Winners of 36th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards Announced, Premieres Sunday, Aug. 1 at 8/7c on BET (PHOTOS)!

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The Stellar Gospel Music Awards celebrated its 36th year honoring excellence in gospel music, featuring soul-stirring performances that will awe audiences who love sounds of inspiration. Hosted by gospel chart-toppers Jekalyn Carr and Tye Tribbett, this year’s ceremony showcased an eclectic mix of gospel legends and industry standard-bearers along with the unstoppable force of young, contemporary artists who are spreading the good news in new ways. The annual celebration, set to premiere Sunday, August 1st at 8PM ET/PT on BET,  underscored the power of artists who boldly proclaim a Christ-centered identity, represent the unique sounds of their region, and display the rich diversity filling gospel music with a healing and uplifting energy that reaches the masses. 

A new generation of gospel artists showed up and showed out during the celebration as a testament to the genre’s staying power. Among them, Pastor Mike Jr., nominated for multiple Stellar Awards this year, performed “Big,” and host Jekalyn Carr belted her songs, “Change Your Story” and “Jehovah Jireh.” Maverick City Music treated audiences to the harmonious sound of “Jireh,” and various emerging artists such as JokiaTerrian, and Nia Allen were spotlighted as up-and-coming gospel talent. 

Big winners at the 36th Stellar Gospel Music Awards include Pastor Mike Jr., who was named Artist of the Year and won Rap/Hip Hop Gospel Album of the Year and Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year. Kierra Sheard was feted during the ceremony with Song of the Year and Contemporary Album of the Year, and Maverick City Music won both New Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. Other multiple Stellar Awards winners include Jonathan McReynolds, who was named Male Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year, and as part of a group that won Producer of the Year; and Tasha Cobbs Leonard, whose wins included Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year, Praise and Worship Album of the Year, and Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year.  

Select categories and winners are featured on Instagram @TheStellarsSocial media lit up during the event, generating more than two million impressions with posts featuring performances, winners, and other notable moments. The audience and performers were pleased to return to an in-person ceremony after the Stellar Awards went virtual last year due to pandemic lockdowns. COVID-19 safety protocols were enacted as part of the in-person event.   

Among many highlights from “The Greatest Night in Gospel Music,” Yolanda AdamsTamela Mann, and Avery*Sunshine joined together to deliver a powerful tribute to Lady Tramaine Hawkins, who was honored with the Aretha Franklin Icon Award presented by Toyota. The trio performed a medley including widely-known Hawkins’ songs such as “Holy One,” “Changed,” and “Going Up Yonder.” The Clark Sisters, who received the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award presented by AT&T, also performed rousing renditions of “Is My Living In Vain,” “Blessed & Highly Favored,” “You Brought The Sunshine,” and “His Love.” The legendary group received three nominations for this year’s Stellar Awards. 

Kierra Sheard gave a spirited offering of “Something Has To Break,” and Sheléa and Christina Bell sang The Clark Sisters’ classic hit “You Brought The Sunshine.” Leading nominee Jonathan McReynolds lifted his voice to the sounds of “Grace” and “Movin’ On,” joined by Mali Music, and CeCe Winans burst into song with “Never Lost” and “Believe For It.”  

Viewers worldwide can expect to witness these dynamic performances and find out who won across all categories when the Stellar Awards airs Sunday, August 1, on BET, BET Her, and BET Gospel at 8 p.m. ET / PT. The show will also air August 2 on BET International. The ceremony, held at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, TN, on Saturday, July 10, will also be carried in various markets for national broadcast syndication from August 7 through September 5.  

The Stellar Awards not only recognizes the year’s best performances in the genre, but also honors gospel music icons and those who have been instrumental in advocating for the gospel industry. Top nominees for this year’s ceremony include former Stellar Awards host Jonathan McReynolds, who received eight nominations this year. Anthony Brown & group therAPyKierra SheardMaverick City Music, and Pastor Mike, Jr. each received seven nominations, including a nod each for Artist of the Year. Other celebrated artists receiving multiple Stellar nominations include Tasha Cobbs LeonardThe Clark SistersRev. Luther Barnes and the Restoration Worship Center Choir, the Chicago Mass Choir, and host Jekalyn Carr. 

