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35th Anniversary Stellar Gospel Music Awards Nominations Announced

35th Anniversary Stellar Gospel Music Awards Nominations Announced

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Central City Productions today announced the Stellar Award nominees in 28 categories for the milestone 35th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards taping on Friday, March 27 at the Las Vegas Orleans Arena. The Stellar Awards recognizes the year's best performances in the genre, honors Gospel music icons and acknowledges the accomplishments of individuals instrumental in advocating for the industry. Gospel music's most epic celebration is co-hosted for the first time by rising Gospel superstars and Stellar Award winners Koryn Hawthorne and Jonathan McReynolds.

Don Jackson, Founder of the Stellar Awards and Chairman of Central City Productions, Inc. commented, "I am elated to celebrate this landmark 35th year of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards. Our flagship show is now one of the longest-running nationally televised African American awards programs in history. We are proud to honor Gospel music artists and industry professionals for their priceless contributions to Gospel music. We look forward to another spectacular weekend of family-friendly entertainment in Las Vegas."

In addition to celebrating the year's best album releases, Jackson will bestow special honors 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 fifteen Stellar Awards, in addition to the Thomas Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award (2007). Additional special honorees will be named at a later date.

Veteran Gospel collective Donald Lawrence Presents The Tri-City Singers leads the field of nominees this year with nine nominations. The powerhouse choir and its leader earned recognition this year for its work on the album "Goshen" (RCA Inspiration) in the key categories of Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Choir of the Year, Producer of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary Album of the Year, Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year, and Contemporary Choir of the Year.

With eight nominations, Gospel icon and Stellar Awards Host emeritus Kirk Franklin is being recognized by the voting body for excellence in the categories of Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, Producer of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary Album of the Year, and Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year for his work on "Long Live Love" (Fo Yo Soul/RCA/RCA Inspiration). Tasha Cobbs Leonard continues to bless audiences with her gift and is rewarded this year with eight nominations for her work on "Heart. Passion. Pursuit. Live at Passion City Church" (Motown Gospel), including Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary Album of the Year, and Praise and Worship Album of the Year. She is also nominated for Producer of the Year for her work on William Murphy's "Settle Here" (RCA Inspiration) project.

Receiving seven nominations this year, JJ Hairston continues the praise party with his project "Miracle Worker" (JamesTown Music/Entertainment One), recognized in the categories of Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, Choir of the Year, Contemporary Album of the Year, Contemporary Choir of the Year and Praise and Worship Album of the Year.

Choirs continue to inspire Gospel audiences and raise the roof with songs of praise, and this year Bishop Paul S. Morton & The Full Gospel Ministry of Worship ("A Month of Sundays"; Tehillah/Integrity Music/Tyscot) and John P. Kee ("I Made It Out"; Entertainment One) receive six and five nominations respectively, going head-to-head in the categories of Choir of the Year, Traditional Choir of the Year, Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year and Traditional Album of the Year.

Representing traditional, contemporary and urban music genres on the Gospel spectrum, Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers, William Murphy and Pastor Mike Jr. are blessed with four nominations each. Carr's recognition comes from his work on "Bless Somebody Else" (RCA Inspiration), which earned nods for Duo/Chorus Group of the Year, Traditional Duo/Chorus Group of the Year, Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year and Traditional Album of the Year. Murphy's "Settle Here" (RCA Inspiration) generated praise in the categories of Male Vocalist of the Year, Producer of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year and Praise and Worship Album of the Year. Bringing hip hop flavor to the Gospel space, Pastor Mike Jr.'s debut album "Live Free" (Black Smoke Worldwide) received nominations for Song of the Year, New Artist of the Year, Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year and Rap/Hip Hop Gospel Album of the Year.

Other artists earning multiple Stellar nominations include: The Walls Group, Todd Dulaney, Maranda Curtis, Fresh Start Worship, Le'Andria Johnson, Jekalyn Carr and Jerard & Jovaun.

The Stellar Awards show taping will return to The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Friday, March 27, 2020 and is open to the public, with ticket prices ranging from $50 - $200 at www.ticketmaster.com . The week's activities begin with the Stellar Gospel Radio Awards & Showcase, held on Thursday, March 26, honoring top radio stations and announcers serving urban Gospel music audiences, followed by the 2020 Stellar Gospel Music Awards Pre-Show to showcase non-televised award winners. Public tickets for each event go on sale Saturday, February 1 and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com .

