Nashville, TN — The 27th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards have announced an all-star lineup of Gospel music’s finest performers, including Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, James Fortune & FIYA, Ricky Dillard & New G, Earnest Pugh, Richard Smallwood & Vision and William McDowell. In addition, presenters will include Cece Winans, Shirley Caesar, Donnie McClurkin, Kim Fields, Karen Clark Sheard, Kurt Carr, Dr. Bobby Jones, Byron Cage, Deon Kipping, Jason Nelson, Beverly Crawford, Tina Campbell (of Mary Mary), Kierra Sheard, Keith ‘Wonderboy’ Johnson, Dottie Peoples, DeForest B. Soaries and Vashawn Mitchell, who leads this year’s nominees.
The 27th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards Show is hosted this year by gospel legends Dorinda Clark Cole and Marvin Sapp (In photo) and taped before a live audience on Saturday, January 14, 2012. The telecast is scheduled to air in national syndication from January 21, 2012 to February 26, 2012 on the GMC cable network and local markets around the country. Viewers may check local listings for programming information in their area or the Stellar Awards website for an updated list of markets and stations (www.thestellarawards.com).
Prior to Saturday’s Stellar Awards, a Pre-Show awards event that is free and open to the public will be held on Friday, January 13, 2012 at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center to announce winners of the non-televised awards categories. The event will be hosted by Byron Cage and Mariette Brown-Clark, with performances by Michelle Williams, Dottie Peoples, Shirley Murdock and Kierra Sheard to name a few. Additionally, a Radio Announcers Awards brunch event will be held the morning of January 14 to honor the top radio stations serving urban Gospel music audiences.
With nominations revealed in twenty-nine categories, emerging gospel star Vashawn Mitchell led this year’s nominees, earning an impressive ten nods for his work on his 2011 release Triumphant, including “Artist of the Year” and “Male Vocalist of the Year.” Veteran superstars Mary Mary and Kirk Franklin tied with six nods for their respective projects Something Big and Hello Fear. Groundbreaking artist Deitrick Haddon’s latest CD, Church on the Moon, earned five nominations.
In addition to recognizing the year’s most outstanding contributions in the genre, The Stellar Awards also bestow special honors upon individuals whose names are synonymous with greatness throughout distinguished careers in the gospel arena. During this year’s ceremony, Vy Higginsen, founder of Gospel for Teens will be recognized with the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award; Dorothy Norwood will receive the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legend Award; and John P. Kee will receive the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award for his historical contributions to the industry.