Kirk Franklin bags six trophies at Stellar Gospel Music Awards, Tasha Cobbs Leonard is Artist of the Year
Kirk Franklin's mega-sweep was thanks to his album 'Long Live Love', earning him Male Vocalist, Album, Producer, Contemporary Male Vocalist and Contemporary Album of the Year honors
Kirk Dewayne Franklin, the 16-time Grammy award-winning gospel musician, added some new feathers to his cap on August 23 night when he took home an astounding six trophies at the 35th annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards. The ceremony was conducted as a virtual event this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and aired on the BET network on August 23 night.
Kirk Franklin helped co-host along with Jonathan McReynolds and Koryn Hawthorne during the two-hour streaming event which began at 6 pm ET. A number of exciting artistes were also slated to sing at the ceremony, with featured performances from Jonathan McReynolds, Koryn Hawthorne, Tamela Mann, Marvin Sapp, Cece Winans, James Fortune, Kierra Sheard, Tye Tribbett, Travis Greene, Anthony Brown, Pastor Mike Jr and more.
Thanks for hanging with us these last 2 hours for the greatest night in gospel music! Tell anyone that may have missed the premiere they can see the rebroadcast at 9PM EST on @BET #thestellars pic.twitter.com/9u43UIOsxj— Stellar Awards (@TheStellars) August 24, 2020
Pastor Mike Jr was named Best New Artist and also took home the Rap/Hip-hop Gospel Album of the Year award, thanks to his album 'Live Free'. Meanwhile, Tasha Cobbs Leonard won Artist of the Year along with Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year with her album 'Heart. Passion. Pursuit (Live at Passion City Church)'. Donald Lawrence won four awards including Song of the Year for 'Deliver Me (This Is My Exodus)', while John P McKee also won three awards, which included Traditional Album of the Year and Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year. Other multiple winners included The Walls Group and Le’Andria Johnson, who both nabbed two awards apiece. Johnson picked up the Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year and Traditional Female Vocalist of the Year awards, while The Walls Group won Duo/Chorus Group of the Year and Contemporary Duo/Chorus Group of the Year for the second year in a row.
Also for the second year in a row, the Stellar Gospel Music Awards paid its respects to a dearly departed legend in American culture. Similar to how the late Aretha Franklin was honored at last year's ceremony, the revered Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis was also the subject of a moving tribute piece this year, performed by Cece Winans. The Stellar Gospel Music Awards also honored the efforts of the health care workers and first responders battling on the front lines as they fought to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit people of color and minorities especially hard.
The celebrated African-American choir director Kirk Franklin, who was previously dubbed by Variety as the "Reigning King of Urban Gospel", proved that he still reigned supreme on the gospel music throne when he took home a whopping six trophies this year. Kirk Franklin's mega-sweep was thanks to his album 'Long Live Love', which earned him Male Vocalist, Album of the Year, Producer of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year and Contemporary Album of the Year honors. Besides this, Franklin also took home an unprecedented sixth award when his 'Love Theory' visual was named Music Video of the Year. For a complete list of the winners at the 35th annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, you can click here.