THE 35TH ANNIVERSARY STELLAR AWARDS WINNERS

Written by on August 23, 2020

Kirk Franklin
Kirk Franklin

KIRK FRANKLIN TOPS WINNERS LIST WITH SIX TROPHIES AT HISTORIC 35TH ANNIVERSARY STELLAR GOSPEL MUSIC AWARDS VIRTUAL SPECIAL ON

BET & BET HER SUNDAY NIGHT

From Moving Tributes Honoring Rep. John Lewis and COVID-19 First Responders to Stirring Songs of Inspiration, Power and Praise, Tamela Mann, CeCe Winans, Anthony Brown, James Fortune, Travis Greene, Kierra Sheard, Marvin Sapp, Tye Tribbett and More Deliver Epic Performances

REPLAY THE HIGHLIGHTS AND BIGGEST MOMENTS WHEN STELLAR AWARDS AIRS IN SYNDICATION NATIONWIDE AUGUST 29 –SEPTEMBER 27

35TH ANNIVERSARY STELLAR AWARDS TOP WINNERS 2020
Kirk Franklin – 6, Donald Lawrence – 4,  John P. Kee – 3, Kurt Carr – 3, Tasha Cobbs Leonard – 2, Le’Andria Johnson – 2, The Walls Group – 2, Pastor Mike Jr. – 2

Koryn Hawthorne, Kirk Franklin, Jonathan McReynolds
Koryn Hawthorne, Kirk Franklin, Jonathan McReynolds

(CHICAGO, IL) August 23, 2020 – Not even a global pandemic could diminish the powerful spirit of praise, worship and celebration during the historic virtual broadcast of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards Sunday night on BET and BET Her. Led by hosts Kirk Franklin, Jonathan McReynolds, and Koryn Hawthorne, the 35th Anniversary Stellar Gospel Music Awards awarded trophies in 28 categories for the year’s best performances in the genre — including six statues presented to the night’s big winner, host and Gospel icon Kirk Franklin.

From the first moments featuring welcome remarks by Stellar Awards Founder and Executive Producer Don Jackson and powerful show open by Tye Tribbett of his uplifting anthem “We Gon’ Be Alright,” through the final credit roll, the “Greatest Night in Gospel Music” lived up to its claim to fame. Virtually bringing together the nation’s Gospel community to offer hope and inspiration during these turbulent times, among the evening’s highlights are a moving tribute to the late Congressman John Lewis by CeCe Winans, who performed “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and special recognition to COVID-19 first responder heroes.

Kirk Franklin - Stellar Awards 2020
Kirk Franklin takes top honors, winning six Stellar Awards (five as an artist and one award for his project, Love Theory) as the show’s top winner for Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, Producer of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary Album of the Year, and Music Video of the Year

Franklin’s work on Long Live Love earned him five Stellar Awards for Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, Producer of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year, and Contemporary Album of the Year. Franklin earned an additional Song of the Year trophy for his work on “Love Theory.” Gospel great Donald Lawrence presents the Tri-City Singers received four Stellar Awards for work on the Goshen project including Choir of the Year and Contemporary Choir of the Year, as well as Song of the Year and Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year for “Deliver Me (This is My Exodus).” Gospel legend John P. Kee’s I Made It Out delivered three Stellar Awards for Traditional Male Vocalist, Traditional Album of the Year and Traditional Choir of the Year.

Singer/songwriter Tasha Cobbs Leonard garnered two trophies for Artist of the Year and Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year for her project Heart, Passion, Pursuit, while Le’Andria Johnson earned two for her work on Donald Lawrence’s project, Goshen in the categories Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year Award and the Traditional Female Vocalist of the Year. The Walls Group received two statues for Duo Group of the Year and Contemporary Duo Group of the Year for their album Friend in Me, along with newcomer Pastor Mike Jr. who took home a pair of Stellar Awards for New Artist of the Year and Rap/Hip Hop Gospel Album of the Year for his work on Live Free. Kurt Carr received two Stellar awards, one as an artist (Traditional Duo/Chorus Group of the Year) and another for Recorded Music Packaging of the Year for the Bless Somebody Else project.

Rounding out the night with one Stellar Award each were JJ Hairston (Praise and Worship Album of the Year), Ben Tankard (Instrumental Album of the Year), Gospel Kids (Youth Project of the Year), Keith Wonderboy Johnson (Quartet of the Year) and Greenleaf; Season 3 (Special Event Album of the Year).

Performers raised the bar with awe-inspiring renditions of their work calling attention to social justice and other challenges facing our society. Breathtaking and visually-stunning performances were delivered by Tamela Mann, Anthony Brown, James Fortune, Koryn Hawthorne, J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise, Jonathan McReynolds, Travis Greene, Kierra Sheard, Marvin Sapp, Tye Tribbett, Tauren Wells, Zacardi Cortez, Pastor Mike Jr, DOE, and Rich Tolbert Jr. Emerging artists making their Stellar Awards debut, Group Fire, Keyla Richardson, Melvin Crispell III, and Titus Showers joined a rich legacy of 35 years of excellence in Gospel music.

