BMI honors its 2020 trailblazers of Gospel music


The Top Twenty Most Performed Gospel Songs Of 2019 Were Also Recognized

BMI Trailblazers

(New York, NY) June 29, 2020 – BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) paid tribute to the best and brightest in Gospel music with its Trailblazers of Gospel Music celebration. The honorees were announced today on and across the organization’s digital platforms, celebrating the inspirational and transformative music of BMI’s accomplished Gospel songwriters. To honor these achievements, BMI created a page on its website where fans can watch special video messages and performances, listen to award-winning music and learn more about their favorite Gospel songwriters:

“BMI is proud to honor these remarkable luminaries of Gospel music,” said BMI Vice President Creative, Atlanta, Catherine Brewton.  “Their music gives us strength and encouragement, and their voices are a source of comfort and healing when we need it most. We thank our songwriters for sharing their musical gifts that uplift, empower and encourage us all, as we unite in the movement for change, and we look forward to coming together in fellowship once again next year.” 

Reverential hymn “I’m Getting Ready,” co-written by Todd Galberth, received the accolade for BMI’s Gospel Song of the Year. Performed by Tasha Cobbs Leonard, featuring Nicki Minaj, the song spent 52 weeks on Billboard’s Gospel charts and peaked at number one, earning Galberth one of BMI’s top honors and his very first BMI Gospel Award. Kirk Franklin received the coveted Songwriter of the Year title for writing three of BMI’s most performed Gospel songs of 2019: “If You Don’t Mind,” “Love Theory,” and “Never Alone.” The 16-time GRAMMY winner now has 17 BMI Awards to add to his collection of accolades including three BMI Gospel Song of the Year awards, BMI’s 2012 Trailblazers of Gospel Music honoree recognition and multiple Dove and Stellar awards, among many others. Songs of Kobalt Music Publishing received the esteemed Publisher of the Year distinction for representing five of the top performing Gospel songs of the previous year: “If You Don’t Mind,” “I’m Getting Ready,” “Never Alone,” “Stand In Awe” and “Victory.”

In addition to the major award winners, BMI also paid homage to the Twenty Most Performed Gospel Songs of the Year (2019). This year’s crop of talented winners featured 20 first-time Trailblazer Award recipients, including Maranda Curtis for her hit song “Nobody Like You Lord.” Upon receiving this honor, Curtis said, “In our troubled world, music and its healing power is more necessary now than ever before. So, let’s sing louder, let’s produce more, let’s perform bigger and let healing continue.” Other notable first-time award winners include Chanda Mukula (“Mention”), VaShawn Mitchell (“He Got Up”), Jonathan McReynolds and Terrell Demetrius Wilson (“Not Lucky, I’m Loved”), Jeffery L. Thomas II and Dwight Washington II (“Open The Floodgates”), and Wendi Henderson Wyatt (“No Reason To Fear”), among others.  

For a complete list of winners, video messages and performances, go to  

To join the conversation on social media, follow @BMI and use #BMIGospel.

KWAY partners with Poor People’s Campaign for Moral March on Washington Digital Justice Gathering – June 20

