Aretha Franklin Icon Award
CeCe Winans is the best-selling and most-awarded female gospel artist of all time. Her chart-topping musical offering "Believe for It" dominated the Billboard Gospel charts with four number one spots in the same week, including No. 1 Top Gospel album and No. 1 Top Christian/Gospel album. In 2021, Winans added four additional Dove Award wins to her ever-increasing resumé when she scored Gospel Artist of the Year, Gospel Worship Recorded Song of the Year, Gospel Worship Album of the Year and Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year. At the Grammy Awards 2022, the legendary singer won Best Gospel Performance/Song for "Never Lost," Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for "Believe for It" and Best Gospel Album, taking her awards and honors count to 15 wins and 31 nominations. Winans is the recipient of over 15 Stellar Awards and can now add the Aretha Franklin Icon Award to her list of accolades. She will be presented with the honor during the 38th annual Stellar Awards for all her amazing achievements.
James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award
In his more than 40 years in the gospel music industry, the Rev. Dr. Milton Biggham has recorded, performed with, written for and/or produced some of the biggest names in gospel, including the Rev. James Cleveland, Albertina Walker, LaShun Pace, the Mississippi Mass Choir, Dorothy Norwood and countless others. He is also credited with the discovery of Kirk Franklin and Donnie McClurkin. In 1983, he founded the award-winning Georgia Mass Choir, which caught the attention of producer Penny Marshall and resulted in a featured role in the film "The Preacher's Wife," for which Biggham also served as gospel music director. A powerhouse vocalist, Biggham enjoyed notable success on the charts from several collaborations with the Rev. Clay Evans, including "I'm Blessed" and "What He's Done for Me." He also earned two Grammys for producing the praise and worship singles "Having Church" and "Lord Let Me Be an Instrument” for the late Rev. James Cleveland. For his work in traditional gospel, this visionary has more than 500 compositions to his credit, including "Prayer Will Fix It Every Time," "The Storm Is Over" and "I Still Have a Praise Inside of Me." One of his greatest efforts includes producing the first gospel album by famed singer and performer Lou Rawls. Biggham also did voice-overs in the film "The Prince of Egypt" and the Aretha Franklin documentary "Amazing Grace."
Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award
Dr. Bobby Jones, aka Mr. Gospel, revolutionized the gospel music industry by taking the genre to the mainstream airwaves. He's best known as the host and executive producer of the long-running BET series Bobby Jones Gospel, which was the first and only nationally televised Black gospel television show that welcomed an array of gospel artists and showcased their music videos. Dr. Jones also created, produced and hosted "Bobby Jones' World," a magazine-style show that incorporated gospel music with world-renowned authors, entertainers and national leaders. He also extended his talents into the television and movie arena. In 1980, he wrote and performed ion "Make a Joyful Noise," a Black gospel opera that aired on PBS. In 1982, he made his television movie debut on the NBC drama "Sister, Sister." Finally, "The Dr. Bobby Jones International Gospel Industry Retreat," which ran for 24 seasons, was one of the most anticipated gospel music conferences in the country.