Top Nominees Announced for 37th Annual Stellar Awards
The Stellar Awards dubbed the biggest night in gospel music is gearing up for its 37th annual ceremony at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta in July. On Friday, May 6th, the show’s founder, and CEO Don Jackson kicked off their radio tour with announcements of the top nominees and honorees for 2022. Leading this year’s nomination with 9 nods is CeCe Winans for her first live album “Believe For It.” CeCe has been nominated in all of the top categories including Artist of the Year, Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year and others. Tamela Mann and Pastor Mike Jr., both have 8 nominations and Todd Dulaney has received 7 nominations. Ricky Dillard, known as “The Choir Master,” and leader of the New Generation Chorale (New G) will be receiving this year’s James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award. The Aretha Franklin Award will be presented to legendary producer Aaron Lindsay. This year’s show hosts, and Stellar Award Hall of Fame honorees have not yet been named.
Ricky Dillard & New G Prep for Anniversary Celebration
“The Choir Master,” Dr. Ricky Dillard is gearing up for a huge celebration in Atlanta during Stellar Awards weekend with his choir New Gto celebrate their 34th Year Anniversary. The choir who is nominated this year for both Song of the Year “All of My Help,” and Choir of the Year for Breakthrough:The Exodus. Ricky Dillard & New G, known for their tightly coordinated stage presence, will be hosting the anniversary concert aptly named “The Journey” at the DREAM Center Church of Atlanta with host pastor Bishop William Murphy III on Sunday, July 17th at 5:00 p.m. Tickets and information are available on Eventbrite or RickyDillardandNewG.com.
NY 1 Anchor Pens Book About Women of Gospel
Cheryl Wills author, and veteran NYC news anchor for NY1 released a new book highlighting women who have shaped gospel music. “Isn’t Her Grace Amazing! The Women Who Changed Gospel Music,” features women in gospel such as singer/musician Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Willie Mae Ford Smith the mostly unsung co-writing partner to Thomas A. Dorsey regarded historically as “The Father of Gospel Music.” Despite having composed over 100 gospel songs, Ford Smith’s contributions remain largely unspoken of. Willis who is the granddaughter of a gospel singer, offers portraits of twenty-five outstanding women of gospel. The book, the result of both interviews and extensive research, showcases the talents and skills of these heroines which began with the early pioneers and include today’s top-charting female gospel artists. The book explores their journey to showcase their impact on both sacred music of today and the past.
Sunday Best’s Latice Crawford Selected as Church Vocal Director
Latice Crawford, BET’s “Sunday Best” alumni and finalist from Season 2 was recently named the newly appointed Vocal Director at NY’s Bridge Church. The Bridge Church NYC with lead Pastor James Roberson has two locations in Brooklyn, NY. The church shared the news via Instagram along with a warm welcome for their newest music staff member. “We are excited to welcome Latice Crawford onto our team!” Latice who is a singer, songwriter, actress and life coach is originally a Manhattan native. In her own post, she shared that she is equally excited to be participating in their 5th Avenue location in the heart Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood. She’ll the joining the church’s team for services that will be held each Sunday at 4:00 p.m.
Alabama Church Hosts Mental Health Summit
May is Mental Health Awareness month and Frazer Church in Montgomery, AL will be hosting “Faith Meets Mental Health,” to address the specific needs of the church. The summit will be led by keynote speaker and founder of the Mental Health Pulpit, Nate Stewart. The Mental Health Pulpit was formed in 2019 to address specific mental health needs and surrounding stigmas of the church as well as the lack of support and education. Stewart says, “The church should be a safe place for people to talk about anything.” The summit will feature five breakout sessions focusing on women, teens, parents, men, substance abuse and recovery and an exclusive session for pastors and church leaders. There will also be a presentation on suicide awareness given by Hope City Counseling. The summit will be held on May 14th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Registration details for this free event are available on the Frazer Church’s website.