The show’s hosts visited first responder heroes on the front lines of the Coronavirus pandemic in Dallas, Nashville and Chicago, expressing gratitude for their sacrifice and bestowing commemorative Stellar Awards lapel pins in honor of their service. In addition, several healthcare professionals and civic organizations were highlighted for their efforts to combat the deadly pandemic. The segments were made possible with the generous support of sponsors AT&T, State Farm, Toyota, Procter & Gamble, McDonalds and AARP. 

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 serves as producer and director for this year’s award show. The Stellar Awards is presented by AT&T and recognizes the year’s best performances in the genre, honors Gospel music icons and acknowledges the accomplishments of individuals instrumental in advocating for the industry.

To relive all of the highlights, viewers can watch the Stellar Awards in national broadcast syndication in 210 markets starting August 29 – September 27 (check local listings). Follow @thestellars for the latest news and updates about the greatest night in Gospel music.

35th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Award Winners

Category #1
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Tasha Cobbs Leonard; Heart. Passion. Pursuit. (Live at Passion City Church); Motown Gospel

Category #2
SONG OF THE YEAR
Deliver Me (This Is My Exodus); Donald Lawrence, William Stokes, Marshon Lewis, Robert Woolridge
& Desmond Davis; RCA Inspiration

Category #3
MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Kirk Franklin; Long Live Love; Fo Yo Soul/ RCA/ RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #4
ALBERTINA WALKER FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Le’Andria Johnson; Goshen; RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #5
DUO/CHORUS GROUP OF THE YEAR
The Walls Group, Friend in Me, Wall2Wall Entertainment/My Block Records

CATEGORY #6
NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Pastor Mike Jr.; Live Free; Black Smoke Worldwide

CATEGORY #7
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Long Live Love; Kirk Franklin; Fo Yo Soul/ RCA/ RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #8
CHOIR OF THE YEAR
Donald Lawrence presents the Tri-City Singers; Goshen; RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #9
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
Kirk Franklin, Ronald Hill & Phil Thornton; Long Live Love; Fo Yo Soul/ RCA/ RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #10
CONTEMPORARY DUO/CHORUS GROUP OF THE YEAR
The Walls Group, Friend in Me, Wall2Wall Entertainment/My Block Records

CATEGORY #11
TRADITIONAL DUO/CHORUS GROUP OF THE YEAR
Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers; Bless Somebody Else; Kurt Carr Gospel / RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #12
CONTEMPORARY MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Kirk Franklin; Long Live Love; Fo Yo Soul/ RCA/ RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #13
TRADITIONAL MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
John P. Kee; I Made It Out; Entertainment One

CATEGORY #14
CONTEMPORARY FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Tasha Cobbs Leonard; Heart. Passion. Pursuit. (Live at Passion City Church); Motown Gospel

CATEGORY #15
TRADITIONAL FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Le’Andria Johnson; Goshen; RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #16
CONTEMPORARY ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Long Live Love; Kirk Franklin; Fo Yo Soul/ RCA/ RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #17
TRADITIONAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
I Made It Out; John P. Kee; Entertainment One

CATEGORY #18
URBAN/INSPIRATIONAL SINGLE OR PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
Deliver Me (This Is My Exodus); Donald Lawrence presents the Tri-City Singers; RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #19
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Love Theory; Matt DeLisi; Fo Yo Soul/ RCA/ RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #20
TRADITIONAL CHOIR OF THE YEAR
John P. Kee; I Made It Out; Entertainment One

CATEGORY #21
CONTEMPORARY CHOIR OF THE YEAR
Donald Lawrence presents the Tri-City Singers; Goshen; RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #22
INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Rise!; Ben Tankard; BEN-Jamin’ Universal Music

CATEGORY #23
SPECIAL EVENT ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Greenleaf: Season 3 (Music from The Original TV Series); Various Artists; Lionsgate Entertainment

CATEGORY #24
RAP HIP HOP GOSPEL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Live Free; Pastor Mike Jr.; Black Smoke Worldwide

CATEGORY #25
YOUTH PROJECT OF THE YEAR
Gospel Kids; Gospel Kids Present… Christian Soldiers; Tyscot Records

CATEGORY #26
QUARTET OF THE YEAR
Keith Wonderboy Johnson & Josh Myles; Inspirational Project; Timeless Music

CATEGORY #27
RECORDED MUSIC PACKAGING OF THE YEAR
Bless Somebody Else; Derek Blanks; Kurt Carr Gospel / RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #28
PRAISE AND WORSHIP ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Miracle Worker; JJ Hairston; JamesTown Music / Entertainment One

GOSPEL RADIO OF THE YEAR WINNERS
MAJOR MARKET OF THE YEAR
WPZE Praise 102.5, Atlanta

LARGE MARKET OF THE YEAR
WPZS Praise 100.9 FM, Charlotte

MEDIUM MARKET OF THE YEAR
WXHL 89.1, Wilmington

SMALL MARKET OF THE YEAR
WJAY 98.3 FM & 1280 AM, Mullins

INTERNET STATION OF THE YEAR
U Gospel, http://uGospel.com

GOSPEL ANNOUNCER OF THE YEAR
Meta Washington, SiriusXM, Satellite Radio

Follow The Stellar Awards on social media for updates and more!

Who are the 2020 Stellar Gospel Music Award Winners? 

Who won the 2020 Stellar Award for Artist of the Year? 

Who won the 2020 Stellar Award New Artist of the Year? 
Who won the 2020 Stellar Award for Song of the Year?


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