For more than 30 years, the Stellar Gospel Music Awards has captivated viewers everywhere, and this year was no different. The 31st annual awards show was full of comedy—thanks to co-hosts Rickey Smiley and Sherry Shepherd—legendary guest appearances, and of course, music, while honoring some of the greatest gospel artists in the world. And while the entire show was entertaining from start to finish, continue reading for some of the highlights during the greatest night in gospel music:
The Year of the Fellas
The men of gospel definitely showed up and showed out last night with everything from eccentric attire (yeah, we see you, Charles Jenkins) to memorable performances by Brian Courtney Wilson, William McDowell, and the legendary Brat Pack, including Donald Lawrence, Hezekiah Walker, and Ricky Dillard. The trio took the stage to honor the late O’Landa Draper, who received the Allstate James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award for performing hits such as “Gotta Feelin’” and “My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord.” But the brightest star of the night was Anthony Brown, who took home a record-breaking 10 Stellar Awards, including Song of the Year and Artist of the Year!
A Night of Living Legends
We literally don’t know where to start while recapping an evening filled with some of the biggest names in gospel music! In addition to special appearances by Shirley Caesar and Bobby Jones, artists including Karen Clark Sheard and Donnie McClurkin also graced us with performances. For the second year in a row, some of our favorite gospel legends were also honored for their contribution to the genre. They included Jonathan Slocumb, Yolanda Adams, Marvin Sapp, and Tramaine Hawkins. And as if all of that wasn’t enough, Mr. Kirk Franklin rounded out the evening’s line-up with a finale performance of his latest hit, “Wanna Be Happy.”
New Sound, New Generation
Although the awards show was filled with gospel veterans, the Stellar rookies were definitely effective in making their presence known. Not only did newcomer Casey J. perform her smash hit “Fill Me Up God,” but the songbird was nominated for an astounding 11 Stellars and walked away with the New Artist of the Year award for “The Truth,” which reached #1 on the Billboard Gospel Charts! And as if we hadn’t seen enough, Travis Greene rocked the stage during a candid and heartfelt performance for his Stellar Awards debut.
Visit the official website of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards for a complete list of last night’s winners.
What were some of your favorite moments from the 2016 Stellar Awards? Share them below.