35th STELLAR AWARDS in LAS VEGAS
35TH ANNIVERSARY STELLAR GOSPEL MUSIC AWARDS NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED: DONALD LAWRENCE PRESENTS THE TRI-CITY SINGERS TOPS THE LIST WITH NINE, FOLLOWED BY KIRK FRANKLIN, TASHA COBBS LEONARD AND JJ HAIRSTON WITH MULTIPLE NOMINATIONS
TOP NOMINEES THIS YEAR ALSO INCLUDE BISHOP PAUL S. MORTON, JOHN P. KEE, KURT CARR & THE KURT CARR SINGERS, WILLIAM MURPHY, PASTOR MIKE JR., MARANDA CURTIS, AND FRESH START WORSHIP
Rising Gospel Superstars Koryn Hawthorne and Jonathan McReynolds Pair to Host the Milestone 35th Annual Salute to Gospel Music Taping on Friday, March 27 and Premiering on BET Networks on Palm Sunday, April 5
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 seven 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. Also 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 & Worship Album of the Year. Bringing street 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 – 7 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