The Bay Area kicked off Black Music Month with a gospel music tribute to Pastor Shirley Caesar and Psalmist Chrystal Rucker, celebrating their impact and influence on the industry. The Team Honors was held June 1st at the Union City Apostolic Church, hosted by gospel trailblazer Lynette Hawkins-Stephens and Evangelist Jacquelyn Melton.
Under the musical direction of David Jackson, musical tributes featured C. Ashley Brown (“Good God”), Tyler Little (“Cannot Stop Praising Him”), Crystal Aikin (“You Deserve My Worship”), Lady Glenda Ancrum Adams (“I Live Your Word”), Dayanna Redic (“Enter In”), Jekalyn Carr (“You’re Next In Line/Working It Out”), Nakitta C. Foxx (“Free”/“ Keep Living), Tommi and Tobbi (“Excuse Me”), LeJuene Thompson (“Somewhere Over The Rainbow”), Pastor Elliott Ivey (“You Can Make It”), Jacquelyn Melton (“Yes Lord, Yes Lord”), Vanessa Murphy (“Jesus, I Love Calling Your Name”), and Lillian Lloyd (“Sweeping Through The City”). Each song was backed by the celebration choir lead by DeWayne Woods, Rusty Watson, and Isaiah Zay Grider.
As a special treat, Rucker performed her latest single “Take Your Burdens,” soon to be released on digital platforms this summer. With her mother, daughter, and additional family in attendance, Rucker began to speak on her appreciation for the honor – and privilege of being honored alongside Pastor Caesar.
Photo Credit: Denisha DeLane / Faithinthebay.com
The evening closed with a praise filled celebration, ignited by Pastor Caesar. Expected to give remarks, Caesar took everyone on a trip down memory lane with her classic “Shouting John,” all while proving she has no plans on slowing down.
“Each artist did a superb job keeping to the foundation of the music clear, while adding their own spin,” said DeShawn Little, Founder & Visionary of The Team Honors. The Team, commonly referred to as The Dream Team produces musical tributes to those who have made long standing contributions to the betterment of the gospel music genre. Previous honorees include Lady Tramaine Hawkins, Daryl Coley, Edwin Hawkins, Donald Lawrence, Kurt Carr and Richard Smallwood.