael Dixon, who received three nominations each. For the complete list of the 2022 nominees, click here.

The 7th Annual Avidity Awards will feature performances by Robyn McGhee, Dr. James Mable, Jr., Kim Person, Cardell Booker, Gia Wyre, Lamont Sanders, The Exciting Holy Sons, and others to be announced at a later date.

“There’s very little doubt that gospel music has been tremendously influenced and enhanced by the creative genius of independent artists,” says Derrick Huggins, Founder and CEO of The Elite Gospel Music & Ministry Academy (TEGMMA) and Avidity TV. “This has especially been the case since the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Avidity Awards will continue to amplify the gospel through musical expressions emanating from our outstanding community of independent artists.” 

The hosts for the show are Aldren McClullar, social media influencer of “The Aldren Brand,” and social media influencer Marquis Jelks of “Church Stuff.”  In addition to the main awards show event, attendees can enjoy the official Pre-Show Indie Artist Showcase with hosts Hasan James (Root Magazine), and recording artists Michelle Prather and Dr. James Mable, Jr., and the Indie Artist Help Desk. 

The Avidity Awards are presented by Avidity TV in conjunction with Avidity Media Group.

37th Stellar Awards winners announced; Pastor Mike Jr. earns six

Pastor Mike Jr. won six trophies at the 37th Stellar Awards

(CHICAGO) July 19, 2022 — The Stellar Gospel Music Awards celebrated its 37th year honoring excellence in Gospel music during an uplifting weekend of events, concluding with the live-taped ceremony on Saturday, July 16, at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, Georgia. Hosted by Stellar Award-winning artists Jekalyn Carr and Kierra Sheard, this year’s celebration will premiere Sunday, August 7, at 8 PM ET/PT on BET, BET Her, and BET International and will be syndicated in various local markets across the country between August 13 and September 11, 2022.

Pastor Mike, Jr. leads the list of winners with a total of six Stellar Awards, including Artist of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Contemporary Male Artist of the Year, Contemporary Album of the Year, and Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year, as well as Album of the Year for I Got It: Single’s Ministry Vol. 1. CeCe Winans won three Stellar Awards, including Producer of the Year, Praise and Worship Album of the Year, and Praise and Worship Song of the Year, all tied to the album Believe For It. Jonathan McReynolds and Mali Music received three awards for their collaboration, Jonny x Mali: Live in L.A. EP, including Duo/Chorus Group of the Year, Contemporary Duo/Chorus Group of the Year, and Special Event Album of the Year.

Other notable winners during the 37th Stellar Gospel Music Awards include Tamela Mann and Ricky Dillard, both of whom received two Stellar Awards, with Dillard also receiving the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award Presented by Toyota in recognition of his contributions to Gospel music as a renowned choir leader and recording artist. In addition, four-time nominee E. Dewey Smith was named Best New Artist for his 2021 album, God Period.

The 37th Stellar Gospel Music Awards features showstopping performances by Kirk Franklin, Erica Campbell, Maverick City Music, Marvin Sapp, Tye Tribbett, Le’Andria Johnson, Koryn Hawthorne, Brian Courtney Wilson, Jor’Dan Armstrong, Doe, Rudy Currence, Chrisette Michele, Darrel Walls, James Fortune and more.

The Stellar Gospel Music Awards also bestows special honors to industry titans who continue creating a legacy of excellence that reaches and influences the masses, both within and outside of the Gospel genre. Six-time GRAMMY® Award-winning hitmaker and producer Aaron Lindsey received the Aretha Franklin Icon Award Presented by Aflac. Candi Staton also received the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award, an honor that reflects her career of nearly seven decades as a music pioneer and a captivating Gospel music artist.

Top nominees for this year’s ceremony included CeCe Winans, who led the field with nine nominations, followed by Pastor Mike, Jr., who received eight nominations. Tamela Mann, Jonathan McReynolds & Mali Music, and Todd Dulaney all received six nominations. Kelontae Gavin received five nominations. Maverick City Music, Israel Houghton, Ricky Dillard, E. Dewey Smith, and Jason Clayborn received four nominations each.

The 37th Stellar Gospel Music Awards is proud to be presented this year by AT&T Dream in Black. This year’s sponsors also include Procter & Gamble (P&G), Walmart, State Farm, Toyota, McDonald’s – Black & Positively Golden, and Aflac. The 37th Stellar Gospel Music Awards is also proud to partner with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

For additional updates, follow The Stellar Awards on social media — @thestellars on Instagram and Twitter, and Stellar Gospel Music Awards on Facebook — and check out the Stellar Awards website. The hashtag for the show is #StellarAwards.

GMF congratulates all winners and honorees, including the Triangle’s own Melissa Wade of The Light 103.9 FM, who won the Stellar Award for Gospel Announcer of the Year. You can see the entire list of this year’s winners here.

Radio execs unite to form National Association of Gospel Radio

National Association of Gospel Radio Board

(Shreveport, LA) – A group of the most influential executives in the urban inspirational and gospel music radio industry has come together to create the National Association of Gospel Radio (NAGR) with a mission to empower stations as they preserve, protect, and advance the format. The national organization’s first president, Charles Johnson aka Pastor CeJay, was elected by the board to serve as its first lead officer. Johnson is a transformative community leader and an executive with Alpha Media, which owns the historical KOKA Radio Station (72 years of existence) in Shreveport and two other gospel stations within the country. The organization is operating in a limited capacity with plans to launch fully on January 1, 2023.

