The nominees were announced in 28 categories for the 33rd Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, hosted again this year by history-making artist, Kirk Franklin on Saturday, March 24. Contemporary gospel group Anthony Brown & group therAPy leads the field of nominees this year with ten nominations. The group earned recognition for its work on the album “A Long Way From Sunday” (Key of A/Fair Trade/Tyscot Records) in the key categories of Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, CD of the Year, Duo/Chorus Group of the Year, Producer of the Year, Contemporary Duo/Chorus Group of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary CD of the Year, and Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year.
With nine nominations each, chart-topping soloist Tasha Cobbs Leonard, gospel choir J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise, and praise and worship artist Travis Greene demonstrate excellence in the field as recognized by the Stellar Awards voting body. Cobbs Leonard is nominated in the hotly-contested categories of Artist of the Year, Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year, CD of the Year and Producer of the Year among others for her work on “Heart. Passion. Pursuit.” (Motown Gospel). J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise are nominated in the Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, CD of the Year & Choir of the Year categories among their nine nods for the group’s work on “You Deserve It” (JamesTown Music/Entertainment One). Greene continues to rise in the gospel genre, earning nominations this year in the top categories of Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, CD of the Year and Producer of the Year for his work on “Crossover Live in Music City” (RCA Inspiration).
With five nominations each, veterans Deitrick Haddon and Ricky Dillard demonstrate their staying power in gospel music, representing contemporary and traditional gospel, respectively. Haddon is recognized for Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary Duo/Chorus of the Year, Contemporary CD of the Year, Duo/Group Chorus of the Year and Producer of the Year for work on “Deitrick Haddon & Hill City Worship Camp” (Entertainment One). Dillard is recognized for Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year, Traditional CD of the Year, Traditional Choir of the Year, Choir of the Year and Recorded Music Packaging of the Year.
Other artists earning multiple nominations include Marvin Sapp, The Williams Brothers, CeCe Winans, The Rance Allen Group, Bishop Paul S. Morton, Tina Campbell and Le’Andria Johnson.
The Stellar Awards show taping will return to The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, March 24, 2018 and is open to the public, with ticket prices ranging from $50 – $200 at www.ticketmaster.com.
The weekend of activities begin with the Stellar Awards Independent Artist & Quartet Showcase, taking place on Thursday, March 22, with winners performing at the non-televised awards pre-show ceremony. The 2018 Stellar Gospel Music Awards Pre-Show is scheduled for Friday, March 23 to showcase non-televised award winners. Also, the Stellar Gospel Radio Awards & Showcase will be held on Saturday, March 24, honoring top radio stations and announcers serving urban gospel music audiences. Tickets for each event can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com.
SUMMARY OF 2018 STELLAR AWARDS TOP NOMINEES
Anthony Brown & group therAPy – 10 Nominations
Tasha Cobbs Leonard – 9 Nominations
J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise – 9 Nominations
Travis Greene – 9 Nominations
Deitrick Haddon – 5 Nominations
Ricky Dillard – 5 Nominations
Marvin Sapp – 4 Nominations
The Williams Brothers – 3 Nominations
CeCe Winans – 3 Nominations
The Rance Allen Group– 3 Nominations
Bishop Paul S. Morton – 3 Nominations
Tina Campbell – 3 Nominations
Le’Andria Johnson – 2 Nominations