THE CLARK SISTERS, DONNIE McCLURKIN, JAMES FORTUNE, JJ HAIRSTON & YOUTHFUL PRAISE, TRAVIS GREENE, MARANDA CURTIS, WILLIAM MURPHY, ZACARDI CORTEZ, KIERRA SHEARD, THE WALLS GROUP AND PASTOR MIKE JR. ARE AMONG THE PERFORMERS SET TO TAKE THE STAGE AT THE 35TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE STELLAR GOSPEL MUSIC AWARDS
RENOWNED ANNUAL SALUTE TO GOSPEL MUSIC SET TO TAPE AT LAS VEGAS'S ORLEANS ARENA ON FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2020; TICKETS AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC NOW ON TICKETMASTER.COM
STELLAR AWARDS PREMIERES ON BET NETWORKS APRIL 5, 2020, AND IN NATIONAL SYNDICATION THIS SPRING
(CHICAGO) – Feb. 19, 2020 - Celebrating its milestone 35th Anniversary of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards, Central City Productions announces an awe-inspiring lineup of performers for the "Greatest Night in Gospel Music." Returning to Las Vegas's Orleans Arena on Friday, March 27, 2020, this year's milestone Stellar Awards telecast promises to honor the best of three-and-a-half decades of gospel music tradition with performances from the genre's most celebrated acts. Performers include Donnie McClurkin, James Fortune, JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise, Travis Greene, Maranda Curtis, William Murphy, Zacardi Cortez, Pastor Mike Jr., Kierra Sheard, The Walls Group and Doe, with more to be announced.
The show will premiere on BET Networks (simulcast on BET HER) on April 5 at 8PM ET with an encore at 10PM ET, and it will air in broadcast syndication in more than 216 markets around the country from April 11 - May 17, 2020. Taking the reins for the first time as co-hosts this year are two of gospel's breakthrough artists who have established themselves as part of the "new guard" shaping contemporary gospel music: Koryn Hawthorne and Jonathan McReynolds.
"Words can't describe my excitement for this moment! I'm honored that the Stellars chose me to do this next to Jonathan McReynolds, who I love dearly," said Hawthorne. We're going to bring a fresh vibe to the stage, and it's gonna be lit!"
"I still remember sitting in the upper deck looking in awe down at a stage I never thought I'd sing on, never thought I'd play on, never thought I'd win on," shared McReynolds. "Seven years later, I'm hosting. Mind blown!" He continued, "I'm grateful to be on the Stellars stage where every year, music, Black and Kingdom history is made." He said, "I might be biased, but I think this will be the best Stellars ever."
An important tradition at the Stellar Awards, Founder Don Jackson will bestow special recognition upon gospel greats who have elevated the genre. This year's James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award will honor none other than the iconic Clark Sisters -- Karen Clark Sheard, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Twinkie Clark and Jacky Clark Chisholm -- who hold a collective 15 Stellar Awards, in addition to the Thomas Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award (2007). The legendary Clark Sisters will raise the roof with a rousing set featuring some of their most notable hits. The one and only Lady Tramaine Hawkins will be presented with the Aretha Franklin Icon Award, adding to her collection of honors, which include the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award (2008) and her induction into the Stellar Honors Hall of Fame (2016). The illustrious Pastor Shirley Caesar, multiple Stellar Award winner (14) and recipient of the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award (1986) and the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award (2004), who is also a member of the Stellar Honors Hall of Fame (2015), is being recognized with the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award. Dr. Leonard Scott, founder of Tyscot Records and inductee into the Stellar Honors Hall of Fame (2017), will receive the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award.
The Stellar Awards show taping on Friday, March 27, 2020, at 6:30PM PT is open to the public, with ticket prices ranging from $50 - $200 at www.ticketmaster.com. The week's activities begin with the first-ever Stellar "Laugh Out Loud" comedy show, held on Wednesday, March 25, featuring clean comedians like Griff, Marcus D. Wiley, Akintunde and more. The Stellar Gospel Radio Awards & Showcase, hosted by VaShawn Mitchell and Bri Babineaux, held on Thursday, March 26, honors top radio stations and announcers serving urban gospel music audiences. Later in the day, the 2020 Stellar Gospel Music Awards Pre-Show, hosted by Kierra Sheard and Todd Dulaney, will celebrate the non-televised award category winners. Each event will feature rousing performances by a roster of gospel music greats. Public tickets for each event are on sale at www.ticketmaster.com. For a complete list of Stellar Awards official activities, please visit www.thestellarawards.com.
As previously announced, veteran gospel collective Donald Lawrence Presents The Tri-City Singers leads the field of nominees this year with nine nominations. Other top nominees include gospel icon and Stellar Awards Host emeritus Kirk Franklin and powerhouse singer, producer and performer Tasha Cobbs Leonard with eight nominations each; JJ Hairston (seven nominations), Bishop Paul S. Morton (six nominations), John P. Kee (five nominations), Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers (four nominations), William Murphy (four nominations), Pastor Mike Jr. (four nominations), Maranda Curtis (three nominations) and Fresh Start Worship (three 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.
More of the biggest names in gospel and a few additional surprises are being added to the growing list of top performers appearing at this year's show. Stay tuned for future announcements and 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 will produce and direct this year's award show.
ABOUT CENTRAL CITY PRODUCTIONS (CCP)
Founded in 1970 by Don Jackson, Chicago-based Central City Productions, Inc., is a distributor of original targeted programming to television and cable networks. CCP's award-winning television programs include the Black Music Honors (www.blackmusichonors.com), The Black College Quiz Show Series (www.blackcollegequiz.com), Mentoring Kings (www.mentoringking.com) and Stellar Sunday (www.stellarsundays.com), among many others.
ABOUT BET NETWORKS
BET Networks, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel is in nearly 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa and France. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American woman; BET Music Networks - BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET's growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET Networks around the globe.