All photos by Naomi Richardson, Irvetta Williams, Carmen Bonner, and Candace Walker
My team and I did so much during Stellar Award weekend that it took us this long to sort it all out and write about it. So hang on as I chronicle as briefly as possible all that went on that weekend. (Slide Show Below)
First off we attended the Urban Soul Cafe tribute to Dorinda Clark-Cole, Rance Allen and Kim Burrell. "Urban Soul Cafe was birthed out of a vision Carlos Hale had in 2005 to create a platform for artists, known and unknown, to share the Gospel in an exciting and different way to reach a larger group than most church services" says Kia Jarmon, publicist for the event. Power house vocalist Kim Burrell received the USC Artist of the Year Award during the show.
Next up was the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon which honored gospel artists Kirk Franklin and Hezekiah Walker. There were so many top performances for the event including an amazing musical tribute to Hezekiah Walker featuring Faith Evans, Dorinda Clark Cole, Kim Burrell, DJ Rogers, Tamela Mann, Israel Houghton and Marvin Sapp. During the tribute to Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Jessica Reedy and the Kirk Franklin Singers, Myron Butler, LeAndria Johnson, Isaac Carree, Rance Allen and Kim Burrell all performed. The event closed out with everyone taking the stage and singing Franklin’s “Looking for You,” which left everyone standing on their feet.
Next was the Urban Soul Café Listening Party for James Fortune’s new CD Identity. We loved the new songs and James Fortune and Fiya blew us away with each song. The title track is a jam. Pick up the CD and you will see why it is number one on the charts.
We hopped over to Yes Lord Radio Party where we caught up with my girl Cheneta Jones who brought the house down with her performance. Cheneta’s new CD “Transformed” is set to drop real soon. Make sure you pick it up you will be blessed.
It was on to the Bonnerfied Radio Party. Gerard Bonner started Bonnerfied Radio in September 2009 and has hosted a party to celebrate the 24/7 days a week internet radio broadcast at the Stellars for 3 years now. Everyone was at the party including new gospel artist, Claybon Lea Jr., whose latest CD “It’s About Time” is featured on Bonnerfied Radio. Jessica Reedy, Michelle Williams and Angella Christie also stopped by the event. I even caught up with Afro-Blue from the hit show “The Singoff” they were so nice.
Ok so are you tired yet…well don’t sit down because it was up early the next morning for the ASCAP Breakfast. I wrote a separate article on that check it out here ASCAP Article
Then we went off to the Radio Announcers Awards. The event, sponsored in part by Central South Distribution, featured many great performances but the one that really shut it down was by Patrick Dopson. If this guy comes to a city near you make sure you check him out his sound is similar to Fred Hammond-no joke. The winners of the Radio Station of the Year Awards were; for the small market, KOKA 980AM of Shreveport, LA, medium market, WLOU 1350 AM of Louisville, KY and large market, WHAL 95.7 FM/1460 AM of Memphis, TN. The award for Radio Announcer of the Year went to John Hannah, WGRB 1390 AM out of Chicago.
Then it was time for the big show-oh wait I wrote a separate article about that here Stellar Awards The after party by Urban Soul Café featuring Canton Jones was awesome. That was our last stop for the weekend. Then it was back to the camp to crash out. We had a great time and will be ready to do it all again next year.