From a release
This pandemic and economic collapse, along with the recent wave of police brutality and racist murders, have forced this nation into an unprecedented season of crisis and action. Much continues to change day by day, but here is what we know: this emergency results from a deeper and much longer-term crisis of systemic racism, inequality, and a society that ignores the needs of 140 million people who are poor or a $400 emergency away from being poor.
Over the last two years, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has worked to lay the groundwork for a broad movement that could unite poor and impacted communities across the country. People across the nation are joining the Campaign to confront the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, climate change and ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism.
They are coming together to demand that the 140 million poor and low-income people in our nation – from every race, creed, gender, sexuality and place – are no longer ignored, dismissed or pushed to the margins of our political and social agenda.  That’s why KWAY-DB 24/7 Internet Gospel Station is proud to join the Poor People’s Campaign as a mobilizing partner for the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington Digital Justice Gathering, broadcast on June 20, 2020 at 10 AM EST and 6 PM EST, and on June 21 at 6 PM EST at
The Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington will be an historic digital event. Across the internet and the airwaves we will drive the vision and agenda of our communities into the heart of the national narrative. 
In this unprecedented moment, we must tell the truth about the dire failures of our political leaders. We must also demonstrate that it is the leadership emerging from our communities that is paving a different way forward.
History teaches us that it is exactly in moments like these that a movement of the many is necessary to force the nation into action and that the key to real and lasting change lies in our ability to come together in new and bold ways. Rise with us by registering for June 20, 2020, and join the broadcast on June 20 at 10 AM EST and 6 PM EST, and on June 21 at 6 PM EST at
On June 20, we cry power to the nation!
Editor’s Note:  KWAY-DB 24/7 Internet Gospel Station broadcasts The Gospel Music Fever Radio Show with Libra Boyd, Mondays at 1 PM ET.

Central City Productions announces plans to produce 35th Annual Stellar Awards as a virtual telecast

Editor’s Note:  In March, GMF posted a press release from Central City Productions announcing that the 35th Annual Stellar Awards was postponed until August. On May 28th, Central City Productions released its latest update regarding production of the 35th Annual Stellar Awards.  The official release is below.
(CHICAGO, IL) May 28, 2020 – Though celebrating the milestone 35th anniversary of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards has been delayed due to the ongoing global health crisis and pandemic of COVID-19, Central City Productions today announced plans to produce the “Greatest Night in Gospel Music” as a two-hour virtual awards telecast that will air in 3Q of this year. Replacing the live taping previously rescheduled for August in Las Vegas, the new show format will harness the power of technology and creative television production honoring the best in gospel music. The virtual production will acknowledge all winners of the Stellar Awards pre-show and main show, with select categories being presented in the broadcast. The broadcast will also feature inspirational performances from gospel music’s most celebrated artists, and special tributes to first responder heroes on the front lines of the battle against the Coronavirus pandemic.
“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic closing venues in Las Vegas we are producing our Stellar Awards as a virtual at home television special to honor our Stellar Award 2020 nominees and winners, that will still raise the roof for our fans at home with great gospel music performances in a new format,” said Stellar Awards Founder and Executive Producer Don Jackson. “Also, it gives us the opportunity to honor COVID-19 first responder heroes in appreciation of the great work they are doing to save lives during this pandemic. We hope to further inspire these heroes with tributes of thanks from our gospel music cast of Stellar winners and performances.”
Joining previously announced first time co-hosts Jonathan McReynolds and Koryn Hawthorne is Stellar Awards veteran host Kirk Franklin. The superstar trio will work together to keep the virtual television praise party lifted and flowing seamlessly throughout the evening. Confirmed performers include Donnie McClurkin, James Fortune, J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise, Travis Greene, Pastor Mike Jr., Kierra Sheard, and Doe, with more to be announced.
An important tradition at the Stellar Awards will be held for next year’s 2021 show, where Jackson will bestow well-deserved special honors and recognition upon gospel greats who have elevated the genre. The previously named recipients – The Clark Sisters, Lady Tramaine Hawkins, Pastor Shirley Caesar in addition to gospel music industry leaders Dr. Leonard Scott, Skip Barrett, Kerry Douglas, and Dr. Teresa Hairston – will be celebrated for their contributions to gospel music when The Stellar Awards returns to Las Vegas next Spring in March 2021.
Tickets purchased for 2020 Stellar Awards events that were scheduled for August 14–16 will be refunded. To submit requests or for more information, visit Ticketmaster.
Previously announced nominees for the 2020 Stellar Awards includes veteran gospel collective, Donald Lawrence Presents The Tri-City Singers who leads the field of nominees with nine nominations. Other top nominees include gospel icon and Stellar Awards host, Kirk Franklin and powerhouse singer, producer and performer Tasha Cobbs Leonard with eight nominations each; JJ Hairston (seven nominations), Bishop Paul S. Morton (six nominations), John P. Kee (five nominations), Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers, William Murphy, and Pastor Mike, Jr. (four nominations each). Maranda Curtis and Fresh Start Worship (three nominations each) round out the field of top nominated artists. For the complete list of the 35th Anniversary Stellar Gospel Music Awards, please visit The Stellar Awards
More of the biggest names in gospel and a few additional surprises are being added to the growing list of top performers appearing in this year’s show, presented by AT&T and also sponsored by State Farm.
“I am especially grateful and appreciative of the tremendous positive response we have had from gospel music artists, our advertising partners and over 200 television broadcast and cable partners around the country who have agreed to support our 35th annual Stellar Awards at home special honoring Stellar winners and first responder heroes,” said Jackson.
The Stellar Gospel Music Awards show is executive produced by Don Jackson, with Jennifer J. Jackson serving as Executive in Charge of Production. Michael A. Johnson will produce and direct this year’s award show.