See photos, taken Photography By Gip III for Central City Productions, from the Stellar Awards below:

Maverick City with Award…

Shirley Caesar…

LaTocha Scott…

Jonathan McReynolds on stage with award…

Lady Tramaine Hawkins…

Master P and son…

Jekalyn Carr and Jawaan Taylor…

Yolanda Adams and daughter Taylor…

The Clark Sisters on carpet…

 

Jordan Kelly and Kierra Sheard Kelly…

Lecrae…

AT&T is proud to be this year’s presenting sponsor. With support from additional sponsors, including State Farm (Song of the Year presenter), Toyota, P&G (Traditional Female Vocalist presenter), and McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour, the 2021 Stellar Gospel Music Awards is set to be the gospel event of 2021.For additional updates, follow The Stellar Awards on social media and check our website 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT:  WWW.STELLARAWARDS.COM  AND BET.COM 

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Tamela Mann’s ‘OVERCOMER’ Album Available For Pre-Sale Now!

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Some albums are destined for a certain time. After several years of evolution and change in her life, Grammy® Award-Winning Artist, NAACP Image® Award-Winning Actress, Songwriter, and Producer, Tamela Mann, is set to release her new Tillymann Music album, Overcomer, through The Orchard Distribution on Friday, August 6. There is a new sense of authority and urgency in Tamela’s music now; she has lived these songs and is ready to share the strength and purpose she has found.

Propelled by the singer’s strong, passionate vocals, and her newfound voice as a songwriter, each of the 12 tracks on Overcomer was conceived to bring healing and hope to a world resetting after a tumultuous chapter in its history. There is plenty to unpack from a lyrical standpoint, and Tamela is at the writing helm on most of the songs.

“I poured my experiences into the lyrics, putting my heart and soul into the words on this album,” Tamela says. “It’s me looking at my life and the things I was dealing with, trying to learn from those things, and doing what I can to overcome them.”

Overcomer may be Tamela’s best work to date. Each song stands on its own as a masterful production. The album was executive produced by Tamela and her husband, Music Producer and NAACP Image® Award-Winning Actor/Comedian, David Mann, with production quarterbacked by a cadre of all-star producers and writers. Special guests include Kirk Franklin and Wyclef Jean on the stand-out track melding R&B, reggae, rap, and gospel, “Hello God;” Todd Dulaney on the worshipful “Finished Work;” Travis Green, the co-writer and producer of the anthemic “Finished;” and The Fellas, on her current single, “Help Me.” “Touch From You,” the debut single from the album, added to Tamela’s bank of personal bests; the track was her seventh No. 1 on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart. “Source” and “He Did It For Me” are two other standouts. Says Tamela of the inspiration behind the lyrics for them both: “God is the source and my go-to when I’m lost. I can’t do anything without Him, and I never want to try to.”

Overcomer is the latest accomplishment and centerpiece in Tamela’s busy career. In Tyler Perry’s Assisted Living (BET+), she reprises her role as “Cora,” which she originated in Perry’s successful “Madea” plays, films, and hit television show, Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns. She and David released their first book and joint album, the NAACP Image® Award-winning Us Against the World. She is starring in two upcoming films: the Tyler Perry “Madea” movie coming to Netflix and Soul Santa airing this Christmas on BET, which she executive produced with David. Tamela also launched her own successful athleisure apparel line, the Tamela Mann Collection (tamelamann.com). The line has become a popular staple in the athleisure apparel space.

Tamela has always created art that encourages people and draws them closer to their faith. Her hit-laden music career includes such memorable songs as “Change Me,” “God Provides,” and the unforgettable, No. 1 Platinum-selling classic, “Take Me to the King.” Tamela has earned numerous accolades. In addition to scoring a Grammy®, she is a BET Award winner, Billboard Music Award winner, and multiple Gospel Music Stellar Award, NAACP Image® Award, and GMA Dove Award winner.

“I love butterflies. I feel like I’m coming out of the cocoon again, energized and on fire,” says Tamela, who underwent surgery to have both her knees replaced in the summer of 2019. After taking some time to work on her health and wellness, and a fresh creative mindset, she’s stepping forward a changed woman to express her heart and soul. “This is new music for a new time and a new me,” she says.

