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RC Exclusive - Music

BET’s ‘Sunday Best’ Auditions Taking Place in ATL on 2/15

Returning to BET Network’s for season 10 is America’s most inspirational singing competition, “Sunday Best.” The well-established gospel show welcomes back Grammy Award®-winning music legend Kirk Franklin as host. Returning for the second consecutive year as judges are gospel songstress and host of “Get Up Mornings,” Erica Campbell, and Grammy-Award® nominated artists Kelly Price and Jonathan McReynolds.

Season 10 open call auditions will be held Saturday, February 15th in Atlanta, GA at The House of Hope (4650 Flat Shoals Parkway, Decatur, GA 30034; registration 6am-11am). Atlanta auditions will be filmed for television. Aspiring contestants should be age 18+ and should prepare to sing a song from the list below:

1. Amazing Grace

2. Blessed Assurance

3. Have Thine Own Way, Lord

4. His Eye is On The Sparrow

5. I Need Thee Every Hour

6. I Surrender All

7. It Is Well With My Soul

8. Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

9. Love Lifted Me

10. Mary, Don’t You Weep

11. Nothing But the Blood of Jesus

12. O Come, All Ye Faithful (O Come Let Us Adore Him)

13. Oh, How I Love Jesus

14. Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior

15. Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus

16. What A Friend We Have In Jesus

Aspiring contestants from around the country are encouraged to submit their audition online and get additional audition information at BET.com/SundayBest.

The final day for online submissions is Monday, February 10, 2020, at 5:00 pm EST.

Photo Credit: BET.com

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‘Black Music Honors’ to salute Stephanie Mills, Whodini, Bobby Brown + BeBe and CeCe Winans

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Congratulations to Grammy ®Award-winning singer and Broadway legend—STEPHANIE MILLS! She will be recognized during this year’s Black Music Honors. The highly anticipated evening, hosted by television and radio personality Rickey Smiley and Grammy® Award-winner and actress LeToya Luckett, will celebrate the artistry of the music industry’s most revered icons.

Mills will receive the Legends Award, honoring her illustrious music and acting career spanning more than four decades. Brooklyn-based rap group, Whodini, will be presented the Hip Hop Icon Award for their musical contributions. Both will join an impressive list of previously announced honorees – BeBe and CeCe Winans, Bobby Brown, Faith Evans and Dallas Austin

The celebratory night will also feature exciting performances by Keyshia Cole, Raheem DeVaughn, Next, Young Buck, Yo-Yo, Ruben Studdard, Jade Novah, Demetria McKinney, V. Bozeman, Tasha Page-Lockhart, Monie Love, Kierra Sheard, and Jonathan McReynolds.

The 2018 Black Music Honors will take place at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center on Thursday, August 16 and will air as a two-hour television special on Bounce TV Sept. 28, 2018.

Stay tuned…

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Snoop Dogg, Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin and more attend ‘Stellar Gospel Music Awards’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Gospel music’s biggest night was celebrated over the weekend at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. I’m talking about none other than the 2018 Stellar Gospel Music Awards. This year’s show was hosted by Grammy winning performer Kirk Franklin and will air this Good Friday, March 30 at 9 p.m. on TV One.

This year’s award’s ceremony opened with Stellar Awards alum Erica Campbell reuniting with her sister Tina Campbell as the hit gospel duo Mary Mary for the first time in more than six years. The show also included an all-star tribute to the late, great Edwin Hawkins, with his sister Lynette Hawkins accepting the Edwin Hawkins Icon Award in his honor. Also, a stand out moment featured the multi-platinum award-winning Snoop Dogg performing material from his new gospel album, “Bible of Love.”

The night also included performances by Kierra Sheard, Tori Kelly, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Anthony Brown, JJ Hairston, Travis Greene, Jonathan McReynolds, Ricky Dillard, Todd Dulaney, Tasha Page Lockhart, KeKe Wyatt, Canton Jones, Deitrick Haddon, Koryn Hawthorne, Le’Andria Johnson and more. Special presenters included Donnie McClurkin, Merle DandridgeDavid MannAnika Noni Rose and more.

Top winners of the night were JJ Hairston winning six awards; Tasha Cobbs Leonard and Travis Greene each winning four awards; and Anthony Brown winning two awards.

Don Jackson bestowed special honors upon gospel greats who have made significant contributions to the genre. The incomparable Tamela Mann was the 2018 recipient of the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award and the legendary Rev. Milton Biggham received The Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award.  Stellar Honors Hall of Fame Inductees includes Kurt Carr, Ben Tankard, and Dr. Marabeth Gentry – President of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses.

The 2018 Stellar Gospel Music Awards will air on March 30 at 9 p.m. on TV One.

