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RnB 24/01/2008

John Legend, Patti Labelle, Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, Rev. Jesse Jackson & Henry Simmons Join Host Steve Harvey On BET's 'CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL'

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LOS ANGELES, CA. (Top40 Charts/ BET Networks) - With spiritually-uplifting performances by some of the biggest names in gospel and mainstream music, BET's CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL is a hand-clapping, foot-stomping two-hour revival! Hosted by veteran comedian/actor and popular syndicated radio personality Steve Harvey, this inspirational affair was taped at the historic Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. Themed "Spirit in Song," CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL is filled with rousing performances by Patti LaBelle, John Legend, Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Dr. Bobby Jones, Fred Hammond, J. Moss, Marvin Sapp, Mighty Clouds of Joy, KiKi Sheard, Crystal Aiken, Israel and The New Breed, and T-Bone. The telecast also includes special appearances by Rev. Jesse Jackson and Henry Simmons, and premieres on BET Sunday, January 27 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

The evening kicks off with a high-energy, show-stopping opening number by 2008 Stellar Award-nominee Kirk Franklin of his current hit single "Declaration (This Is It)," followed by host Steve Harvey's opening monologue. Back to lead the show for his eighth consecutive year, Harvey acknowledges the positive influence of his history with CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL.

"This show has made me a better person, it really has. I've grown a lot. Trying to be a better Christian ... .I'm still short, but I'm trying hard," Harvey jokes.

Backed by a 20-piece orchestra led by world-renowned music director Ray Chew, music icon Patti LaBelle marks her CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL debut with a moving rendition of "Walk Around Heaven" that brings the audience to its feet. John Legend belts out a soul-stirring performance of "Show Me" from his piano, while Yolanda Adams encourages believers to "Hold On" with her signature, awe- inspiring vocal delivery.

With it's dance-worthy tempo and hip-hop gospel attitude, veteran BET host Dr. Bobby Jones' collaboration with 2008 GRAMMY nominee J. Moss on "Thank You Lord" is anything but old-school and offers something appealing for viewers of all ages. Pastor Shirley Caesar, widely regarded as the 'first lady' of Gospel music, delivers an inspired performance of the contemporary classic, "Never." Show highlights also include spoken word presentations featuring bible verses and inspirational readings by Rev. Jesse Jackson and Henry Simmons; a special segment featuring Fred Hammond with SUNDAY BEST winner, Crystal Aiken and the top four finalists; a medley featuring Steve Harvey and BeBe Winans; and rousing performances from Marvin Sapp, Mighty Clouds of Joy, KiKi Sheard, J Moss, and Israel and The New Breed featuring T-Bone.
Viewers can catch their favorite moments during encore airings of CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL on Saturday, February 3 at 9 a.m. ET/PT, Saturday, February 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, and Sunday, February 17 at 10 a.m. ET/PT.






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