SUMMARY OF 2020 STELLAR AWARDS TOP NOMINEES
Donald Lawrence Presents the Tri-City Singers - 9 Nominations
Kirk Franklin - 8 Nominations
Tasha Cobbs Leonard - 8 Nominations
JJ Hairston - 7 Nominations
Bishop Paul S. Morton- 6 Nominations
John P. Kee- 5 Nominations
Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers- 4 Nominations
William Murphy- 4 Nominations
Pastor Mike, Jr. - 4 Nominations
Maranda Curtis - 3 Nominations
Fresh Start Worship - 3 Nominations

35th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Award Nominees:
Category #1 - ARTIST OF THE YEAR
- Donald Lawrence presents the Tri-City Singers; Goshen; RCA Inspiration
- JJ Hairston; Miracle Worker; JamesTown Music / Entertainment One
- Kirk Franklin; Long Live Love; Fo Yo Soul/ RCA/ RCA Inspiration
- Tasha Cobbs Leonard; Heart. Passion. Pursuit. (Live at Passion City Church); Motown Gospel

Category #2 - SONG OF THE YEAR
- Big; Michael McClure, Curtiss Glenn & Rodeny Turner; Black Smoke Worldwide
- Deliver Me (This Is My Exodus); Donald Lawrence, William Stokes, Marshon Lewis, Robert Woolridge & Desmond Davis; RCA Inspiration
- Love Theory; Kirk Franklin; Fo Yo Soul/ RCA/ RCA Inspiration
- This Is A Move (Live); Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Tony Brown, Brandon Lake, & Nate Moore; Motown Gospel

Category #3 - MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
- JJ Hairston; Miracle Worker; JamesTown Music / Entertainment One
- Kirk Franklin; Long Live Love; Fo Yo Soul/ RCA/ RCA Inspiration
- Todd Dulaney; To Africa With Love; Entertainment One
- William Murphy; Settle Here; RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #4 - ALBERTINA WALKER FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
- Jekalyn Carr, I See Miracles, Lunjeal Music Group
- Le'Andria Johnson; Goshen; RCA Inspiration
- Maranda Curtis, I'm All In, Red Alliance Media/Fair Trade
- Tasha Cobbs Leonard; Heart. Passion. Pursuit. (Live at Passion City Church); Motown Gospel

CATEGORY #5 - DUO/CHORUS GROUP OF THE YEAR
- Fresh Start Worship; Have it All; Fresh Start Worship / Marquis Boone Enterprises
- Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers; Bless Somebody Else; Kurt Carr Gospel / RCA Inspiration
- The Group Fire; Again; Jet Records North/East
- The Walls Group, Friend in Me, Wall2Wall Entertainment/My Block Records

CATEGORY #6 - NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
- Fresh Start Worship; Have it All; Fresh Start Worship / Marquis Boone Enterprises
- Jerard & Jovaun; What A Beautiful Name; Motown Gospel
- Kim Person; The Journey; KLP Enterprises, LLC
- Pastor Mike Jr.; Live Free; Black Smoke Worldwide

CATEGORY #7 - ALBUM OF THE YEAR
- Goshen; Donald Lawrence presents the Tri-City Singers; RCA Inspiration
- Miracle Worker; JJ Hairston; JamesTown Music / Entertainment One
- Long Live Love; Kirk Franklin; Fo Yo Soul/ RCA/ RCA Inspiration
- Heart. Passion. Pursuit. (Live at Passion City Church); Tasha Cobbs Leonard; Motown Gospel

CATEGORY #8 - CHOIR OF THE YEAR
- Bishop Paul S. Morton & The Full Gospel Ministry of Worship; A Month of Sundays; Tehillah/Integrity Music/Tyscot
- Donald Lawrence presents the Tri-City Singers; Goshen; RCA Inspiration
- JJ Hairston; Miracle Worker; JamesTown Music / Entertainment One
- John P. Kee; I Made It Out; Entertainment One

CATEGORY #9 - PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
- Donald Lawrence, Phil Thornton, Sir the Baptist, Troy Taylor for Songbook, & Greg Peterca; Goshen; RCA Inspiration
- John P. Kee; I Made It Out; Entertainment One
- Kirk Franklin, Ronald Hill & Phil Thornton; Long Live Love; Fo Yo Soul/ RCA/ RCA Inspiration
- Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Kenneth Leonard, William Murphy & Phil Thornton; Settle Here; RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #10 - CONTEMPORARY DUO/CHORUS GROUP OF THE YEAR
- Fresh Start Worship; Have it All; Fresh Start Worship / Marquis Boone Enterprises
- Jerard & Jovaun; What A Beautiful Name; Motown Gospel
- The Group Fire; Again; Jet Records North/East
- The Walls Group, Friend in Me, Wall2Wall Entertainment/My Block Records

