Gospel Roundup

The 3rd Annual Stellar Music of Hope Easter Special

The 3rd Annual Stellar Music of Hope is right around the corner and just in time to celebrate Resurrection Sunday. The special which will be airing on Easter Sunday, April 17th will be carried by two cable networks including UPTv, which will premiere it at 10:00 am ET and then Aspire tv at 12:00 pm ET. This year’s show will be co-hosted by Jonathan McReynolds and Koryn Hawthorne. The pair shared similar hosting duties in 2020 as co-hosts for the 35th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards. This year’s special will feature performances by Pastor Donnie McClurkin, Maranda Curtis, Jor’Dan Armstrong, Smokie Norful, Todd Dulaney, Wande, KB , Brandon Camphor and One Wayand others. Following the premiere broadcasts, the show will continue in syndication through May 8, 2022.

CeCe Winans Wins Top 3 Gospel/Christian Grammys

The 64th Annual Grammy Awards, was livestreamed from the MGM Grand Garden Arenain Las Vegas on Sunday, April 3rd. CeCe Winans, bested the Gospel/Christian categories with three wins including Best Gospel Performance/Song, Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance Song and Best Gospel Album for “Believe For It.” Other highlights of the evening were from Maverick City Music, who received a total of 5 nominations. They performed “Jireh,” during the Grammys in 20 years. Another notable win went to Elevation Worship and Maverick City Music as a collective. It was their first Grammy received in the category for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for their joint effort on the Old Church Basement (Live).

RCA Exec Phil Thornton Announces Departure

Phil Thornton, General Manager and Senior VP of RCA Inspiration, a division of Sony Music Entertainment announced his departure recently in a very short and sweet Instagram post saying “March 31, 2022, marked my last day at Sony Music Entertainment. It was MY decision to leave the organization after 5+ years. Grateful to RCA Inspiration artists and staff – my tribe. This has been a rewarding chapter in my career.” He asked his 20.7k followers for prayer as he prepares to embark on a new professional journey but left no clues as to what those new plans would be. Thornton, named as an honoree among Billboard’s 2019 “40 under 40” has been instrumental in the careers of countless gospel artists including Kirk Franklin, Koryn Hawthorne, Marvin Sapp, Le’Andria Johnson, Donald Lawrence, and others. He currently sits on the Boards of the National Museum of African American Music, the Gospel Music Association, and the Recording Academy’s Nashville Chapter.

“Father Stu” Coming to Movie Theaters

Father Stu” based on the life story of Stuart Long, an amateur boxer who journeyed to Los Angeles to find fortune and fame and instead meets a Sunday school teacher, Carmen who changes the trajectory of his life and career while working as a supermarket clerk. Determined to win her over, long a self-professed agnostic began attending services to impress her. While on this quest for love, he gets into a motorcycle accident that starts him down the path of realization that his true calling is within the church, leading him to become an ordained Catholic priest only four years before his death. Father Stu played by actor Mark Walberg will debut in theaters on April 13, 2022. The movie, written and produced by Rosalind Ross will also star Jacki Weaver and Mel Gibson.

BMI Celebrates Gospel Trailblazers

Winners of the 2022 BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards were recently announced and celebrated at Nashville’s National Museum of African American Music. The honors were presented to those who were recognized for their excellence and contributions to music in the genre in multiple areas including top categories for BMI’s Gospel Song of the Year, Publisher of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. This year’s event was opened by Mali Music who performed “Movin’ On” and included other performances including CeCe Winanssinging the title song to her latest project “Believe for It.”  The winner for Song of the Year, was Donnie McClurkin’s “Speak to with honors being given to Aaron Lindsey, Jeshua “TedyP” Williamsand siblings J Drew Sheard II and Kierra Sheard. The full list of winners is available online at BMI.com.