Check out the red carpet & performance photos below:

KIRK FRANKLIN

VASHAWN MITCHELL

TASHA PAGE LOCKART

MARVIN SAPP

TASHA COBBS LEONARD 

JONATHAN MCREYNOLDS

LAURIEANN GIBSON

DEBORAH JOY WINANS + MERLE DANDRIDGE + DESIREE ROSS

CANTON JONES 

HEZEKIAH WALKER 

DEREK BLANKS 

KIERRA + J. DREW SHEARD

LE’ANDRIA JOHNSON 

DR. BOBBY JONES 

MARY MARY 

JOE JACKSON

BEN + JEWELL TANKARD 

JJ + TRINA HAIRSTON

TODD DULANEY + WIFE 

THE WALLS GROUP

ANIKA NONI ROSE 

KURT CARR

TRAVIS GREEN + WIFE 

BRYON CAGE 

ANTHONY BROWN

JONATHAN SLOCUMB

KIRK FRANKLIN + DAVID MANN

Photo Credits: Earl Gibson for Getty Images

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‘Stellar Awards’ to feat. Mary Mary, Snoop Dogg + Kirk Franklin

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

The debut of Snoop Dogg‘s gospel album and a reunion of gospel duo Mary Mary just a few of the highlights for this year’s 2018 Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards. The show will be hosted by Grammy winning superstar Kirk Franklin and will be held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on March 24.

According to the press release, the iconic rapper, actor and television personality will grace the Stellar stage with music from his new inspirational album Songs of Love. The sisters—Erica and Tina Campbell—will come together for a spectacular performance of their classic hits and more.

Other scheduled performers include: Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Travis Greene, Tye Tribbett, Anthony Brown & group therAPy, Kierra Sheard, KeKe Wyatt, Jonathan McReynolds, Tasha Page-Lockhart, Todd Dulaney, Koryn Hawthorne and Ricky Dillard & New G, among others.

Grammy winning vocalist and reality star Tamela Mann is this year’s recipient of the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award and the legendary Rev. Milton Biggham will receive The Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award. Stellar Honors Hall of Fame Inductees includes Kurt Carr, Ben Tankard, and Dr. Marabeth Gentry – President of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses.

“Each year we strive to bring new and innovative performances and collaborations to the Stellar Awards and this year is no different, with the inclusion of mainstream hip-hop rapper and mogul, Snoop Dogg.” stated Stellar Awards Founder, Don Jackson. “Snoop expressed his desire to release a gospel album in honor of his mom who is an evangelist and he’s teamed up with Gospel superstar Tye Tribbett, there’s no way we couldn’t bring this explosive performance to the Stellar Awards stage.”

2018 Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards telecast will premiere on TV One on Friday, March 30 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.

Click here for a list of this year’s nominees!

Will You Be Watching?

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Tasha Cobbs & Friends to host Benefit Concert for Haiti #YAY

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Gospel sensation Tasha Cobbs is gearing up to host a very special benefit concert for the people of Haiti. The award winning siren is teaming up with a few of her celebrity friends—Bishop William Murphy, VaShawn Mitchell, Jonathan McReynolds, James Fortune, Isaac Carree, Kierra Sheard, Jimi Kavity—to participate in an evening of giving and singing.

The concert will provide medical supplies to families located in Haiti who have been ravished by Hurricane Matthew. Admission is totally free. However, Cobbs is asking that attendees bring an item to donate including batteries, non sterile gloves, Tylenol and gauze.  100% of donations will be given to #ProjectMediShare.

It all goes down at the Suite Food Lounge on Monday, November 14 beginning at 6 p.m. with the supply drive followed by the concert beginning at 8 p.m.

Click here to RSVP!

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Meagan Good, LisaRaye McCoy, Courtney B. Vance and more to appear at LA’s ‘Merge Summit’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Some of the biggest names in Black entertainment will come together to talk faith and fame at L.A.’s Merge Summit August 25-27 at The Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

The Merge Summit is a unique event created to inspire synergy with faith based and entertainment industry leaders to educate, uplift and encourage attendees to aspire towards their professional and personal goals.

This year’s festivities include a gala on August 25 that will recognize the outstanding accomplishments of Senior Vice President of Prudential Financial- Dorinda Walker, ESSENCE Magazine Editor At Large-Mikki Taylor, founder and senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center (LWCC)-Dr. Bill Winston and Emmy Award Nominated Actor-Courtney B. Vance. This evening will be hosted by celebrated comedian-Cedric The Entertainer and will feature performances by Jonathan McReynolds and Ezekiel (The Poet).

From August 26-27th, 60 top level entertainment executives will lead interactive discussions, workshops and Master Class sessions in personal branding, music, television, film, creative development, and new media.

Summit participants include Michelle Williams, Tasha Cobbs, Suzanne DePasse, Debra Martin Chase, DeVon Franklin, Leah Daniels-Butler, Meagan Good Franklin, Tia Mowry-Hardrict, LisaRaye McCoy, Brely Evans, Essence Atkins, Edwina Findley-Dickerson, Salli Richardson Whitfield, Cory Hardrict, Dondre Whitfield, John David Washington and Brian White.

“What a better place to bring the Word than amongst the brightest of stars and influencers in the entertainment industry,” said The Merge Summit Co-Founder and Co-Chair Robi Reed. “We need as many beacons of love and hope as we can find to light a path in these days and The Merge Summit is the place where those like minds meet. I’m excited to see us climb to a new plateau this year.”

I had the pleasure of attending the Atlanta Merge Symposium (a smaller scaled down version of the L.A. event) at Bishop William Murphy‘s dReam Center last November and had a blast.

