(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.
Carver Annual Fundraiser Dec. 2
The Carver Development Board presents the Cavalcade of the Stars on Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Center.
This annual fundraiser benefits the Carver’s School for Visual & Performing Arts’ Artist Residency/Master Class Program, summer camps, Youth Matinee Series, and supports the education programs of the Carver Community Cultural Center. The title fundraiser is Valero.
The night will start with a reception and silent auction at 5:30 pm. Dinner is served at 6:30 pm, and the show begins at 8 pm featuring Kiland Kyham, also known as Mr. Houston. Kyham is a gifted and powerful author, singer, and songwriter. He has performed and produced with such music legends as Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Johnathon Butler, and Smokey Robinson. He has written over 400 song jingles and has produced numerous projects.
For over 75 years, The Carver Community Cultural Center (“The Carver”) has served as the San Antonio Eastside’s foremost gathering place of cultural exchange and performance arts. It was originally erected in 1918 as a community center for African-Americans. By the 1930s, the building was repurposed as the Colored Library and renamed the Carver Library and Auditorium in honor of Dr. George Washington Carver. From the 1940s through the Civil Rights Era, prominent African-American entertainers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Louis Armstrong played at the Carver.
Individual tickets for the Cavalcade of the Stars are $250 or $2,500 per table. For more information, visit (TheCarver.org).
Kirk Brings Tour to San Antonio
Kirk Franklin’s new album “Father’s Day” just released on Oct. 6, 2023. Franklin has written and produced “Father’s Day,” marking his first new solo album since the 2019 release of his Grammy-winning solo album “Long Live Love.”
Franklin says about Father’s Day and connecting with God’s love: “I hope this album is a stripped-down, honest conversation about the difficulty of the life journey and how life can be messy, nuanced, and a matter of trial and error even for those who subscribe to faith. But it’s all wrapped in a bow of love, and that love doesn’t always make sense, but is always constant.”
Legendary artist Kirk Franklin has etched a mark on the music industry with his soul-stirring melodies and powerful lyrics. With an astonishing 2 billion career streams, his music has touched the hearts of millions around the globe.
Highly decorated with an impressive collection of accolades, including 19 Grammy Awards, 42 Stellar Awards, 23 Dove Awards, and 8 Soul Train Awards, he stands as a true icon in the gospel genre.
Kirk Franklin’s unwavering passion for gospel music continues to shine as a beacon of inspiration, leaving an indelible legacy that will resonate for future generations.
Franklin will be featuring some of his new albums in The Reunion Tour at the Frost Bank Center (formerly AT&T Center) on Nov. 16 at 7 pm. Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com.
Joining Franklin on The Reunion Tour are Israel Houghton, David & Tamela Mann, Tye Tribbett, The Clark Sister with special guests of the New Breed, The Family, & God’s Property.
Jada’s Entangled Memoir – Worthy
By Ebony Huerta Wells
It must be nice! I don’t know if it’s just me, but when I heard actress Jada Pinkett Smith say she and her famous Oscar-slap husband, Will Smith, are separated but still married, I immediately thought that when I get upset with my husband, I have to sit in my car.
I don’t have another house to go to. I don’t even have another wing of the house to go to. And then I thought of the infamous Oscar slap in 2022 and the “Red Table Talk” discussion where she and Will Smith are in tears over her entanglement or affair. So, was all that necessary? Maybe to sell books, it may be necessary. Jada Pinket Smith’s new memoir, “Worthy,” has hit the shelves and she is making the talk show circuit. Like talk show host Sherri Shepherd said, the whole family should get Oscars for living a lie for seven years – supposedly the amount of time Mr. and Mrs. Smith have been separated.
Truthfully, I’m still trying to grapple with liking the couple – before her memoir. Unlike R. Kelly, Michael Jackson and Bill Cosby, Will Smith hasn’t been totally shunned yet, but he has paid a hefty price for his actions “defending” her honor. But it takes two to tangle, and I don’t think by any means we have heard of all his “entanglements,” and he has his own demons to work out.
. . . the whole family should get Oscars for living a lie for seven years . . .
In the Black community and especially in the entertainment industry, we don’t have a plethora of Black male actors. We are more accustomed to negative stories of Black men than good, so when Will Smith reprised his role as Muhammad Ali at the Oscars, we wanted so much to embrace him for his achievements. Instead, we had to defend Black men at work, hit rewind about a thousand times to make sure it wasn’t a skit, and then joke about it in our inner circles – what the hell was he thinkin’ fighting in front of white folks!
I haven’t read “Worthy,” but Jada Pinkett Smith does talk about Tupac, Chris Rock, and many more of our favorite celebrities. Maybe I will read it for that, or perhaps I will just wait for them to move back together again and stop all this actin’.
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