(CHICAGO, IL) August 21, 2020 – This Sunday, music fans, Gospel enthusiasts and anyone looking for a little inspiration can tune into the highly-anticipated 35th Anniversary Stellar Gospel Music Awards premiering on BET and BET Her as a two-hour virtual special on Sunday, August 23 at 6 p.m. ET/5C (with an encore at 9 p.m. ET). The award show will also run in national broadcast syndication in 210 markets starting August 29 – September 27 (check local listings).
Serving as hosts, the award-winning trio of Kirk Franklin, Jonathan McReynolds and Koryn Hawthorne artfully guide viewers through the virtual salute to 35 years of excellence as “The Greatest Night in Gospel Music” with inspirational performances from Gospel music’s most celebrated artists. Filmed from various locations, the pre-taped special acknowledges all award winners from the “Road to Stellars” pre-show and the main show, with select categories being presented in the broadcast.
One of the evening’s highlights will feature special segments honoring the late Congressman John Lewis with a musical tribute by Cece Winans and contributions of first responder heroes on the front lines of the battle against the Coronavirus pandemic, sponsored by AT&T, AARP, State Farm, Toyota and Proctor & Gamble. As part of the tribute, hosts Franklin, McReynolds and Hawthorne visited frontline workers and presented special Stellar Awards lapel pins in recognition of their service at MeHarry Medical College in Nashville, TN; Jackson Park Hospital in Chicago, IL; and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, TX. In addition, several individuals were highlighted for their efforts to combat the deadly pandemic: Dr. Angela Mosby of Los Angeles, CA for her work at UCLA Urgent Care in the area of Telemedicine; Dr. Michele Reed of Queens NY, a family medicine practitioner who contracted and recovered from COVID-19 while serving others; and Dr. Leon McDougle, the 121st President of the National Medical Association who also serves as a member of the NCAA Coronavirus Panel and Chief Diversity Officer of OSU Medical School. Two organizations have also been noted for their work to combat the devastating effects of COVID-19 on communities of color, the National Urban League and the National Medical Association.
“This is a moment to come together,” said veteran Stellar Awards co-host Kirk Franklin. “We have something very important to say to a world that needs this kind of music, with this particular message, now more than ever. The Stellar Awards is going to provide that as they have for 35 years.”
Performers include Tamela Mann, Anthony Brown, CeCe Winans, James Fortune, Koryn Hawthorne, J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise, Jonathan McReynolds, Travis Greene, Kierra Sheard, Marvin Sapp, Tye Tribbett, Tauren Wells, Zacardi Cortez, Pastor Mike Jr, DOE, Rich Tolbert Jr., and more. Emerging artists set to make their Stellar Awards debut include Group Fire, Keyla Richardson, Melvin Crispell III, and Titus Showers.
The “Road to the Stellars” kicked off with a week-long digital announcement of the non-televised pre-show winners. Pre-Show nominees and winners are announced daily at 6 p.m. CT and began Monday, August 17, continuing through Saturday, August 22 on the Stellar Awards website as well as Facebook and Instagram pages.
The Stellar Awards recognizes the year’s best performances in the genre, honors Gospel music icons and acknowledges the accomplishments of individuals instrumental in advocating for the industry. Previously announced nominees for the 2020 Stellar Awards include 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 (7 Nominations), Bishop Paul S. Morton (6 Nominations), John P. Kee (5 Nominations), Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers (4 Nominations), William Murphy (4 Nominations), Pastor Mike, Jr. (4 Nominations), Maranda Curtis (3 Nominations), and Fresh Start Worship (3 Nominations) round out the field of top nominated artists. For the complete list of the 35th Anniversary Stellar Gospel Music Awards nominees, please visit www.thestellarawards.com.
The Stellar Awards is presented by AT&T. Follow @thestellars for the latest news and updates about the greatest night in Gospel music.
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 serves as producer and director for this year’s award show.
