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BET’s 12th Annual “CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL” Invites Viewers to “Rise Up! Renew! Rejoice!”

BET invites viewers to “Rise Up! Renew! Rejoice!” on Palm Sunday, April 1st at 8 p.m.* for the 12th annual CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL. The highly anticipated music special airs for the first time in its 12 year history during the Easter Season, further enriching the power, meaning and significance of the “Celebration of Gospel.” The two-hour specialtaped Friday, March 16th at 8 p.m. PT at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, brings together gospel superstars and R&B legends to share the stage in not often seen dynamic and exclusive performances. The #1 Gospel/Religious telecast since its inception** is hosted by best-selling author, veteran comedian and media mogulSteve Harvey.

This year’s stellar line-up includes the very best that gospel and secular music has to offer with performances by Gospel greats Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp, The Rance Allen Group, James Fortune & FIYA, 2012 Grammy-award winner Le’Andria Johnson, Jessica Reedy, Earnest Pugh, Isaac Carree, Moses Tyson Jr. Ricky Dillard & New G, Zacardi Cortez andMaurette Brown-Clark plus a special appearance by BET Music Mattersartist Mali Music as well as secular artists Grammy and Tony Award-winner Jennifer Holliday, as well R&B sensations Faith Evans, Johnny Gill, Ledisi and Kelly Price. In addition to musical performances, Dr.Bobby Jones, of BET’s long-running gospel show BOBBY JONES GOSPEL and actress Wendy Raquel Robinson of the ratings juggernaut THE GAME will deliver moving spoken word selections.

Additionally, two moving tributes are planned in recognition of the life and legacy of the “Mother of Gospel Music,” four-time Grammy-award winner, civil rights activist, and vocal powerhouse Mahalia Jackson and to honor the memory of legendary entertainer, Whitney Houston, whose singing gift was anchored in her gospel roots.

Tickets to attend the taping are free to the public on a first-come, first-service basis by submitting a request via [email protected].

CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL is a BET Networks production. Stephen Hill, BET’s President of Music Programming and Specials, Lynne Harris Taylor, Vice President of Specials and Music Production and Executive Producer Geovanni Brewer will oversee production. Conductor Ray Chew (“American Idol”) returns as the show’s musical director.

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For up-to-the-minute and archival press information including releases and photographs, visit BET’s press-only website atwww.betpressroom.com; members of the press can also follow us on Twitter @BET_PR.  All red carpet media credential requests should be sent via email to [email protected].

For additional information on BET’s CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL, go toBET.com/celebrationofgospel. Join the conversation on social media by logging on to BET’s multiple social media platforms:

  • On Facebook by liking the fan page at facebook.com/BET
  • On Twitter by using hashtag: #BET and following us @BETGospel
  • On Google plus at bet.us/gplusBET

*All times are ET/PT.

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