The "Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational" award is presented to urban contemporary gospel artists who have shown proven success in their genre. Legendary musician Kirk Franklin took home the bragging rights this year. The “I Smile” singer has been nominated 15 times and won six after being presented with the honor at the BET Awards 2022 hosted by Taraji P. Henson. During his speech, Kirk called on the older generation to pass the baton before declaring Maverick City Music as the next generation of gospel music. In honor of the prestigious award, we’re looking back at some of Kirk’s early wins in this category.
Kirk won his first career award in 2006, beating legends such as Yolanda Adams, Mary Mary, Smokie Norful, and CeCe Winans. He won the trophy the following year. Although he was nominated in 2008, he lost to Marvin Sapp.
In 2016, Kirk regained his title as the “Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award” winner. The musician faced tough competition that year, going up against artists, including Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell, Tasha Cobbs, Tamela Mann, Christian emcee Lecrae, and Anthony Brown & Group TherAPy.
At the BET Awards 2020, virtually hosted by Amanda Seals, Kirk claimed the “Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award” marking his fourth win in the category for his single “Just for Me.” He and legendary gospel star and actress Yolanda Adams tied with four wins each.
Kirk took home the win once more with his 2021 single “Strong God.” The honor marked his fifth win beating the tie he held with Yolanda Adams, who had the record for most wins for a female artist in that group.
During the BET Awards, 2022, Kirk took home the award for the sixth time, defending his record for most wins in that category thanks to his latest single “We Win” with Atlanta-based rapper Lil Baby.