We are America’s only trade association for radio professionals working in the gospel/inspirational format,” Johnson explains. “Separately, we reach thousands of ears every day, but together we reach millions of listeners. Our membership comprises radio station programmers, management, engineers, announcers, and salespeople. We believe our existence will uphold the legacy of gospel radio and help it grow for generations to come. Our vision is to become a trusted ally and to provide a hub of resources to stations to help them expand their listening base, increase advertising, and to support music artists within the format.”

Kyle Glover, with the Reach Gospel Radio network that reaches 20 American cities and Canada, will serve as Executive Vice President of the National Association of Gospel Radio. Ju Joyner, from Virginia Beach’s Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting concern, will be Vice President of Finance. Fred Harris, of Salem Media Group which reaches nearly 40 USA media markets, will be Vice President of Marketing & Promotions. The leadership is rounded out by board members: Dr. Sctonda Kelly Gordon, Program Director with Eternity Media Group in Augusta, GA; Chris Squire, Senior Vice President of Sales with iHeart Media, the largest radio corporation in America; and Ron Thompson, Program Director with Radio One (the largest urban radio corporation in America) in Washington, D.C.

Earnest Pugh recovers from COVID-19, releases new music

Earnest Pugh Records “America the Beautiful” to Celebrate 4th of July and remakes
Evelyn Turrentine-Agee’s “God Did It” to Thank God for His Recovery from COVID-19

(Houston, TX) – Renowned gospel singer, Earnest Pugh, best-known for Billboard No. 1 hits such as “Rain on Us” and “I Need Your Glory,” has returned from the brink of death.

Last summer, Pugh was in a Houston area veteran’s hospital battling a severe case of COVID-19. He was on a ventilator for ten days. His oxygen level dropped to 70. His temperature crested to 102 for over a week as he developed double pneumonia. Pugh’s condition became so acute that the medical staff contemplated inducing a coma so that they could better address his issues. “My physicians said they hadn’t seen anyone with a case as bad as mine make a turnaround,” Pugh confesses. “They also feared the ventilator would harm my singing ability if, by some miracle, I did survive.”

At that juncture, Pugh’s daughter, Kira, reached out to Pastor Ralph Douglas West and the Church Without Walls church family to pray. ”I believe that made the turnaround,” Pugh adds. “After the church started praying for me, my oxygen jumped from 72 to 85 within hours. Millions didn’t make it, but I was one of the ones who did make it.”

Pugh’s recovery inspired him to remake Evelyn Turrentine-Agee’s up-tempo gospel classic, “God Did It” (P Man Music / Estabrookroad Records), as his new single. He transformed it from a quartet track to a quartet meets New Orleans brass band vamp. “Those are the three words I said when I was out of the woods,” Pugh adds. “God did it!”

The Memphis native is also expressing his appreciation to America through a soul-stirring rendition of “America the Beautiful” that releases July 1st, in time to commemorate the 4th of July holiday. The retired Army sergeant spent 15 years in the armed services.

“I’ve always had a sense of pride about America,” Pugh says. “I joined the military at the age of 18. It was simply my part to help make the world a better place. Is America perfect? Absolutely not, but I seek to magnify her best qualities. She’s my choice and my home. She’s beautiful to me.”

Quartet Music Award Winners (2022)

Quartet Music Awards logo (from Facebook)
From Facebook @theQMAs

Black quartet gospel music was celebrated in all its glory last weekend at the Quartet Music Awards (The QMAs). The inaugural event took place Saturday, June 18, at Atlanta’s Center Stage Theater with Dr. Bobby Jones and Justin Rufus as hosts.

Throughout the evening, awards were presented in 16 categories for excellence in quartet music. QMA Honors were also presented to pay homage to the legacy and contributions of the late Lee Williams (Lee Williams and The Spiritual QC’s), Tiffanie Tutu Agee (The Truthettes), George Dean (The Gospel 4), Evelyn Turrentine-Agee, Harvey Watkins, Jr. (The Canton Spirituals), Cleve Graham (The Pilgrim Jubilees), Spencer Taylor (The Highway QC’s), and the late Percy Griffin (The Swanee Quintet). 

The Quartet Music Awards was birthed from the vision of D. Chubbs Morton and Connie Birth. Morton is a songwriter, musician, and frontman for the quartet group D. Morton and Gifted. Birth is a gospel radio personality and music executive.

GMF congratulates all the inaugural QMA recipients.

Male Vocalist Of The Year
Darrel Petties

Female Vocalist Of The Year
Lisa Knowles-Smith

Mixed Quartet Of The Year
Blest By Four

Graphic Designer Of The Year
Johnathan Johnson (Merge Media)

Producer Of The Year
Ray Braswell

Radio Announcer Of The Year
James “G-Man” Guy

New Artist Of The Year
The Robinson Bunch

Label Of The Year
Malaco Records

Song Of The Year
“I Still Got Joy”
(Roy & Revelation)

Album Of The Year
(The Williams Singers)

Male Quartet Of The Year
Darrel Petties & Take 2

Female Quartet Of The Year
Lisa Knowles-Smith & The Brown Singers

Emcee/Host Of The Year
Justin Rufus

Promoter Of The Year
Cheryl Snell

National Artist Of The Year
The Gospel Legends

2022 QMA Artist Of The Year
Men Of Prayze