Winners of the 47th Annual Grammy Awards were announced recently and some of the winners in the Gospel division were:
Best Gospel Performance-
Heaven Help Us All-Ray Charles & Gladys Knight
Track from: Genius Loves Company
Best Rock Gospel Album-
Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
All Things New-Steven Curtis Chapman
Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album
Worship & Faith-Randy Travis
Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album
There Will Be A Light-Ben Harper & The Blind Boys Of Alabama
Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album
Nothing Without You-Smokie Norful
Best Gospel Choir Or Chorus Album
Live...This is Your House-Carol Cymbala, choir director; The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
For a complete listing of winners log on to www.grammys.com
There was also a historic event at the Grammy's when some of Gospel Music's top performers were celebrated at a ceremony. Demonstrating its commitment to gospel music, the Academy honored four of the genre's greatest living artists: Andrať Crouch, Bill and Gloria Gaither and Albertina Walker. All four singers and songwriters received the Academy's President's Merit Award.
Co-hosted by actress Angela Bassett, singer/songwriter Kirk Franklin and Pauletta Pearson Washington, The gala at times seemed more like a backwater hallelujah service than a simple awards presentation. The event highlighted the rich diversity of contemporary gospel music, from the pop-injected sounds of Kirk Franklin and Nicole C. Mullen, to the energetic country gospel of the Crabb Family, and the R&B-tinged stylings of Donnie McClurkin, CeCe Winans, Kurt Carr, Smokie Norful, Byron Cage and Donald Lawrence.
During his presentation speech, Academy President Neil Portnow invoked the names of gospel innovators, including Thomas Dorsey, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mahalia Jackson, the Edwin Hawkins Singers and others. He then noted gospel music's tremendous influence on secular entertainment legends such as Ray Charles, James Brown, the Isley Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Ike and Tina Turner, and Elvis Presley.