30Th Annual Stellar Gospel Awards
4/13/2015, 2:57 p.m. | Updated on 4/13/2015, 2:57 p.m.
By Richard Nichols, IVN Staff Writer and Photographer
Chino, CA-- What happened in Las Vegas should not stay in Las Vegas. On March 28th telecast taping of the 30th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards took place at the Las Vegas Orleans Arena. Everyone should know that Gospel music’s biggest night of the year attracted some of Gospel’s music most powerful celebrities and entertainers in the world. The show featured performances by Erica Campbell, Yolanda Adams, Michelle Williams, Israel Houghton, Smokie Norful, Beverly Crawford, Deitrick Haddon, The Walls Group, Tasha Page-Lockhart Kurt Carr, The Rance Allen Group, Uncle Reece, Dorinda Clark-Cole Shelby 5 and many more. One highlight of the joyous evening was the surprise opening song performance by Michelle Williams, who was joined on stage with her Destiny Child friends, Kelly Rowland and Beyonce. They performed Williams’ new hit single, “Say Yes.”
This year special awards included the Allstate James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award that was presented to Bishop Paul Morton: the Chevrolet Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legend Award going to Al “The Bishop” Hobbs; and the Thomas Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award was given posthumously to Andrae Crouch.
The award show founder and Executive Producer Don Johnson implement a new tradition which celebrates extraordinary achievements in Gospel by presenting the inaugural Stellar Honors Club. The Stellars Honors inductees received a medallion to commemorate excellence in their respective fields. The inaugural awards were given to Pastor Shirley Ceasar, Byron Cage, Clifton Davis, Ricky Dillard, Kirk Franklin, Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones, Vicki Mack Lataillade, Dottie Peoples and Vicki Winans.
“I am excited about the line-up for this year’s show, which featured performances by artists whose songs charted in the top 25 throughout the year,” said Don Jackson. “I want to thank the over 35,000 fans who voted for our 2015 Stellar nominees, a phenomenal 30% increase over last year’s fan voting, which is a testament to the growth and popularity of gospel music. We couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate our 30 year milestone in such a significant way.”
Chicago-based Central City Productions, Inc. (CCP) has produced the Stellar Gospel Music Awards for 30 years. The first show was taped at the Arie Crown Theatre in Chicago and The Stellar Awards has since evolved into a premier Gospel event recognizing and honoring African American recording artists.
Erica Campbell walked away with six trophies for her new album Help,” followed by Ricky Dillard and New G with three awards and Deitrick Haddon tied with The Walls Group for two wins each.
What happened in Las Vegas during The Stellar Awards Weekend should not stay in Las Vegas.