34th Stellar Gospel Music Awards Presents Inaugural Aretha Franklin ICON Award to Queen of Soul’s Family with Tribute Performance by Erica Campbell, Kelly Price, Regina Belle

ABOVE: Top winner Jonathan McReynolds embraces his eight trophies at the 34th Stellar Gospel Music Awards (Photo Credit: Central City Productions)

Central City Productions wrapped up the taping of the 34th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards on Friday, March 29 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The biggest night in gospel music, hosted by Kirk Franklin, will premiere on BET Network on Easter Sunday, April 21 at 7:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. CT.

The stand-out highlight of the evening was an emotional tribute performance by Kelly Price, Erica Campbell and Regina Belle honoring the undisputed Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Family members of the late-legend Brenda Corbett, Jordan Franklin and Kecalf Franklin were presented with the inaugural Aretha Franklin ICON Award to give posthumous recognition of her profound impact on the Gospel music genre and unforgettable contributions.

The undeniable breakout winner of the annual show was performer Jonathan McReynolds, who swept the awards taking home eight Stellar Awards including AT&T Artist of the Year, State Farm Song of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, CD of the Year, Producer of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary CD of the Year and Urban/Inspirational Performance of the Year. Jekalyn Carr received three awards for Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year, Traditional Female Vocalist of the Year and Traditional CD of the Year. The Walls Group were awarded twice as Duo/Chorus Group of the Year and Contemporary Duo/Chorus Group of the Year.

A special award presentation was also given to honor gospel legend Delores Washington Green of The Caravans with the Dr. Bobby Jones Legend Award. Gospel star Yolanda Adams and Stellar Awards Founder, Chairman & CEO Don Jackson inducted James Robinson Jr. (Malaco Gospel), Jackie Patillo (GMA) and Phil Thornton (RCA Inspiration) into the Stellar Honors Hall of Fame.

This year’s sensational line-up of performances included an energetic opening number by Hezekiah Walker, Kirk Franklin stirring the audience to their feet performing new music and a rousing medley by Phil Thompson, Kelontae Gavin and Maranda Curtis. Other performers included Brian Courtney Wilson, Koryn Hawthorne, Todd Dulaney, Charles Jenkins and Jekalyn Carr.

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34th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Award Winners

Category #1 – ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Jonathan McReynolds, Make Room, Entertainment One

Category #2 – SONG OF THE YEAR

Not Lucky, I’m Loved, Jonathan McReynolds, Terrell Demetrius Wilson & Anna B. Warner, Entertainment One

Category #3 – MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Jonathan McReynolds, Make Room, Entertainment One  

CATEGORY #4 – ALBERTINA WALKER FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Jekalyn Carr, One Nation Under God, Lunjeal Music Group

CATEGORY #5 – DUO/CHORUS GROUP OF THE YEAR

The Walls Group, The Other Side, RCA Inspiration/Fo Yo Soul Recordings

CATEGORY #6 – NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Jabari Johnson, Day of Redemption, Entertainment One  

CATEGORY #7 – CD OF THE YEAR

Make Room, Jonathan McReynolds, Entertainment One

CATEGORY #8 – CHOIR OF THE YEAR

 Bishop Noel Jones & City of Refuge Sanctuary Choir, Run to the Altar, JH/Tyscot

CATEGORY #9 – PRODUCER OF THE YEAR

 Jonathan McReynolds & Darryl “Lil Man” Howell, Make Room, Entertainment One

CATEGORY #10 – CONTEMPORARY DUO/CHORUS GROUP OF THE YEAR

 The Walls Group, The Other Side, RCA Inspiration/Fo Yo Soul Recordings

CATEGORY #11 – TRADITIONAL DUO/CHORUS GROUP OF THE YEAR

Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson, Keep Pushin, Wonder Spirit/SRT/Shanachie

CATEGORY #12 – CONTEMPORARY MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Jonathan McReynolds, Make Room, Entertainment One

 CATEGORY #13 – TRADITIONAL MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

 VaShawn Mitchell, Cross Music, Tyscot        

CATEGORY #14 – CONTEMPORARY FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Tasha Page-Lockhart, The Beautiful Project, RCA Inspiration/Fo Yo Soul Recordings

CATEGORY #15 – TRADITIONAL FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Jekalyn Carr, One Nation Under God, Lunjeal Music Group

CATEGORY #16 – CONTEMPORARY CD OF THE YEAR

–      Make Room, Jonathan McReynolds, Entertainment One

CATEGORY #17 – TRADITIONAL CD OF THE YEAR

–      One Nation Under God, Jekalyn Carr, Lunjeal Music Group

CATEGORY #18 – URBAN/INSPIRATIONAL SINGLE OR PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR

–      Not Lucky, I’m Loved, Jonathan McReynolds, Entertainment One

CATEGORY #19 – MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR

–      Won’t He Do It, Casey Cross, RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #20 – TRADITIONAL CHOIR OF THE YEAR

–      Bishop Noel Jones & City of Refuge Sanctuary Choir, Run to the Altar, JH/Tyscot

CATEGORY #21 – CONTEMPORARY CHOIR OF THE YEAR

–      New Direction, When All God’s Children Get Together, New Haven Records

CATEGORY #22 – INSTRUMENTAL CD OF THE YEAR

–      CATEGORY OMITTED

CATEGORY #23 – SPECIAL EVENT CD OF THE YEAR

–      The Best of Fred Hammond, Fred Hammond, Verity/Sony Music

CATEGORY #24 – RAP HIP HOP GOSPEL CD OF THE YEAR

–      God Knows, Flame, Clear Sight Music

CATEGORY #25 – YOUTH PROJECT OF THE YEAR

–      Pure N Heart, “Be You” 15 Years Unplugged, Music2ChangeU

CATEGORY #26 – QUARTET OF THE YEAR

–      Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson, Keep Pushin, Wonder Spirit / SRT/Shanachie

CATEGORY #27 – RECORDED MUSIC PACKAGING OF THE YEAR

–      Israel Houghton, Road to DeMaskUs, RCA Inspiration

CATEGORY #28 – PRAISE AND WORSHIP CD OF THE YEAR

–      Your Great Name, Todd Dulaney, Entertainment One

THOMAS A. DORSEY MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

–      The Sensational Nightingales

DR. BOBBY JONES LEGENDS AWARD

–      Dolores Washington Green

ARETHA FRANKLIN ICON AWARD

–      Aretha Franklin (posthumously)

STELLAR HONORS HALL OF FAME

–      Jackie Patillo

–      Phil Thornton

–      James D. Robinson, Jr.

GOSPEL RADIO OF THE YEAR WINNERS

MAJOR MARKET OF THE YEAR

–      WPZE Praise 102.5, Atlanta

LARGE MARKET OF THE YEAR

–      WFMI-FM 100.9 FM, Virginia Beach

MEDIUM MARKET OF THE YEAR

–      WCGL AM 1360/FM 94.7, Jacksonville

SMALL MARKET OF THE YEAR

–      WIMG 1300AM, Ewing

INTERNET STATION OF THE YEAR

–      uGospel Radio, http://uGospel.com

GOSPEL ANNOUNCER OF THE YEAR

–      Dwight Stone, WPZE Praise 102.5, Atlanta, GA