Production of 35th Annual Stellar Awards postponed until August 14-16, 2020

GMF Update (5/28/20): On May 28, 2020, Central City Productions announced plans to produce the 35th Annual Stellar Awards as a virtual broadcast, which will replace the live taping that was rescheduled for August 2020.  Read the May 28th press release here: Central City Productions announces plans to produce 35th Annual Stellar Awards as a virtual broadcast

(Chicago) – March 17, 2020 – The 2020 Stellar Awards 35th Anniversary Show, in partnership with the Orleans Hotel and Arena, thanks everyone for their patience and understanding as we continue to do our best to bring you the greatest week of events in gospel music.

In light of recent news and the declaration of the COVID-19 crisis as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), the 35th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards will now take place August 14-16, 2020. Ticket information for all events is as follows:
35TH ANNUAL STELLAR AWARDS – ORLEANS ARENA TICKETS ORLEANS ARENA TICKETS (REFUND OPTIONAL) – Tickets purchased for the 35th Annual Stellar Awards at the Orleans Arena and Hotel will automatically transfer over to the new date, August 16, 2020. If you purchased a ticket for the 35th Annual Stellar Awards via Ticketmaster and want a refund, go to your Ticketmaster account and select the “Refund” button within your order.
35TH ANNUAL STELLAR AWARDS PRE-SHOW; STELLAR AWARDS LAUGH OUT LOUD COMEDY SHOW; AND GOSPEL MUSIC RADIO AWARDS – ORLEANS HOTEL SHOWROOM ORLEANS SHOWROOM TICKETS (MUST BE REFUNDED) – All tickets purchased for the Stellar Awards Showroom events noted above will require new tickets so each will be refunded. We are currently rescheduling those events in the Showroom and all dates and times for the Showroom events are forthcoming. If you purchased a ticket for the Showroom events via Ticketmaster, go to your Ticketmaster account and select the “Refund” button within your order.
REMINDER: CANCEL YOUR HOTEL RESERVATIONS FOR THE MARCH DATES – Please contact your Las Vegas hotel to cancel your reservation for the March dates. Your hotel should give you the option for a full refund (if deposit was required) or you can transfer dates (pending availability) for the August dates. Central City Productions/The Stellar Awards is not responsible for any cancellation fees or lost deposits you may incur from failure to cancel your reservations by the deadlines imposed by each hotel.
Please follow our accounts on social media @thestellars and check our website for updates from Central City Productions.
It is our hope and prayer that with quick community action, we can do our part toward the solution to this global problem. We encourage our families to continue to keep the mission of the gospel music community at heart and support each other with prayer and responsible preparation through this trying time.
We thank everyone for 35 years of support of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards and we look forward to safely celebrating this special milestone with everyone soon!
Don Jackson, CEO
Central City Productions

Franklin, for King & Country score Grammys at 62nd annual awards show


Congratulations to gospel and CCM’s winners at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, announced earlier this evening (January 26, 2020) during the Billboard Grammys Pre-Show in Los Angeles.  

