CENTRAL CITY PRODUCTIONS’ STELLAR GOSPEL MUSIC AWARDS SHIFTS PLAN TO A SAFER-AT-HOME VIRTUAL PRODUCTION OF ITS 35TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, PREMIERING 3Q 2020
KIRK FRANKLIN NOW JOINS JONATHAN MCREYNOLDS AND KORYN HAWTHORNE TO CO-HOST GOSPEL’S GREATEST NIGHT IN GOSPEL MUSIC WITH SPECIAL SALUTE TO FIRST RESPONDERS
RENOWNED ANNUAL SALUTE WILL RETURN AS A LIVE TELEVISION PRODUCTION TO LAS VEGAS’ ORLEANS ARENA IN MARCH 2021
(CHICAGO, IL) May 28, 2020 - Though celebrating the milestone 35th Anniversary of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards has been delayed due to the ongoing global health crisis and pandemic of COVID-19, Central City Productions today announced plans to produce the “Greatest Night in Gospel Music" as a two-hour virtual awards telecast that will air in 3Q of this year. Replacing the live taping previously rescheduled for August in Las Vegas, the new show format will harness the power of technology and creative television production honoring the best in Gospel music. The virtual production will acknowledge all winners of the Stellar Awards pre-show and main show, with select categories being presented in the broadcast. The broadcast will also feature inspirational performances from Gospel music’s most celebrated artists, and special tributes to first responder heroes on the front lines of the battle against the Coronavirus pandemic.
"As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic closing venues in Las Vegas we are producing our Stellar Awards as a virtual at home television special to honor our Stellar Award 2020 nominees and winners, that will still raise the roof for our fans at home with great Gospel music performances in a new format,” said Stellar Awards Founder and Executive Producer Don Jackson . “Also, it gives us the opportunity to honor COVID-19 first responder heroes in appreciation of the great work they are doing to save lives during this pandemic. We hope to further inspire these heroes with tributes of thanks from our Gospel music cast of Stellar winners and performances."
Joining previously announced first time co-hosts Jonathan McReynolds and Koryn Hawthorne is Stellar Awards veteran host Kirk Franklin . The superstar trio will work together to keep the virtual television praise party lifted and flowing seamlessly throughout the evening. Confirmed performers include Donnie McClurkin, James Fortune, J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise, Travis Greene, Pastor Mike Jr., Kierra Sheard , and Doe , with more to be announced.
An important tradition at the Stellar Awards will be held for next year’s 2021 show, where Jackson will bestow well-deserved special honors and recognition upon Gospel greats who have elevated the genre. The previously named recipients – The Clark Sisters, Lady Tramaine Hawkins, Pastor Shirley Caesar in addition to Gospel music industry leaders Dr. Leonard Scott, Skip Barrett, Kerry Douglas , and Dr. Teresa Hairston -- will be celebrated for their contributions to Gospel music when The Stellar Awards returns to Las Vegas next Spring in March 2021.