BET acquired the rights and will air the awards show produced by Central City Productions, for the first time since 2005. The 34th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards presented by AT&T will be taped in front of an audience at Las Vegas’ Orleans Arena on Friday, March 29, 2019. It will air Friday, April 19 at 8 PM ET/7 PM CT and 10 PM ET/9 PM CT on BET.
Hosted by Kirk Franklin, the show will feature a posthumous tribute to Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin with artists Kelly Price, Regina Belle and Erica Campbell, followed by a presentation of the Aretha Franklin ICON Award. It also will feature performances by Brian Courtney Wilson, Charles Jenkins, Jekalyn Carr, Jonathan McReynolds, Kelontae Gavin, Koryn Hawthorne, Maranda Curtis, Todd Dulaney, Anthony Brown, JJ Hairston and Yolanda Adams.
Stellar Awards Executive Producer and Founder, Don Jackson: “It was 35 years ago when Aretha performed ‘Precious Lord’ on my very first Gospel Music television special ‘Living the Dream.’ In recognition of Aretha’s roots in Gospel Music and her continuing love for the genre, I am delighted that our executive committee agreed to present her with our ICON Award posthumously and continue to present the award forever in her name as the Aretha Franklin ICON Award.”
Nominees include Jonathan McReynolds, Maranda Curtis, Todd Dulaney, Jekalyn Carr, Koryn Hawthorne, Snoop Dogg, Tori Kelly, Bishop Noel Jones & City of Refuge Sanctuary Choir, Jarell Smalls and Company, Kelontae Gavin and Tasha Page-Lockhart.
Legendary gospel singer Delores Washington Green of The Caravans will receive The Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award. Stellar Honors Hall of Fame Inductees include Jackie Patillo (Dove Awards), James Robinson, Jr. (Malaco Gospel) and Phil Thornton (RCA Inspiration).