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35TH ANNIVERSARY STELLAR AWARDS

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(CHICAGO, ILAugust 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 FranklinJonathan 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 MannAnthony BrownCeCe WinansJames FortuneKoryn HawthorneJ.J. Hairston & Youthful PraiseJonathan McReynoldsTravis GreeneKierra SheardMarvin SappTye TribbettTauren WellsZacardi CortezPastor Mike JrDOERich Tolbert Jr., and more. Emerging artists set to make their Stellar Awards debut include Group FireKeyla RichardsonMelvin 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 show’s star-studded digital red carpet will be hosted by Gospel artist Jekalyn Carr on Stellar Awards Facebook and Instagram pages at 4 p.m. CT on Saturday, August 23.

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.

Entertainment

Triller Launches Monthly Assembly for Black Creators

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A Virtual Event Series Built to Connect Creators with Brands

Triller, the popular global social media and music discovery platform, announced the Assembly for Black Creators, a new virtual event series beginning October 20 and running monthly through the end of 2021. The series will build to the 1st annual Black Creator Conference, which will now be held in the first half of 2022. 

The objective of Assembly for Black Creators is to empower Black creators and talent to deepen the pipeline of Black-owned content across entertainment, lifestyle, fashion, sports and other genres available to consumer brands for integration and advertising opportunities. The Assembly will bring together more than 250 Black content creators with major brands, including Popeyes and Hallmark, enabling both parties to forge relationships and create branded content.

Brand managers and content creators will meet in a virtual “Monetization Village,” working together to strategize, ideate and execute real-time social media campaigns. Through this collaboration, brands will have immediate access to bespoke integrations, new audience exposure and possibilities for future collaboration with creators.

“Building direct, equitable relationships between creator and brand is the driving force for Assembly for Black Creators,” said Bonin Bough, Triller’s Chief Growth Officer, who has led the initiative for Triller. “With our innovative ‘Monetization Village,’ Black creators will work with best-in-class brands to gain a more substantial foothold in the ever-evolving digital marketing space. We’re fostering greater racial equity across media, and by bringing together creators and advertisers in a dynamic and supportive environment we will enhance opportunities for everyone.”

“We started this effort with a deep appreciation of the huge impact Black Creators have had on culture and content around the world. With this series, we are catalyzing the need for brands, agencies and media properties to invest in Black creators and media owners,” said Mahi de Silva, CEO of TrillerNet, parent company to Triller, Verzuz, Amplify.ai and other media brands. “Events like the Assembly for Black Creators are essential for pushing important industry-wide change, as it is scalable and repeatable, deploys spend directly to individuals and brands, and helps create a thriving ecosystem of media, bolstered by education, tools and support.”

Assembly for Black Creators will take place October 20, November 10 and December 3, culminating in the Black Creator Conference in 2022. Leading Black-owned, Atlanta-based influencer house The Collab Crib is an advisor and curator. The first day-long event on October 20 will kick off with keynote addresses by music icons Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, founders of the ground-breaking Verzuz “artist battle” livestream platform, as well as remarks from celebrated rapper-singer-producer Quavo.

Assembly for Black Creators will feature breakout and training sessions for creators focused on digital design, new creator tools, augmented reality, culture marketing, virality & trends and platform partnerships and brand building.

For more information, please visit https://assemblyforblackcreators.com.

About Triller
Triller is the globally popular AI-powered social media and music discovery experience that allows users to create professional-looking videos in a matter of seconds. Pick a song, select the portion of the song you want to use, snap a few takes and with the tap of a button you have a celebrity-quality music video starring you and your friends. Triller relies solely on organic growth and has more than 350 million downoads, with celebrities like Alicia Keys, Cardi B, Marshmello, Roddy Ricch and Eminem regularly using the app to create their own music videos. Triller is owned by TrillerNet. For more information, visit www.triller.co and follow @triller on Instagram.

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15th Annual McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration® Gospel Tour

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The Virtual “Gospel City Playlist” Concert Series Will Showcase Award-Winning Gospel Singers to Raise Money for Ronald McDonald House Charities®

 In honor of Gospel Music Heritage Month, which takes place annually in September, McDonald’s is serving inspiration with a side of friendly banter for music fans of all ages. Starting Sept. 19 through Oct. 10, the 15th annual McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration® Gospel Tour, a long-standing event that fosters community through the deeply rooted tradition of gospel music, will take place virtually every Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on BET Network’s YouTube channel and BET.com.

