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New Edition, Peabo Bryson, Wendy Williams & more receive Trumpet Awards [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

The 2017 Trumpet Awards were taped on Saturday evening at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and your truly was in the mix to capture all of the sights and sounds of one of Atlanta’s biggest nights. This year, I covered the red carpet for my radio magazine #UPFRONT and gathered exclusive interviews with some of the attendees, honorees and presenters. That segment will air this Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on WCLK.com.

After the red carpet, I was able to go backstage and cover the media room where most of the show’s presenters, performers and honorees stopped by for photo opportunities. As previously reported, this year’s 25th Anniversary show recognized the accomplishments of some of the biggest names in the African-American community including talk show host Wendy Williams, whose Trumpet Award for Entertainment was picked up by her media brother, hip hop icon Ed Lover.

New Edition’s Rickey Bell, Ronnie DeVoe, Michael Bivins and Johnny Gill, collected their much deserved Lifetime Achievement Trumpet Award. The iconic group from the 1980s, who laid the foundation for many  boy bands of the 90s and 2000s, was recognized just days before their highly anticipated biopic which airs tonight on BET. The group was saluted by R&B groups Transitions, Silk and Jagged Edge.

Music legend Peabo Bryson was honored for his enduring career as a Grammy winning-singer and songwriter. He has performed some of music’s most beloved duets including “Tonight I Celebrate My Love” with Roberta Flack, “Beauty and the Beast” with Celine Dion and “A Whole New World” with Regina Belle, who also performed the song with R&B crooner Kenny Lattimore as part of Bryson’s musical tribute. Bryson’s award was presented to him by music legend—Bill Withers. I had a chance to see Bryson perform last spring and he was simply amazing. He is one of the few veteran performers that still puts on an entire show including stories, dazzling costumes, a live band and back to back hits. This award is very well deserved and was one of the evening’s highlights.

NBA star Dikembe Mutombo picked up the Humanitarian Trumpet Award and praised gospel vocalist Tamela Mann for her amazing performance. She was a ray of sunshine when she entered the media room and bought a smile to everyone’s face. Fashion Blogger Gabi Gregg, was also glowing as she picked up this year’s Trailblazing Trumpet Award. I got a chance to chat with her on the red carpet and she described the moment as “surreal.”  I believe she is the first blogger to receive this award and was really humble to be in the midst of such greatness.

Gospel superstars Jekalyn Carr, Le’Andria Johnson, Travis Greene and Derek Minor were all in the house for a foot stomping, hand clapping, spirit-filled musical tribute. While I wasn’t able to see it from the media room, we were all in awe when the Queen of Gospel, Shirley Caesar, walked into the room. She even took pictures with a dry eraser sign that we created with the famous tag line, “You Name It.”  That was the name of the remixed song that created quite a frenzy over the Thanksgiving holiday and used a line from iconic tune, “Hold My Mule.”

The icing on the cake was Oscar winning-actor Louis Gosset Jr. being there to present Trumpet Awards founder Xernona Clayton with the distinguished Golden Trumpet Award. She also joined us backstage and had everyone’s full attention with her radiant white and gold gown and dazzling head piece.

Other stars spotted on the carpet included Ed Gordon, Erica Campbell, Dr. Bobby Jones, T.C. Carson, Lalah Hathaway, the show’s hosts Nicole Ari Parker and Deon Cole, the cast of Bounce TV’s “Saints and Sinners,” Gary Owens, BJ The Chicago Kid, KeKe WyattErica AshWillie Moore Jr., Tyler Williams from “The New Edition Story” and more!

See more backstage photos below and stay tuned for red carpet pics:

Vanessa Bell Calloway

Tamela Mann

Tamela Mann with Miss Georgia Pre-Teen Damacia Howard

showing off their sparkling shoes

Honoree Dikembe Mutombo with Ed Gordon

BJ The Chicago Kid 

Honoree Peabo Bryson with Bill Withers and Ed Gordon

Kenny Lattimore, Erica Ash and Bill Withers 

KeKe Wyatt

Le’Andria Johnson and Jekalyn Carr

That shoe tho! #Jekalyn Carr

Canton Jones with Shirley Caesar 

Shirley Caesar

Willie Moore Jr. 

Honoree Gabi Gregg

Gary Owens taking part in our backstage shenanigans

The group Transitions performed as part of the NE Tribute

Honorees Ronnie DeVoe and Michael Bivins 

Tyler Williams 

Ronnie DeVoe and Lyfe Jennings 

Trumpet Awards Founder Xernona Clayton

The Trumpet Awards airs this

Sunday, January 29 at 9 p.m. EST On Bounce

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

Categories
RC Exclusive - Music

Erica Campbell & Anthony Brown to host ‘2017 Stellar Awards’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Central City Productions announced this week the nominees in 26 categories for the 2017 Stellar Awards. Hailed as an “epic night in gospel music,” this year’s Stellar Awards will return to the Las Vegas Orleans Arena on Saturday, March 25, 2017. The telecast will premiere on TV One Sunday, April 9 at 7 p.m. ET with encores at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET.