If someone were to ask the singer/songwriter what her greatest wish was for this album, says Tamela Mann: “My heart’s desire is to give people hope and let them know there’s still compassion in the world. It’s the opportunity for me again to show God’s love and His grace. That’s my purpose in life and for Overcomer.”

Overcomer is available for pre-sale now.
Track List:
Finished Work feat. Todd Dulaney
I Am
Source
Help Me feat. The Fellas
Hello God feat. Wyclef Jean and Kirk Franklin
Healer
Conqueror
Overcomer
Touch From You
He Did It For Me
Final Answer
Finished
WATCH THE OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO FOR “HELP ME” FEAT. THE FELLAS

And if you would like to read an interview I did with Tamela Mann, check out “Tamela Mann Shares About ‘The Gospel Tradition: In Performance At The White House’ & More: MY INTERVIEW…” In this interview, she shared her secrets for a long-lasting marriage, how they couldn’t afford to have a wedding and her favorite celebrity perk…
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Ciara, Tamar Braxton, Lecrae & More Featured on Maverick City Music’s ‘Jubilee: Juneteenth Edition’ Album Available Now!

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Last month, in celebration of Juneteenth, Billboard Music Award-winning music collective Maverick City Music released their newest project, Jubilee: Juneteenth Edition. The new album is a dual-side feature consisting of a live produced gospel A-Side and a Rap/R&B/Pop produced B-Side. Jubilee features a wide range of guest artists, including heavy-hitters from gospel, R&B, Pop and Rap: Ciara, Rapsody, Tamar Braxton, Jonathan McReynolds, Israel Houghton, Jekalyn Carr, and more. As with other Maverick City Music releases, the collective continues to impress as the new album Peaked at #1 on Apple iTunes. The collective currently claims 4 No.1 spots on Billboard’s Christian/Gospel charts – Gospel Digital Song Sales, Top Christian Albums, Gospel Streaming Songs, Top Gospel Albums, Christian/Gospel charts – solidifying Maverick City Music’s impact on the music industry.

“I am a huge fan of Maverick City Music so it was an honor to be asked to be part of the song “On and on.” We love praising and worshiping to their songs in our house with our kiddos. The mission for the song is to inspire, encourage, and spread the love so it was really special to be part of this project, especially in celebration of Juneteenth as the date became recognized as a national holiday,” said Ciara.

“These lessons that I’ve learned in this year about my struggles and hardships make me feel so much closer and connected to my ancestors and guides…Being a close child of God I understand that one of my responsibilities is to always give God the glory and praise that he is due FIRST….I’m always so glad to do so. Thank you to @maverickcitymusic for having me a part of this project,” said Tamar Braxton.

“All humanity should celebrate defeating the odds and upholding the truth that we are all made with infinite worth and deserve the freedom to be all we are called to be. This album is a soundtrack to that celebration,” said Lecrae.

Maverick City Music recently made headlines for their Top Gospel Album Billboard Music Award win for the April 2020 release of Maverick City Vol. 3 Part 1. The group earned double nods in the category and was also a finalist for Top Gospel Artist. Their newest release Old Church Basement, a collab album with Elevation Worship, broke streaming records at both Apple Music and Spotify. On Apple Music, the group set a new worldwide record for the most first-day streams for a Christian and Gospel album, and on Spotify, the album broke the U.S. record for the most streams in a day for an album by a Christian group and was No. 4 out of all U.S. albums its first weekend of release.

This upcoming fall, Maverick City Music will embark on its first-ever tour and the shows will feature electrifying performances with collective members Dante Bowe, Chandler Moore, Naomi Raine, Joe L. Barnes, Aaron Moses and special guests, including Lecrae, on certain dates. The group recently added 13 more tour dates after selling out their original 11. The new dates are set in even larger venues, including the Barclays Center in NYC and TD Garden in Boston. Learn more about the tour and tickets: https://tourlink.to/maverickcitytour

Check out “On and on” with Ciara below…

Stream/order Jubilee: Juneteenth Edition HERE

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