Brought to fans by McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden movement, award-winning gospel artists hailing from the Gulf Coast, West Coast, Carolinas and DMV regions will showcase their talents to spark debate on which U.S. region produces the greatest gospel hitmakers and hits. Multi-award-winning musician and syndicated radio personality Lonnie Hunter will host the four-part “Gospel City Playlist” series, featuring legendary gospel artists like Tasha Cobbs-Leonard and Israel Houghton, and rising gospel artists like Mali Music and Pastor Mike Jr., among many others.

For the first time in tour history, fans can watch the show from the McDonald’s app while reppin’ their city. Ahead of each show, fans can also experience a virtual red carpet hosted by social media comedian @NotKarltonBanks who will perform lively skits, host spirited interviews with tour artists and give viewers a peek behind-the-scenes.   

“Faith and inspiration are a core part of gospel music, and an integral part of McDonald’s community-based gospel tour,” said Erica Campbell, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and 2021 McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour performer. “People need inspiration, and I am proud to join such an amazing line-up of artists to help reach gospel music lovers nationwide.”

Each year, the concert series helps raise awareness of Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) and its mission of improving the health and well-being of children and their families. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, RMHC needs our support more than ever. Virtual concert goers will be able to donate to RHMC live at RMHC.org/ICGT2021.  McDonald’s has supported RMHC for more than 40 years as the founding mission partner and continues to support global Charity in a variety of ways. Since 2012, The McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration® Gospel Tour has raised over $1.08M to help families stay close when their children are ill.

“We are excited to make the tour virtual for the second year as we celebrate 15 years of the awesome McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour,” said Harry Smith, Indiana McDonald’s Owner/Operator and Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour Owner/Operator Chairman. “We are committed to feeding and fostering the communities in which we operate, and this longstanding, free celebration of gospel music is one of the many ways we want to help lift up and encourage our guests, crew members and community.”

Visit www.blackandpositivelygolden.com for streaming information and additional details. Follow @WeAreGolden on Instagram for tour updates and to join the conversation around which playlist is best using #blackandpositivelygolden.

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MMCA PARTNERS WITH STARZ™

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WASHINGTON, DC, August 17, 2021 – The Multicultural Media & Correspondents Association (MMCA) is pleased to partner with STARZ to host the inaugural Media Diversity Excellence Awards Reception on Thursday, August 19 from 6:00 -7:00 pm EST (3:00 -4:00 pm PST) during NABJ’s signature annual convention.  In keeping with MMCA’s other signature events including their Multicultural Media and Correspondents Dinner (MMCDTM) and inaugural Sheroes in Media Awards Gala, this reception is designed to honor Black media excellence and highlight the need for increased media diversity.  Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s gathering will again be hosted in a virtual setting.

EAX4FN PATINA MILLER US film actress in November 2014. Photo Jeffrey Mayer

This year’s honorees for the inaugural Media Diversity Excellence Awards Reception include “Newsmaker” Award recipient Karine Jean-Pierre (White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary) and “Impact Journalist” Award recipient Trymaine Lee (Pulitzer Prize and Emmy Award Winning Journalist, MSNBC Columnist “Into America,” Podcast Host).

In addition to the presentation of the “Newsmaker” and “Impact Journalist” Awards, the reception will feature a moderated discussion with STARZ talent regarding the network’s #TakeTheLead initiative. 

“Partnering MMCA to honor this year’s Media Diversity Excellence Award recipients and discuss our #TakeTheLead initiative aligns with our commitment to promote representation on screen, behind the camera and throughout the organization,” said Jeffrey Hirsch, President and CEO of STARZ.  “Collaborations like this one are an important way for us to engage with impactful and diverse voices that are leading change.”

The conversation will be moderated by NABJ Arts & Entertainment Chair Kelley L. Carter (Host of ‘Another Act’ for ESPN’s – The Undefeated) with featured talent from several popular Starz series: Patina Miller (Raising Kanan), Hailey Kilgore (Raising Kanan), Amber Stevens West (Run The World), Corbin Reid (Run The World), Ajiona Alexus (BMF), and Michole Briana White (BMF).

The event will also incorporate a fun interactive cocktail mixing session courtesy of Beam Suntory led by Corbin Reid from STARZ hit series “Run The World,” who serves as celebrity mixologist.

“We are thrilled to partner with STARZ for this inaugural Media Diversity Excellence Awards Reception during the signature annual gathering for Black Journalist and media professionals.  MMCA’s vision to create a collective, inclusive and sustained effort to honor BIPOC media excellence and to increase diversity in media ownership and control is more critical than ever.  By joining with STARZ at the NABJ convention, we continue to raise awareness of our collective efforts and pay tribute to those who are leading the fight for media diversity,” said David Morgan, MMCA President.

MMCA’s event partners include: STARZ, NABJ, and Beam Suntory.

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