Praise and worship breakthrough artist Travis Greene, and chart-topping soloist, Tamela Mann lead the nominations with nine each. Greene is having an amazing year, and is in the running for both Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year.

Mann is nominated this year for Artist of the Year and she is also competing for Song of the Year, and Traditional Female Vocalist of the Year.

Gospel music veterans Hezekiah Walker and Kirk Franklin demonstrate their staying power in gospel music, recognized for Male Vocalist of the Year, Choir of the Year, Contemporary Choir of the Year and Contemporary Male of the Year for their projects Azusa The Next Generation 2: Better (Walker/EOne Music) and Losing My Religion (Franklin/RCA Records). Jekalyn Carr, nominated for Artist of the Year, and Todd Dulaney are in contention for Male Vocalist of the Year, CD of the Year and Contemporary CD of the Year. Other artists earning multiple nominations include newcomers, Bri (Brianna Babineaux), Livre’, Enon Tabernacle and living legend Shirley Caesar.

Multiple Stellar Awards and Grammy Award-winning solo artist, nationally-syndicated radio host and television personality Erica Campbell joins multiple Stellar Award winner, songwriter and arranger Anthony Brown to co-host the 32nd Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards.

“Our 2017 nominees represent the strongest group of Gospel artists and songs in our 32-year history of the Stellar Awards. This year’s large number of artists who are first-time nominees is a positive testament to the new and upcoming artists in Gospel Music, as well as, a reflection of the tremendous growth of the Gospel Music Genre,” said Don Jackson, Founder of the Stellar Awards and Chairman of Central City Productions, Inc.

Click here to see all of the nominees and to purchase tickets!

Categories
RC Exclusive - Ent

‘Trumpet Awards’ to honor Wendy Williams, New Edition and more!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Bounce TV has announced the honorees for this year’s “25th Annual Trumpet Awards” and congratulations goes out to media maven Wendy Williams, who will be given the Entertainment Award and legendary R&B group, New Edition, who will pick up the Lifetime Achievement Award. The lavish ceremony will tape next Saturday, January 21 at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and will air on Sunday, January 29 at 9 p.m. EST.

“Black-ish” star and two-time EMMY® nominated actor Deon Cole is teaming up with and “Rosewood” and seven-time NAACP Image Award nominated actress Nicole Ari Parker as hosts of the black-tie ceremony.

Other honorees include former NBA great Dikembe Mutombo (Humanitarian Award), GRAMMY®-winning soul singer Peabo Bryson (Legend Award) and fashion blogger Gabi Gregg (Trailblazing Award).

The 25th Annual Trumpet Awards will also include special performances by Erica Campbell, Kenny Lattimore, Tamela Mann, Shirley Caesar, Bobby V., Keke Wyatt and Jekalyn Carr.

In a very special tribute, civil rights icon and founder of the Trumpet Awards Xernona Clayton will be presented with the distinguished “Golden Trumpet Award” in recognition of her unparalleled leadership, affecting change, and steadfast work in building the legacy of the awards.

“We have come so far since we started in 1993 and I am extremely obliged to those individuals who saw the vision and who have worked with us for 25 years. Bounce is the ideal custodian to continue to enhance the level of excellence that is our standard going forward. I am thrilled to have my beloved Trumpet Awards become part of Bounce who will continue to celebrate the achievements of those who had an impact on our community for many more years to come,” says Mrs. Clayton.

RayCornelius.com and “UPFRONT” will be on the red carpet to get all of the exclusive interviews with the honorees and presenters, so stay tuned!

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com and Facebook/Wendy Williams

Categories
RC Exclusive - Ent

2016 Triumph Awards to honor Spike Lee, Diddy, Jermaine Dupri & More!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The “2016 Triumph Awards” are returning to Atlanta and to TV One for a second year in a row. “Survivor’s Remorse” star Tichina Arnold will host this year’s ceremony that recognizes distinguished individuals and corporations in civil rights, the arts, entertainment, education, business and sports. The annual show is presented by Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network and TV One. 

The year’s awards ceremony will take place at Atlanta’s historic Tabernacle Concert Hall on Sunday, September 18 at 6 p.m. and will honor Sean “Diddy” CombsSpike LeeJermaine DupriAttorney Benjamin Crump, FedEx executive Gina Adams and Mastercard. According to the press release, this year’s honorees have made a positive impact on society by utilizing their talents and resources to help those within under-resourced communities.

Performers and presenters include Nick Cannon, Fantasia, Eric Benet, Joe, BJ the Chicago Kid, Juan and Deborah Joy Winans, V. Bozeman, Jekalyn Carr, NAN Chairman Reverend Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson; Martin Luther King, III, JB Smoove, Dionne Warwick, Marc Lamont Hill, Kandi Burrus, Dondre Whitfield, Angel McCoughtry and Erica Ash. The Mothers of the Movement: Sybrina FultonGwen Carr, Leslie McSpadden and Esaw Snipes Garner will also be featured and Grammy winning-performer Robert Glasper will return as this year’s Musical Director.

Additional participants to be announced at a later date.

The 2016 Triumph Awards will air on TV One on Sunday, October 2 at 7pm ET and encore at 9pm ET.

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com