(Atlanta, GA – March 7, 2023) BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) will honor Gospel superstars Tamela and David Mann and Dr. Bobby Jones at its 22nd Annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards to be held at Flourish Atlanta on March 30. The inspirational ceremony will recognize the impact that the three legendary entertainers have made on the genre and beyond and pay tribute to the songwriters and publishers behind the best in Gospel music. The private event will be hosted by BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill and BMI Vice President, Creative, Atlanta, Catherine Brewton.
“BMI is thrilled to be back in Atlanta celebrating the best in Gospel music,” said Brewton. “We’re extremely proud to honor powerhouse couple Tamela and David Mann for their incredible contributions to the Gospel community, the enduring legacy of Dr. Bobby Jones, and the songwriters and publishers behind the top Gospel songs of the previous year. Through song and praise, they deliver inspirational messages of hope, faith, and goodwill to music lovers around the world. We feel truly blessed to bring these trailblazers together in fellowship and celebrate their creative works.”
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 event.
Together, Tamela and David Mann have become staples in the Gospel community and have flourished across radio, television, film, and stages around the world. The iconic couple began their professional music careers in the ‘90s after joining the Gospel group Kirk Franklin and the Family and toured the globe. They went on to develop successful solo careers and joint ventures as a couple in music and beyond, creating Tillymann Entertainment in 2005, a home for all of their many projects in entertainment. In 2018, David and Tamela released Us Against the World, their first collaborative album as a duo. The companion book of that album won an NAACP Image® Award for Outstanding Literary Work, and the album’s singles have topped the charts, including the Urban AC track “Ups & Downs.” Most recently, The Manns embarked on the acclaimed “Overcomer Family Tour,” a mixture of music and comedy, featuring their son David Jr. and their daughters La’Tia and Tiffany Mann.
As a solo artist, Tamela has released six studio albums and has received a GRAMMY Award, BET Award, Billboard Music Award, and multiple NAACP Image, Stellar Gospel Music, and GMA Dove Awards. She was also the first Gospel lead artist in Billboard Gospel radio chart history to score three consecutive No. 1 singles from her album Best Days. Beyond music, The Manns have appeared in numerous Tyler Perry plays, films, and television shows, including I Can Do Bad All By Myself, Meet the Browns and Madea Goes to Jail, among others, and the pair also starred in their own sitcom, Mann & Wife, and the docuseries, It’s a Mann’s World.
In addition, the esteemed singer, TV host, and radio broadcaster Dr. Bobby Jones will be celebrated, honoring his illustrious career spanning more than 40 years. For more than 35 years, he was the host of Bobby Jones Gospel on BET, which was the highest-rated show on the network and longest-running original cable show in history. Jones is credited for giving Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, and many others their first national exposure on television.
An established Gospel singer and songwriter, Jones received a GRAMMY Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance by a Duo or Group in 1984 for “I’m So Glad I’m Standing Here Today” with Barbara Mandrell. He also received a Dove Award, three Stellar Awards, and a presidential commendation from President George W. Bush, among several other awards and accolades. He currently serves as a UNICEF Ambassador and was inducted into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame (BMEWOF) in February 2023.
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.