Celebrating its milestone 35th Anniversary of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards, Central City Productions announces an awe-inspiring line-up of performers for the “Greatest Night in Gospel Music.” Returning to the Las Vegas Orleans Arena on Friday, March 27, 2020, this year’s milestone Stellar Awards telecast promises to honor the best of three-and-a-half decades of Gospel music tradition with performances from the genre’s most celebrated acts. Performers include Donnie McClurkin, James Fortune, J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise, Travis Greene, Maranda Curtis, William Murphy, Zacardi Cortez, Pastor Mike Jr., Kierra Sheard, The Walls Group, and Doe, with more to be announced. The show will premiere on BET Networks (simulcast on BET HER) on April 5 at 8 p.m. ET with an encore at 10 p.m. ET, and air in broadcast syndication in more than 216 markets around the country from April 11 – May 17, 2020.
Taking the reigns for the first time as co-hosts this year are two of Gospel’s breakthrough artists who have established themselves as part of the ‘new guard’ shaping contemporary Gospel music — Koryn Hawthorne and Jonathan McReynolds.
“Words can’t describe my excitement for this moment! I’m honored that the Stellars chose me to do this next to Jonathan McReynolds, who I love dearly,” said Hawthorne. We’re going to bring a fresh vibe to the stage and it’s gonna be lit!”
“I still remember sitting in the upper deck looking in awe down at a stage I never thought I’d sing on, never thought I’d play on, never thought I’d win on,” shared McReynolds. “7 years later I’m hosting. Mind blown!” I’m grateful to be on the Stellars stage where, every year, music, Black and Kingdom history is made,” he continued. “I might be biased, but I think this will be the best Stellars ever.”
An important tradition at the Stellar Awards, Founder Don Jackson will bestow special recognition upon Gospel greats who have elevated the genre. This year’s James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award will honor none other than the iconic Clark Sisters — Karen Clark Sheard, Dorinda Clark Cole, Twinkie Clark and Jacky Clark Chisholm — who hold a collective fifteen Stellar Awards, in addition to the Thomas Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award (2007). The legendary Clark Sisters will raise the roof with a rousing set featuring some of their most notable hits. The one and only Lady Tramaine Hawkins will be presented with the Aretha Franklin Icon Award, adding to her collection of honors including the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award (2008) and induction into the Stellar Honors Hall of Fame (2016). The illustrious Pastor Shirley Caesar, multiple Stellar Award winner (14), and recipient of the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award (1986); the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award (2004); and inducted into the Stellar Honors Hall of Fame (2015), is being recognized with the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award. Dr. Leonard Scott, founder of Tyscot Records, and inductee into the Stellar Honors Hall of Fame (2017), will receive the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award.
The Stellar Awards show taping on Friday, March 27, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. PT is open to the public, with ticket prices ranging from $50 – $200 at www.ticketmaster.com. The week’s activities begin with the first-ever Stellar ‘Laugh Out Loud’ comedy show, held on Wednesday, March 25, featuring clean comedians – Griff, Marcus D. Wiley, Akintunde and more. The Stellar Gospel Radio Awards & Showcase, hosted by VaShawn Mitchell and Bri Babineaux, held on Thursday, March 26, honors top radio stations and announcers serving urban gospel music audiences. Later in the day, the 2020 Stellar Gospel Music Awards Pre-Show, hosted by Kierra Sheard and Todd Dulaney, will celebrate the non-televised award category winners. Each event will feature rousing performances by a roster of Gospel music greats. Public tickets for each event are on sale at www.ticketmaster.com. For a complete list of Stellar Awards official activities, please visit www.thestellarawards.com.
As previously announced, veteran Gospel collective, Donald Lawrence Presents The Tri-City Singers leads the field of nominees this year with nine nominations. Other top nominees include Gospel icon and Stellar Awards Host emeritus, Kirk Franklin and powerhouse singer, producer and performer Tasha Cobbs Leonard with eight nominations each; JJ Hairston (7 Nominations), Bishop Paul S. Morton (6 Nominations), John P. Kee (5 Nominations), Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers (4 Nominations), William Murphy (4 Nominations), Pastor Mike, Jr. (4 Nominations), Maranda Curtis (3 Nominations), and Fresh Start Worship (3 Nominations) round out the field of top nominated artists. For the complete list of the 35th Anniversary Stellar Gospel Music Awards, please visit www.thestellarawards.com.
More of the biggest names in Gospel and a few additional surprises are being added to the growing list of top performers appearing in this year’s show. Stay tuned for future announcements and follow @thestellars for the latest news and updates about the Greatest Night in Gospel Music.
The Stellar Gospel Music Awards show is Executive Produced by Don Jackson, with Jennifer J. Jackson serving as Executive in Charge of Production. Michael A. Johnson will produce and direct this year’s award show.