RECAP: BMI Gospel Trailblazer's Luncheon (2010)

One of the annual highlights of Stellar Awards weekend is the Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon. This year's event took place on January 15, 2010 at Rocketown in Nashville, TN and once again proved to be a monumental happening.

Organized by performing rights organization BMI (see their website) and MC'd by Vice President, Writer/Publisher RelationsPhotos Catherine Brewton, the invitation-only celebration attracted gospel music's premier songwriters, recording artists and music industry executives, as well as the genre's legends. This year's honorees were Donnie McClurkin and what is surely a first, non-BMI affiliated artist Andrae Crouch.

The event began with the presentation of the award for Most Performed Gospel Song of the Year, which went to Detroit's Derrick Starks for "Take It Back", recorded by Dorinda Clark-Cole. (Starks later shared with GOSPELflava.com that he's working on a "family and friends" album for release later this year.) Clark-Cole kicked the show off performing this hit song, which excited the audience and prepared them for a fantastic show.

Byron Cage hit the stage to host the first half of the program, which paid tribute to the afternoon's first honoree, Donnie McClurkin. The tribute featured performances from BET Sunday Best finalists Jessica Reedy and Latice Crawford, Micah Stampley, Yolanda Adams, and Pastor Marvin Winans, who performed one of McClurkin's most popular
Photo Gallery
Photos See the numerous photos from BMI Gospel Trailblazer's Luncheon. Check out the full gallery (photo credits: Arnold Turner, Gerard Bonner).

Photo Gallery of BMI Gospel Trailblazer's Luncheon

hits "Stand". Joining Winans was his brother BeBe Winans for one of the programs most memorable and moving presentations. Following McClurkin's acceptance of his award, the program shifted to honoring the legendary Andrae Crouch.

Yolanda Adams assumed hosting duties for this portion of the show. Donald Lawrence and Company performed three classics from Crouch, including the popular "Quiet Time". Lawrence's true to form arrangements and vocal precision tore the house down and left musical purists in pure amazement. The amazing Tata Vega hit the stage performing "The Blood Never Loses Its Power". This sent host Yolanda Adams into a praise frenzy, shifting the entire spirit of the balance of the show.

BeBe & CeCe Winans kept the praise party going and were followed by Mary Mary with "We Are Not Ashamed". Marvin Winans then closed the dedications with an all-star performance where he was joined by Karen Clark Sheard, Donnie McClurkin, Kirk Franklin, Bishop Paul S. Morton, and a host of other amazing artists. The afternoon ended with words of encouragement from honoree Andrae Crouch.

The 11th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon was indeed an event to remember. You can check out the festivities as they air on the Gospel Music Channel (now GMC) on Feb. 21 at 8pm.

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— reviewed by Gerard Bonner

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