Some of the biggest names in Gospel received high honors at the 32nd Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards at the Las Vegas Orleans Arena on Saturday night. But the night belonged to one of the genre’s fastest-rising stars, Travis Greene, and gospel music superstar, Tamela Mann.
Greene took home six Stellar Awards for his work on chart-topping album “The Hill.” Honors include the much sought after categories: State Farm Song of the Year (“Made a Way”), CD of the Year (The Hill) and Male Vocalist of the Year. Greene was also awarded Praise and Worship CD of the Year, Contemporary CD of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year and the project was recognized for Recorded Music Packaging (Annie Stoll). When accepting the award for Male Vocalist of the Year, Greene gave honor to artists who have inspired him to perform. “Bishop Hez, Donnie, Fred, Marvin, Kirk, Israel, John P. Kee — I do what I do because I’ve watched you my entire life. I adore you, I love you; I’m standing on your shoulders.”
Stellar and Grammy Award-winning gospel singer, actress and television personality, Tamela Mann has continued her meteoric year, claiming six awards as well for her now iconic recording “One Way,” while Grammy Award-winning singer and producer, Myron Butler & Levi earned three awards for their collaboration “On Purpose.”Best New Artist honors went to breakout artist Bri (Briana Babineaux), who also went home with a statue for Contemporary Female Vocalist.
Hosted by multiple Stellar Awards and Grammy Award-winning solo artist, nationally-syndicated radio host and television personality, Erica Campbell and Stellar Award-winning, songwriter, composer and producer Anthony Brown, the biggest night in Gospel music premieres on TV One on Palm Sunday, April 9 at 6 p.m. ET with encore présentations at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET. Additionally, the Stellar Awards airs in national broadcast syndication on 170 stations in over 150 markets around the country from April 14 – May 7, 2017.
Newly-inducted Stellar Award’s Hall of Fame nominee and multiple Grammy winner Fred Hammond kicked off the 32nd Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards celebration with a dynamic performance that brought the packed house to its feet, featuring fan favorites including “We’re Blessed,” “Glory to Glory to Glory” and his latest Billboard Gospel chart-topping hit, “Father Jesus Spirit.”
During an emotional acceptance speech, Tamela encouraged the audience to have faith despite trying times. “Don”t worry about the White House, God provides” she said tearfully. “And to all these artists, I love you guys. I’m praying for all of us to make it. We can with the Lord’s help. We can make it.”
During the show Stellar Gospel Music Awards founder, Don Jackson bestowed a Stellar Awards Hall of Fame medallion commemorating excellence in their respective fields upon Tyscot Records founder, musician and pastor, Dr. Leonard Scott, record executive, writer/publisher relations, Catherine Brewton, gifted vocalist, songwriter, producer, musician and arranger, Fred Hammond and gospel music group, Mississippi Mass Choir.
With great enthusiasm, Stellar Gospel Awards Founder, Don Jackson shared some exciting news with the packed-house, “I am pleased to announce the launch of Stellar TV— a 24-7 Gospel music entertainment network scheduled to go on the air the fourth quarter of 2017. Gospel music needs its own platform. Text “StellarTV” to 797979. We need your support.”
One of the most moving musical collaborations of the night featured the undeniable talent of three quartet music icons, Da Chozen Brothaz, Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson and Doug Williams who performed a tribute to the legendary Spencer Taylor, Jr. (of the Highway QCs) before he received the Allstate James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award. Gospel musician, pastor and civil rights leader, Reverend Clay Evans was presented with the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legend Award and the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement went to superstar Harvey Watkins, Jr. (of the Canton Spirituals).
The Stellar Gospel Music Awards Pre-Show also occurred the day before on Friday, March 24 to celebrate the non-televised awards, such as Hezekiah Walker for Walmart Choir of the Year, Tamela Mann for Traditional Female Vocalist and Traditional CD of the Year, Travis Greene for Contemporary CD of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year and Praise and Worship CD of the Year, Hezekiah Walker for Choir of the Year,Chicago Mass Choir for Traditional Choir of the Year, Bri (Brianna Babineaux) for Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year, Donnie McClurkin for Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year and Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson for Quartet of the Year.