Written by The Chicago Defender
From the country music capital in Nashville to Washington, D.C., this past weekend gospel was heard nationwide. Viewers had a chance to see the 28th Annual Stellar Awards on the Gospel Music Channel this past weekend live from Opryland in Nashville.
The big winner for the evening was Rev. Charles Jenkins and Fellowship Chicago winning five of the eight nominations including Song of the Year, CD of the Year, Traditional Choir of the Year, Music Packaging and Choir of the Year.
“Well, two things. It’s (music) in my DNA. Since a teenager I’ve been very involved in gospel music. Music is in my blood and I took classical piano for seven years as a child and I’ve been writing 20 years.,” said Rev. Charles Jenkins. “I started Joshua’s Troop, wrote a song for them, brought Percy Gray to work with the choir and then I just turned it over to him. I got a Grammy for my work with Israel Houghton for the song “You’ve Been a Friend,” on the “Live in South Africa” CD.”
Jenkins gave thanks to his predecessor Rev. Clay Evans, Loudella Evans-Reid and hand-picked talent that worked on the project, including Kevin Vasser, Anita Wilson, Rick Robinson, Warren Campbell and the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church Choir.
The choir continued a weekend of winning. After leaving Nashville, some members returned home to receive the Chicago Music Award in the gospel category while the others accompanied Jenkins to the presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C. to perform. Their next single, “I Will Live!” is expected to take praise and worship to another level.
Other big Stellar Award winners for the evening were Marvin Sapp for Male Vocalist and Artist of the Year. Mary Mary picked up Gospel Duo. The pair co-hosted the Stellar Awards with Kirk Franklin. Le’Andria Johnson received New Artist of the Year. The Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the year went to Kierra Sheard. She later joined Anita Wilson, Amber Bullock, Johnson and the Caravans (Shirley Caesar, Delores Washington and Dorothy Norwood) for a stellar tribute to Inez Andrews singing her classic, “Mary Don’t You Weep.”
Check your local listings for times the show will air.