In addition to honoring top gospel artists, this year’s Stellar Gospel Music Awards, which will air on BET Networks on Aug. 23, will honor the late Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis and those on the front lines of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
Kirk Franklin is set to co-host the two-hour virtual special, which will air at 6 p.m. ET, with an encore airing at 9 p.m. ET. It’s Franklin’s ninth time as host or co-host of the show, which dates to 1984. His co-hosts this year are Jonathan McReynolds and Koryn Hawthorne, both of whom are also set to perform.
Other confirmed performers include CeCe Winans, J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise, Travis Greene, Marvin Sapp, Tye Tribbett, Tauren Wells, Pastor Mike Jr., Anthony Brown, James Fortune, Kierra Sheard, Zacardi Cortez, DOE and Rich Tolbert Jr.
Emerging artists set to make their Stellar Awards debut include Melvin Crispell, III, Titus Showers, Group Fire and Keyla Richardson.
This will be the second year in a row that BET has aired the show. This year’s special will also be simulcast on BET Her.
“As an organization whose roots are anchored in the African American experience, and whose original programming has always highlighted many aspects of Gospel music and the religious experience, we are delighted to bring the Stellar Gospel Music Awards Virtual Special to our viewers around the world,” said Connie Orlando, BET’s EVP specials, music programming & music strategy.
The Stellar Awards will be followed by the season 10 finale of BET’s Sunday Best at 8 p.m. ET. Following its two plays on BET, the awards show will air in national broadcast syndication in 210 markets starting Aug. 25.
Donald Lawrence Presents the Tri-City Singers leads the field of nominees with nine nominations. Other top nominees include Franklin and Tasha Cobbs Leonard (eight nods each), J.J. Hairston (seven), Bishop Paul S. Morton (six), John P. Kee (five), Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers, William Murphy and Pastor Mike, Jr. (four each) and Maranda Curtis and and Fresh Start Worship (three each).