Continued from Stellar...Event to Remember
Other wonderful appearances included Aretha Franklin's presentation of "Song of the Year" to Jonathan Nelson for his song, Healed, Kirk Franklin’s presentation of Most Notable Achievement Award to Fred Hammond, and The Rev. Jesse Jackson who presented the entire Winans family with the James Cleveland Award.
One of the most memorable and touching moments of the evening was the tribute to The Winans Family. Known as the First Family of Gospel Music, The Winans have inspired many in the gospel music industry and for them to receive top honors at the show was wonderful. Andre Crouch, a 2003 recipient of the James Cleveland Award, introduced Chante Moore, Kenny Lattimore and Rizen, who performed a special tribute celebrating the life and legacy of the late Ronald Winans. Finally Donnie McClurkin spoke about Ronald and was very moved and the family was moved as well. I talked to them about Ronald and they stated that they want everybody to know that he loved God. “He really loved God and he lived what he sang” said Debbie. “He really loved us too and he could really cook” added CeCe. They told me the fondest memory they have of him was how wonderful a cook he was and the fact that he could make anything including baked macaroni and cheese and sweet potato pie. “Don’t tell Marvin but he was the best cook of the family!” said CeCe. “We had our first Thanksgiving without him and the food was good, we all pitched in, but he was surely missed!” she concluded.
The high-energy night showed no signs of slowing down with other soul-stirring performances by the incomparable Yolanda Adams, Walter Hawkins, Kirk Franklin, the Mississippi Mass Choir, Dottie Peoples, Men of Standard, gospel sensation Shirley Caesar, Smokie Norful and Rance Allen.
Kirk Whalum, who picked up a Stellar for "Instrumental CD of the Year" gave a moving performance featuring the soothing vocal styling of singer Jonathan Butler. Kirk told me that he and his wife Ruby are celebrating 25 years of marriage and that in tribute to their love he is releasing a new project entitled “Kirk Whalum Performs the Babyface Songs” and that man is totally in love with his wife. He said falling in love with her was one of the best things he’s ever done next to loving Jesus.
The show concluded with a powerful finale by Donald Lawrence and the host of the evening all singing Healed. For a complete listing of all 2006 Stellar Award winners, log on to www.thestellarawards.com and for the backstage interviews check out Christian Conversations on WVPB in Atlanta Georgia. Check your local listings for air dates. You can also read about it in more detail at 3V Magazine on stands now!
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Andre Crouch, Jonathan Butler, Dorinda Clark-Cole and Karen Clark-Sheard
Dottie Peoples, Kenny Lattimore and Chante Moore
Jonathan Nelson and Dorinda Clark-Cole
Martha Munizzi and I