The 36th Stellar Gospel Music Awards airs this Sunday (August 1) at 8 p.m ET / PT. The "Greatest Night in Gospel Music" will honor both industry legends and up-and-coming contemporary artists while celebrating this year’s best performances and excellence in gospel music.
The Stellar Awards 2021 ceremony, which took place at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, TN, on Saturday, July 10, will air exclusively on BET, BET Her, and BET Gospel on Sunday night. The show will also air globally on August 2 on BET International, and will be nationally syndicated in various markets from August 7 through September 5.
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How To Watch the 2021 Stellar Awards:
What: 36th Stellar Gospel Music Awards
Date: Sunday, August 1, 2021
Time: 8 p.m. ET / PT
Location: Schermerhorn Symphony Center – Nashville, TN
Watch on TV: BET, BET Her, BET Gospel
Follow: @TheStellars, @BET, @BETherTV
The Stellar Awards 2021 will include performances from living gospel legends, including CeCe Winans (“Never Lost,” “Believe For It”) and James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award recipients The Clark Sisters (“Is My Living In Vain,” “Blessed & Highly Favored,” “You Brought The Sunshine,” “His Love”). Other performers include Sheléa and Christina Bell (“You Brought The Sunshine”) and Jonathan McReynolds, joined by Mali Music (“Grace,” “Movin’ On”).
One highlight of the ceremony is a powerful tribute to Aretha Franklin Icon Award recipient Lady Tramaine Hawkins, performed by Yolanda Adams, Tamela Mann, and Avery*Sunshine. The trio will perform a medley including widely known Hawkins’ songs such as “Holy One,” “Changed,” and “Going Up Yonder.”
The ceremony will also show excellent performances from a new generation of gospel artists, including nominees Pastor Mike Jr. (“Big”), Maverick City Music (“Jireh”), Kierra Sheard (“Something Has To Break”), and host Jekalyn Carr (“Change Your Story” and “Jehovah Jireh”). Various emerging artists such as Jokia, Terrain, and Nia Allen will be spotlighted as up-and-coming gospel talent.
Hosts and Honorees
Gospel legend Tye Tribbett and contemporary artist Jekalyn Carr host this year’s awards. Tribbett is the choir and director of the Stellar-Award winning group Tye Tribbet & G.A. (Greater Anointing). The Jersey-native’s latest hits, “We Gon’ Be Alright” and “Anyhow” sent comforting messages of perseverance during last year’s pandemic. Stellar-Award winner Carr returns to the Stellar Awards as host after hosting 2020’s Virtual Red Carpet.
Gospel legends The Clark Sisters are this year’s honorees for the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award. The Detroit-born vocal group are considered pioneers of contemporary gospel with their crossover hits “Jesus Is A Love Song” and “You Brought The Sunshine.” Their life story was recently made into the Lifetime original movie The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel.
This year’s Aretha Franklin Icon Award honoree is Lady Tremaine Hawkins. The California native’s career spans over five decades, and she was inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame in 2015.
The 36th Stellar Awards returned to an in-person ceremony earlier this month after the event went virtual last year due to pandemic lockdowns. Select categories and winners were featured on Instagram @TheStellars, and social media lit up, garnering more than two million impressions thanks to the winners, performers, and other incredible moments which will air Sunday night.
The nominee for this year’s ceremony was former Stellar Awards host Jonathan McReynolds, who received eight nominations this year. Kierra Sheard, Maverick City Music, Pastor Mike, Jr., and Anthony Brown & group therAPy each received seven nominations, including a nod each for Artist of the Year. Other celebrated artists receiving multiple Stellar nominations included Tasha Cobbs Leonard, The Clark Sisters, Rev. Luther Barnes and the Restoration Worship Center Choir, the Chicago Mass Choir, and host Jekalyn Carr.
The multiple Stellar Awards 2021 winners include Pastor Mike Jr., who won Artist of the Year, Rap/Hip Hop Gospel Album of the Year, and Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year. Jonathan McReynolds was named Male Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year, and was part of a group that won Producer of the Year. Tasha Cobbs Leonard’s wins included Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year, Praise and Worship Album of the Year, and Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year. Kierra Sheard won Song of the Year and Contemporary Album of the Year, and Maverick City Music won New Artist of the Year and Album of the Year.
The Stellar Gospel Music Awards show is Executive Produced by Don Jackson, with Jennifer J. Jackson serving as Executive in Charge of Production and Producer. Michael A. Johnson will produce and direct this year's award show.