CATEGORY #11 - TRADITIONAL DUO/CHORUS GROUP OF THE YEAR
- D. Morton and Gifted; Declaration; Band Geek Music Group
- Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers; Bless Somebody Else; Kurt Carr Gospel / RCA Inspiration
- Renee Spearman ft. Hezekiah Walker & Dr. Holly Carter; I Love Him; JDI Entertainment
- The True Believers; Back to The Roots; 4Winds/Malaco

CATEGORY #12 - CONTEMPORARY MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
- Donald Lawrence; Goshen; RCA Inspiration
- Kirk Franklin; Long Live Love; Fo Yo Soul/ RCA/ RCA Inspiration
- Todd Dulaney, To Africa With Love, Entertainment One
- William Murphy; Settle Here; RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #13 - TRADITIONAL MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
- Bishop Paul S. Morton; A Month of Sundays; Tehillah / Integrity Music / Tyscot
- Earl Bynum; This Song is For You; LRAE / HBK / Tyscot
- John P. Kee; I Made It Out; Entertainment One
- Kurt Carr; Bless Somebody Else; Kurt Carr Gospel / RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #14 - CONTEMPORARY FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
- Casey J; The Gathering; Label ~ Tyscot/Integrity/Casey J LLC
- Kierra Sheard; Don't Judge Me; Karew/ RCA Inspiration
- Kim Person; The Journey; KLP Enterprises, LLC
- Tasha Cobbs Leonard; Heart. Passion. Pursuit. (Live at Passion City Church); Motown Gospel

CATEGORY #15 - TRADITIONAL FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
- Christina Bell; For Your Glory; Malaco Records
- Jekalyn Carr; I See Miracles; Lunjeal Music Group
- Le'Andria Johnson; Goshen; RCA Inspiration
- Maranda Curtis; I'm All In; Red Alliance Media / Fair Trade Artist

CATEGORY #16 - CONTEMPORARY ALBUM OF THE YEAR
- Goshen; Donald Lawrence presents the Tri-City Singers; RCA Inspiration
- Miracle Worker; JJ Hairston; JamesTown Music / Entertainment One
- Long Live Love; Kirk Franklin; Fo Yo Soul/ RCA/ RCA Inspiration
- Heart. Passion. Pursuit. (Live at Passion City Church); Tasha Cobbs Leonard; Motown Gospel

CATEGORY #17 - TRADITIONAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
- A Month of Sundays; Bishop Paul S. Morton & The Full Gospel Ministry of WorshipTehillah/Integrity Music/Tyscot
- I Made It Out; John P. Kee; Entertainment One
- Bless Somebody Else; Kurt Carr; Kurt Carr Gospel / RCA Inspiration
- The Tommies Reunion; The Tommies Reunion; 7 Legend Group/JMG Entertainment/Tyscot

CATEGORY #18 - URBAN/INSPIRATIONAL SINGLE OR PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
- Blessings on Blessings; Anthony Brown & group therAPy; Key of A / Tyscot / Fair Trade
- Deliver Me (This Is My Exodus); Donald Lawrence presents the Tri-City Singers; RCA Inspiration
- Love Theory; Kirk Franklin; Fo Yo Soul/ RCA/ RCA Inspiration
- Big; Pastor Mike Jr.; Black Smoke Worldwide

CATEGORY #19 - MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
- Big; Johny Zotic; Black Smoke Worldwide
- I See Miracles; Kauwaune Burton; Lunjeal Music Group
- Love Theory; Matt DeLisi; Fo Yo Soul/ RCA/ RCA Inspiration
- Miracle Worker feat. Rich Tolbert Jr.; Gary Saunders; JamesTown Music / Entertainment One

CATEGORY #20 - TRADITIONAL CHOIR OF THE YEAR
- Bishop Paul S. Morton & The Full Gospel Ministry of Worship; A Month of Sundays; Tehillah/Integrity Music/Tyscot
- Dr. Alyn E. Waller Presents Zak Williams and 1/Akord; The Next Chapter; Enon Music Group
- John P. Kee; I Made It Out; Entertainment One
- The Tommies Reunion; The Tommies Reunion; 7 Legend Group/JMG Entertainment/Tyscot

CATEGORY #21 - CONTEMPORARY CHOIR OF THE YEAR
- Donald Lawrence presents the Tri-City Singers; Goshen; RCA Inspiration
- JJ Hairston; Miracle Worker; JamesTown Music / Entertainment One
- Joshua's Troop; Another Chance; New Haven Records
- Vincent Bohanan & The Sound of Victory Fellowship Choir, Road to 5 - We Win EP, Independent