Rapper Biz Markie Dead at 57
Born Marcel Theo Hall, he was known around the world and in Hip Hop as rapper Biz Markie a.k.a the “Clown Prince.” Unlike other rappers of his time, his fun and humorous lyrical style made him a household name that spanned generations. Best known for his most memorable 1989 hit single ‘Just a Friend’ became a top 40 hit in several countries and an anthem even for dating skeptics. Markie was a talented rapper, human beatboxer, singer-songwriter, DJ, and record producer. He also did some acting, appearing and guess starring in movies and various television episodes.
Markie reportedly battled some heath issues over the years and suffered complications from diabetes, peacefully passing July 16, 2021. He leaves to mourn his wife Tara who was by his side the evening he passed.
BAD DAD REHAB: THE NEXT SESSION
Following the success of its popular film BAD DAD REHAB, TV One recently announced the premiere of BAD DAD REHAB: THE NEXT SESSION. The film features a brand-new cast that includes rapper Anthony “Big Daddy Kane” Hardy (Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, Dead Heist)as Owen, Lamman Rucker (“Greenleaf”, “Why Did I Get Married”) as Mr. Arnold, Blue Kimble (“Monogamy,” “Ruthless”) as Chauncey, Onye Eme-Akwari (“Queen of the South”) as Marshall, Carlo Mendez (“90210,” “Parks and Recreation”) as Hosea, Chrystale Wilson(“The Rich and the Ruthless”) as Marjory. The film will air on Sunday, June 20 at 8 P.M. ET/7C.
BAD DAD REHAB: THE NEXT SESSION follows the new class of Bad Dads hailing from Jersey City, New Jersey who must confront their personal demons in order to get their act together and become better dads. Hosea (Mendez) is more concerned about being his rebellious son’s best friend than disciplining him. Marshall (Eme-Akwari) works pyramid schemes in his mancave instead of helping his frustrated wife and son. Chaucey (Kimble) holds a grudge against his ex-girlfriend oblivious that it’s hurting their young daughter. Owen (Hardy) spent thirty years denying his daughter from an affair but now wants to make amends before her impending wedding.
Bad Dad Rehab: The Next Session is written by Keronda McKnight, directed by Juwan Lee with casting by George Pierre. The film is produced for TV One by Swirl Films with Eric Tomosunas, Keith Neal, Ron Robinson and James Sepplefrick serving as Executive Producers. For TV One, Jason Ryan is the Executive Producer in Charge of Production, Donyell McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting and Robyn Greene Arrington is Vice President of Original Programming and Production.
Complimentary One-day Ticket To Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Six Flags Fiesta Texas is partnering with SA Metro Health to give away 20,000 one-day tickets – over $1.5 million in value – to people who get a COVID-19 vaccination at any Metro Health or partner vaccine clinic.
Beginning Tuesday, May 25, individuals who get vaccinated at any of these clinics will receive a complimentary one-day ticket to Six Flags Fiesta Texas valid through Sept 6, 2021 to enjoy a fun day at the park.
“Six Flags Fiesta Texas is honored to partner with city leaders to encourage residents to get vaccinated, especially in underserved communities,” said Park President Jeffrey Siebert. “We appreciate Mayor Nirenberg’s leadership on this initiative and we look forward to partnering with the City of San Antonio Metro Health to assist with their vaccine campaign efforts.”
Metro Health will also share the theme park tickets with its partners – including UT Health San Antonio, University Health System, University of the Incarnate Word, WellMed, San Antonio Fire Department, Bexar County Health Collaborative and Curative – to give to those who receive their vaccine at designated vaccine clinics.
“With so many people who enjoy visiting Six Flags Fiesta Texas each year, we hope people take advantage of this generous ticket giveaway and go get vaccinated. This could mean that 20,000 more residents get vaccinated to help us end the pandemic,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg.
As a reminder, people can get vaccinated either by walk-in or appointment at the Alamodome drive-thru clinic from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday.
For a list of locations of Metro Health vaccine clinics around the city, visit http://covid19.sanantonio.gov.
For more information about Six Flags Fiesta Texas, including operating hours, visit https://www.sixflags.com/fiestatexas.