Best Gospel Performance/Song 
“Love Theory” – Kirk Franklin
Written by Kirk Franklin

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song

“God Only Knows” – for King & Country and Dolly Parton
Written by Josh Kerr, Jordan Reynolds, Joel Smallbone, Luke Smallbone, and Tedd Tjornhom

Best Gospel Album
Long Live Love– Kirk Franklin

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
Burn the Ships – for King & Country

Best Roots Gospel Album
Testimony – Gloria Gaynor

Click here after the live televised show on CBS to view the winners in all categories.

DunAmis Awards announces winners, honorees; GMF wins Media Publication of the Year

DunAmis Gospel Awards logo

Congratulations to all of the winners and honorees announced at this year’s DunAmis Gospel Awards.  The 6th annual DunAmis Gospel Awards–conceptualized by Bishop Terry Young to honor independent gospel artists, pastors, pastor’s wives, churches, and other local and regional talent–was held Saturday, November 2, at Cornerstone Conference Center in Greensboro, NC.  

Our own Gospel Music Fever won this year’s award for Media Publication of the Year.  Below is the complete list of winners and honorees. 


Female Pastor of the Year
Apostle Carolyn Lazenby
Male Pastor of the Year
Bishop Kelly Derek
First Lady of the Year
First Lady Frenchie Dawson
Church of the Year
True Word Fellowship
Choir Director of the Year
Marshall Troublefield
Musician of the Year – Male
E.J. Stewart
Musician of the Year – Female
Vangie Alderman
Gospel Announcer of the Year
Darlene Vinson
Quartet of the Year
Michael Boykin and the Mighty Voices
Church Choir of the Year
Galilean House of Worship
Female Vocalist of the Year
Taliah Huntley
Male Vocalist of the Year
Darryl Murchison
Community Choir of the Year
Sir Jerry Saddler and Sounds of Praise
CD/Song of the Year
Bishop Stephen Williams
Holy Hip Hop Artist of the Year
Mike Teezy
Worship Leader of the Year
Kimberly Michelle
Group/Duo of the Year
The Woody Specials
Producer of the Year
Brandon Smith
Dunamis Song of the Year
Johnathon Parker Ashley and Higher Dimension Praise Chorale
Songwriter of the Year
Mike Astyn
CCM Artist of the Year
Mike Astyn
College Choir of the Year
Neo Black Society Gospel Choir – UNC Greensboro
Gospel Comedian of the Year
Praise and Worship Team of the Year
Kingdom Covenant Praise Team
Media Publication of the Year
Gospel Music Fever
Dance Ministry of the Year
Predestined Mime
Artist of the Year
Devine Sounds
2019 Living Legend Recipient
Dr. Dennis W. Bishop
2019 Lifetime
Achievement Recipient
Bishop Michael Penn
2019 Trailblazer Recipient
Apostle Dr. Annie Woody
2019 Achievement of Excellence Recipient
Pastor H.E. Dixon
For more information about the DunAmis Gospel Awards, visit

Lauren Daigle has huge night at 50th Annual Dove Awards

The 50th Annual Dove Awards was a night to remember, especially for Lauren Daigle.  Daigle took home three Doves, including the coveted “Artist of the Year” Award.  

Lauren Daigle (Photo Credit: Jules Wortman/Wortman Works)

Songwriter Jason Ingram was the night’s big winner with four awards.  Composer Wayne Haun and producer Paul Mabury also added three Doves to their trophy cases, while Gospel’s Kirk Franklin, Lecrae, and Tasha Cobbs Leonard added a pair each. 

The 50th Annual Dove Awards was celebrated among a sold-out audience at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena in Nashville.  It will air exclusively on TBN Sunday, October 20, at 8pm EST. 