Click here to purchase your tickets!

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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Recap

BMI Honors Mary Mary and BeBe & CeCe Winans [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Some of Gospel music’s biggest stars attended the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors Saturday night in Atlanta, GA. The lavish ceremony was held at the historic Rialto Performing Arts Center at Georgia State and featured an all-star salute to sibling acts Mary Mary and music legends BeBe and CeCe Winans. The evening was hosted by Sunday Best judge and radio personality Yolanda Adams and will air on TV One February 19 at 8 p.m. EST.

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CeCe and BeBe Winans with their niece Deborah Joy Winans

The evening began with a dazzling red carpet and then a pre-show where BMI recognized the most played songs of 2015 and their songwriters. Award-winning hits included “But God,” “Different,” “Help,” “No Greater Love,” “I Will Trust,” “I Can Only Imagine,” “This Place,” “You Alone,” “We Are Victorious,” and “War.”

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Erica and Tina Campbell with BMI President Mike O’Neill

The two-hour show will include soul-stirring renditions of Mary Mary and Bebe & CeCe Winans songs performed by some of the industry’s most recognizable artists including KeKe Wyatt, Kierra “KiKi” Sheard with Tasha Cobbs, Tamia with Jonathan McReynolds, Fred Hammond with Deborah Cox, Kelly Price, Avery*Sunshine, Tamela Mann, Lisa Page-Brooks with Tasha Page-LockhartY’anna Crawley, Brian Courtney Wilson, Angie Winans, Debbie Winans, Juan Winans and Pastor Ron WinansDSC_0291-3

The Anointed Pace Sisters

Celebrities spotted on the red carpet included Grant Hill, Kim Fields, Miss Lawrence, Drea Kelly, David Mann, Avery Wilson, Sean Garrett, Donald Lawrence, Bryon Cage, Ricky Dillard, Tiff Joy, Anita Wilson, GooGooMarvin Sapp, T.C. Carson, Ted WinnStevie JAnointed Pace Sisters and TV One President Brad Siegel along with Catherine Brewton, BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta.

Check out some of the red carpet photos below:

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WATC Atlanta Live host Regina Howard interviewing Yolanda Adams

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Kelly Price looking radiant on the red carpet

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Sunday Best’s Y’anna Crawley/Kim Fields with Christopher Morgan

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BeBe & CeCe Winans with their niece Debra Joy Winans

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Isaac Carree and wife/ Tasha Cobbs 

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KeKe Wyatt with David and Tamela Mann

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Tamia and Grant Hill/Stevie J with guest

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Kierra “KiKi” Sheard with the Anointed Pace Sisters

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Drea Kelly/ Miss Lawrence 

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The one and only Fred Hammond with guest

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GooGoo/ T.C. Carson

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BMI’s Catherine Brewton/Deborah Joy Winans 

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Tina and Erica Campbell with their mother Miss Honey

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BeBe and CeCe Winans being interviewed on the red carpet

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The Marys—Eric and Tina Campbell on the red carpet

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Rejoice

Taraji P. Henson to host BET’s ‘Celebration of Gospel’ + All-Star Line Up

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

BET has announced that Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson will host this year’s 14th Annual Celebration of Gospel.  The noted actress is replacing comedian Steve Harvey, who served as show’s host for for 13 years.

“I am thrilled to join the BET “Celebration of Gospel” family.  I look forward to a great evening of incredible music and continuing the rich history of BET and gospel music which started 14 years ago hosted by the talented and very funny Steve Harvey,”  said Henson.

This year’s show promises a cool mix of contemporary gospel artists with some of today’s hottest R&B singers including Idol  winner Ruben Studdard, Sunday Best  winner LeAndria Johnson, SWV, India.Arie, Rance Allen Group and Jonathan McReynolds.

There will also rousing performances from gospel music superstars like Donnie McClurkin, VaShawn Mitchell and Tye Tribbett along with R&B Divas’  Chanté Moore and Grammy winner Lalah Hathaway. Gospel music pioneer Richard Smallwood will be honored and along with tributes from Pastor Shirley Caesar and Dr. Bobby Jones.

Audience members will experience spirit-filled performances from Yolanda Adams, Erica Campbell, Hezekiah Walker, Tamela Mann, Tasha Cobbs, Detrick Haddon, J.J. Hairston, Sunday Best  Season 6 winner Tasha Page-Lockhart and current Idol winner Candice Glover.  Additionally, R&B music legend Charlie Wilson will share his testimony in a sanctified song titled “If I Believe” that’s sure to shift the atmosphere.

“Since its’ inception, ‘Celebration of Gospel’ has brought together the best voices from both the secular and gospel music worlds to give praise like only they can,” said President of Music Programming & Specials, Stephen Hill for BET Networks. “This year is no exception because at the end of the day, everyone’s roots are in gospel music.  A gathering of powerful singers like these on one show can only happen on BET.”

BET’s annual gospel music special, “Celebration of Gospel” tapes Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 7 p.m. at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, CA, and will premiere on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 8 p.m./EST.

Photo Source: imagesbees.com