The Stellar Awards, an annual salute to gospel music, premieres tonight on BET and BET Her.
During the two-hour virtual special, late Congressman John Lewis will be honored with a musical tribute by CeCe Winans.
Other performers include Tamela Mann, Anthony Brown, James Fortune, Koryn Hawthorne, J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise, Jonathan McReynolds, Travis Greene, Kierra Sheard, Marvin Sapp, Tye Tribbett, Tauren Wells, Zacardi Cortez, Pastor Mike Jr, DOE, Rich Tolbert Jr., and more.
Among the emerging artists set to perform are Group Fire, Keyla Richardson, Melvin Crispell III, and Titus Showers.
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Kirk Franklin, Jonathan McReynolds and Koryn Hawthorne will host the 35th annual celebration known as “The Greatest Night in Gospel Music.”
“This is a moment to come together,” said Franklin. “We have something very important to say to a world that needs this kind of music, with this particular message, now more than ever. The Stellar Awards is going to provide that as they have for 35 years.”
Filmed from various locations, the pre-taped special acknowledges all award winners from the “Road to Stellars” pre-show and the main show, with select categories presented in the broadcast.
The show will also recognize contributions of first responders on the front lines in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the tribute, hosts Franklin, McReynolds and Hawthorne visited frontline workers in recognition of their service at MeHarry Medical College in Nashville, TN; Jackson Park Hospital in Chicago, IL; and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, TX.
In addition, several individuals are being highlighted for their efforts to combat the deadly virus: Dr. Angela Mosby of Los Angeles, CA for her work at UCLA Urgent Care in the area of Telemedicine; Dr. Michele Reed of Queens NY, a family medicine practitioner who contracted and recovered from COVID-19 while serving others; and Dr. Leon McDougle, the 121st President of the National Medical Association who also serves as a member of the NCAA Coronavirus Panel and Chief Diversity Officer of OSU Medical School. The National Urban League and the National Medical Association will be recognized as well.
The Stellar Awards special airs Sunday, Aug. 23 at 6 p.m. ET/5C on BET and BET Her (with an encore at 9 p.m. ET). The show will run in national broadcast syndication in 210 markets Aug. 29 – Sept. 27 (check local listings).