Read the complete list of winners here

North Carolina Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony to include performance by Shirley Caesar


(Kannapolis, NC)  The North Carolina Music Hall of Fame (NCMHOF) will hold its annual induction ceremony on October 17, 2019, at 7:15 PM.  The ceremony is presented by BankOZK and will take place at the historic GEM Theatre in downtown Kannapolis, NC, which was recently placed upon the official National Register of Historic Places.
Six are slated to perform live at the event: Kellie PicklerShirley CaesarMitch EasterElizabeth Cotten’s familyDavid Holt (on behalf of Merle Watson), and the Carolina Panthers PurrCussion drumline.  The event is open to the public and all ages will enjoy the ceremony. VIP and general admission tickets may be purchased online at or at the NCMHOF Museum.
Induction night will feature a pre-ceremony VIP reception, live performances, and the acceptance of each induction.  Those being inducted this year are Elizabeth Cotten, Mitch Easter, Big Daddy Kane, Merle Watson, and 9th Wonder.
For the first time, the NCMHOF will highlight two past inductees by featuring them along with the 2019 class.  Pastor Shirley Caesar and Kellie Pickler have been selected as the 2019 highlights.  Both were unable to attend their inductions in 2010 and 2016 respectively, due to unforeseen circumstances.
The NCMHOF partnered with Come Hear North Carolina and the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources for Governor Roy Cooper’s proclamation of 2019 as the “Year of Music” in North Carolina.  Earlier this year, the 2019 class was announced in a press conference with NCDCR Secretary, Susi Hamilton. This year’s ceremony will be filmed for live stream by the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
– From a press release

Celebrated documentary ‘Say Amen Somebody’ restored to 4K; chronicles rich history of gospel music

4K Restored Documentary Celebrates The Father of Gospel Music, Thomas Dorsey, 
Barrett Sisters, O’Neal Twins, Sallie Martin, Mother Willie Mae Ford Smith 
Explores Gospel’s Chicago Roots

The Barrett Sisters, L-R: Rodessa Porter, Delois Campbell, Billie GreenBey
One of the most acclaimed music documentaries of all time, Say Amen, Somebody is George Nierenberg’s masterpiece—a joyous, funny, deeply emotional celebration of African American culture, featuring the father of Gospel, Thomas A. Dorsey (“Precious Lord, Take My Hand”); its matron, Mother Willie Mae Ford Smith; and earth-shaking performances by the Barrett Sisters and the O’Neal Twins. When it was first released in the early 1980s, the film received an overwhelming critical response, garnering rave reviews around the world.
“One of the most joyful movies I’ve ever seen.”
— Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
“The film’s mood is never less than marvelously infectious.”
— Richard Schickel, Time 
“The music conquers doubt and unhappiness, and when it ends, you feel healed.”
— David Denby, New York Magazine
Unseen in cinemas for nearly thirty years, Say Amen, Somebody has been gorgeously restored to 4K by Milestone with support from the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Academy Film Archive. The new restoration features brilliantly restored 5.1 soundtrack!

For additional information and screening schedule, visit the website at

– From a press release

'Spiritual Awakening' TV host Terence Jenkins to return with 'Gospel Awakening'

Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

Fans of the defunct Sunday morning gospel music television program Spiritual Awakening will be delighted to know that Bishop Terence Jenkins, the show’s host since 1993, has plans to kick off January 2020 with a new show called Gospel Awakening.  

The new TV program is set to air Sunday mornings at 8 AM ET on 11 ABC’s Disney (D-2) and WITN-2 and will spotlight a featured artist during the half-hour broadcast.  With twice the viewing area of its predecessor, Gospel Awakening can be watched from Guilford County to North Carolina’s Atlantic coast.

Bishop Jenkins hopes to continue the legacy of the show’s forerunner, The Sister Gary Show, which premiered in 1942 and later became Spiritual Awakening.  Believed to be among the longest-running gospel music TV shows on the East Coast, Spiritual Awakening aired its final broadcast March 31, 2019, ending a historic 77-year run.

Gospel Awakening is viewer supported and currently booking talent to appear on the show.  To make a contribution or to sign up to perform, visit