The 19th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards show was recently held in Houston, Texas and it was a show to remember.
Legendary Shirley Ceaser was honored with the esteemed James Cleveland Award, which recognized her innovative efforts in the traditional Gospel music genre. The one and only Patti LaBelle presented the award and Yolanda Adams sang a medley tribute of various hymns to the woman known as the "Queen of Gospel"
Kirk Franklin was also inducted into the Stellar Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Natalie Wilson and S.O.P. performed in his honor.
Some of the big winners of the night were Lee Williams & the Spiritual QC's and their "Right on Time:Live in Memphis" CD which won five Stellar Awards including Group/Duo of the Year. Byron Cage took home four golden-flame statues, including Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year for "The Presence of the Lord is Here." Vickie Winans won three awards including Artist of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year.
New Artist of the Year was won by the wonderful new girl group RIZEN. If you haven't heard these sisters sing you are missing a treat. Powerful vocals are their calling card and they are some great ladies.
I chatted with the Kenoly Brothers about their nomination as Contemporary Group/Duo of the Year. Yes these are the sons of that wonderful Christian singer Ron Kenoly and let me tell you...the apple or in this case apples don't fall too far from the tree. They are just as talented as their famous father who no doubt is very proud of his two fine young men. Although they didn't win their category they were very pleasant and great conversationalists.
Some other Perfomances for the night came from Mary Mary, Deitrick Haddon, CeCe Winans, Donnie McClurking and Hezekiah Walker to name a few.
Speaking of performances, the one show stopping performance of the night came from Tonex featuring Shelia E. on percussion for "Todos Juntos" which they performed in English and in Spanish. Known as the one performer much like the legendary "Prince" it was ironic to see Tonex perfom with a "Prince protege" in the form of Shelia E. When I spoke with them backstage she commented on how much there was a "Prince-like" quality to Tonex's music and that his music had been a blessing to her. Their performance is a must see so check your local listings for times of this event. You don't want to miss it.
Overall I enjoyed the show and I'm sure you will too so check it out. For a complete list of winners, show times and other information log on to the Stellar Website at Stellar Awards.com