CATEGORY #22 - INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
- My Inspiration Vol. 2; Marcus Anderson; Anderson Music
- Music Book Volume III - Magnificent; Mel Holder; Psalmist Music Group/Megawave
- Rise!; Ben Tankard; BEN-Jamin' Universal Music

CATEGORY #23 - SPECIAL EVENT ALBUM OF THE YEAR
- A Month of Sundays; Bishop Paul S. Morton & The Full Gospel Ministry of Worship; Tehillah/Integrity Music/Tyscot
- A Motown Gospel Christmas; Various Artists; Motown Gospel
- Greenleaf: Season 3 (Music from The Original TV Series); Various Artists; Lionsgate Entertainment
- Maranda Presents A Holy Christmas; Maranda Curtis; Red Alliance Media / Fair Trade

CATEGORY #24 - RAP HIP HOP GOSPEL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
- Ghost; Canton Jones; Cajo Records
- Live Free; Pastor Mike Jr.; Black Smoke Worldwide
- Love Letter One; Reggie Rocc; Rocc Bottom
- Nothings Too Hard; Lawrence Hancock; LV Productions

CATEGORY #25 - YOUTH PROJECT OF THE YEAR
- Dy'Jah; Save Me; C-Shop Entertainment
- Gospel Kids; Gospel Kids Present… Christian Soldiers; Tyscot Records
- Jada Redmond; My Season; 4Redmusic Production and Entertainment
- New York Fellowship Children's Choir; God is the Greatest; Godfather Records

CATEGORY #26 - QUARTET OF THE YEAR
- D. Morton and Gifted; Declaration; Band Geek Music Group
- Keith Wonderboy Johnson & Josh Myles; Inspirational Project; Timeless Music
- Pastor Rodney Mills and The Virginia Aires; Drugs (Are a Trick of The Enemy); Dove Records Inc.
- The William Singers; Giants; Band Geek Music Group

CATEGORY #27 - RECORDED MUSIC PACKAGING OF THE YEAR
- Bless Somebody Else; Derek Blanks; Kurt Carr Gospel / RCA Inspiration
- Maranda Presents A Holy Christmas; Tyair Long, Rodney Greene, Jonathan Anderson & Maalik Miles; Red Alliance Media / Fair Trade
- Miracle Worker; Lerico Britton; JamesTown Music / Entertainment One
- To Africa With Love; Jaiyde Simone; Entertainment

CATEGORY #28 - PRAISE AND WORSHIP ALBUM OF THE YEAR
- A Month of Sundays; Bishop Paul S. Morton & The Full Gospel Ministry of Worship; Tehillah/Integrity Music/Tyscot
- Miracle Worker; JJ Hairston; JamesTown Music / Entertainment One
- Heart. Passion. Pursuit. (Live at Passion City Church); Tasha Cobbs Leonard; Motown Gospel
- Settle Here; William Murphy; RCA Inspiration

GOSPEL RADIO OF THE YEAR NOMINEES

MAJOR MARKET OF THE YEAR
- WGRB 1390AM, Chicago
- WNAP 1110AM, Philadelphia
- WPRS Praise 104.1, Washington, DC
- WPZE Praise 97.5, Atlanta

LARGE MARKET OF THE YEAR
- WFMI Rejoice 100.9, Virginia Beach
- WHAL-FM/95.7 Hallelujah FM, Memphis
- WPZS Praise 100.9 FM, Charlotte
- WNNL - The Light 103.9, Raleigh

MEDIUM MARKET OF THE YEAR
- WGOK 900 AM, Mobile
- WPZZ Praise 104.7 FM, Richmond
- WXHL 89.1, Wilmington
- WXOK Heaven 1460 AM, Baton Rouge

SMALL MARKET OF THE YEAR
- KSYB 1300 AM, Shreveport
- WEHA 88.7 FM, Atlantic City
- WIMG 1300AM, Trenton
- WJAY 98.3 FM & 1280 AM, Mullins

INTERNET STATION OF THE YEAR
- GH3 Radio - "God's House of Hip Hop," www.gh3radio.com
- Power of Worship Radio, powerofworship.net
- rSPIRIT.online, www.rspirit.online
- uGospel Radio, uGospel.com

GOSPEL ANNOUNCER OF THE YEAR
- Debra Rhodes-Norris Thompson, WYCA/WGBR, Chicago
- Erica Campbell, Radio-One/Reach Media, Houston - Syndication
- J'Michael Francois WXOK, Baton Rouge
- Meta Washington, SiriusXM, Satellite Radio






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