RECAP: BET's Celebration of Gospel (2010)

For this year's "Celebration of Gospel" (2010) on BET (hosted by Steve Harvey), GOSPELflava.com asked a trio of our readers to sit down as panelists and take some notes during the show. Nakiyah Hayling, Danielle West and Martin Williams put their thoughts together and here's what they came up with.

Drop us a line to let us know if you agree, and tell us your thoughts on the show!

Photos Danielle West: is a native of Los Angeles and resides in Statesboro, Georgia. She has sung background for artists including Doobie Powell, Jonathan Nelson and Faith Evans. She is a Business and Child Family Development major at Georgia Southern University and attends Thomas Grove MBC under the leadership of Pastor Brock Taylor.
Photos Nakiyah Hayling: resides in New York City and serves as a praise & worship leader, youth leader, and choir director at her local assembly. She authors blog entitled "Kya's thoughts", which addresses life lessons and tools for personal enrichment as a modern day Christian.
Photos Martin Williams: is Entertainment and Sports Marketing major at American Inter Continental University in Atlanta and blogs for Gospel Music Channel's "G-Beat". He has travelled with Canton Jones and attends World Changers Church International, where he sings in the Music Department.
Show Intro
January 10th couldn't come quick enough! I always look forward to this time of year when BET shows "The Celebration of Gospel." But this year in particular, I was EXTRA excited because of the line-up (which included Kelly Price, Ledisi, Anthony and Tarsha' Hamilton, and Fantasia and Momma Barrino-Barber). As soon as the clock said 8pm, I propped myself in front of the TV, and began to enjoy the show! I wasn't too sure about the opening act though. (DW)

This has to have been my favorite Celebration of Gospel show ever! I have been watching it for 10 years and it truly is getting better. I think I stayed on the floor the whole night! As soon as Fred and the Crew kicked off the show, I went in on "Awesome God" ...and that step that Pastor Shirley cut when she sang with Fred and Kelly was hilarious!!! (MW)

Anthony and Tarsha' Hamilton
Anthony and Tarsha' SLAYED their duet. Definitely could feel the love coming through the television. (DW)

They provided a soulful duet bringing a nice neo-soul flavor to this year's Celebration of Gospel. (NH)

It was so good to see Tarsha Hamilton back out in front and singing with Anthony. I had the opportunity to see her in concert a few years ago and the girl is anointed. (MW)

City of Refuge Choir
I loved the energy and enthusiasm of the COG choir and The City of Refuge Choir. Their excitement is reflective of the direction many choirs are going in! It's refreshing and absolutely necessary. The City of Refuge choir had the whole house on their feet! Everybody was able to get their praise on! (NH)

Marvin Sapp Marvin Sapp
The timing of this special airing couldn't be any better for Pastor Marvin Sapp. His new single, which already had began to get airplay, was released Tuesday, right after the Celebration of Gospel aired! This gave the song the exposure that it needed, and some are dubbing it as the follow up to "Never Would Have Made It". I will definitely be pre-ordering this album! (MW)

Kelly Price and Ledisi
Now the best award of the night goes to Ledisi and Kelly Price! I thought the rapture was taking place seriously! Those two ladies, brought the fire so hard, if I was there I would have needed an usher. And if that wasn't enough, Fantaisa and Mother Barrino came out and took it on higher! If I would have been in the building, I would have been carried out. It was so good to see a mother and daughter on stage singing together. The song was so appropriate and so genuine. You could feel that Fantasia meant it from her heart. We all know the story of her life so it just fit. (MW)

However, and I say this with everything within me, Kelly Price and Lesisi sent me straight to heaven's gates! (DW)

Steve Harvey Tribute
The most sincere and heartwarming segment was the dedication to Steve Harvey. It was sooo cute because Steve went IN as soon as Donnie McClurkin walked out on stage and did his good singing —and then Marvin Sapp just took the world a step closer to seeing God after he beasted "The Best in Me". DW

Of course this was one of the highlights of the show. It was a nice way to commemorate what has been a successful forum for millions of viewers to be exposed to the jewel that is gospel music. (NH)

Tye Tribbett  and band Tye Tribbett & GA
Tye Tribbett & G.A.'s performance was bittersweet for me! I am sad that the group is disbanding! They brought something new and fresh to Gospel Music that was truly needed. You could almost feel the awkwardness as the show was going on, and even though Tye was energetic, I have seen him even better... but maybe that's just me! (MW)

The Steve Harvey tribute had to be the most touching! After seeing Steve's interview with Pastor Donnie McClurkin on TBN, you really can begin to see the change in Steve! After following him on Twitter and listening to his radio show, you understand he is truly a man of God. "We Fall Down" was so appropriate for the show because you have a lot of un-churched people who watch, so that was a great way to win more souls to the kingdom, so big ups to Pastor Donnie McClurkin for that one! (MW)

Bebe & Cece Winans
Of course they took us back to days of "Heaven" as they sang so heavenly, perfectly complimenting one another. They delivered a classic and energy-packed performance that caused you to be enthralled with them all over again, forgetting that you were watching a TV performance.... I was ready to worship! (NH) BeBe and CeCe proved they "STILL" had it when they did a medley of "Close To You' and "Grace". Not just in their vocals but in their appearance as well. They are one of Gospel's timeless acts, and they looked fantastic. (MW)

Y'Anna Crawley
She didn't let us down! She brought the same fire and power we grew to love on last season's "Sunday Best" competition. Definitely looking forward to more from her. (NH)

Fred Hammond Fred Hammond
Fred brought down the house with his performance of his hit "They That Wait". He provided that perfect blend of CCM and gospel that we've grown to love and embrace! Loved it! (NH)

Donald Lawrence
Donald Lawrence's performance was a personal favorite. "Back to Eden" is one of those feel good songs that was the theme for many of us this year amidst all the transitions and hardships of the recession and war. It was a great choice for this year's show! (NH)

Dr.Bobby Jones
Although I am sure he attempted to create a visual representation to accompany his song that would capture the audience, it did not go off too well. I was completely distracted during the first half of the song by the bubble wrap! (NH)

Now the funniest moment to me was when Dr. Bobby Jones came out in that outfit! JESUS!!!! I never would have put him and Y'Anna next to each other, but it was definitely an interesting combination. (MW)

Umm... I wasn't too sure about him having on bubble wrap and his soloist with the 10-foot long shoulder pads! (DW)

Fantasia & Dianne Barrino
They did a marvelous job, but I would have liked to see Beverly Crawford sing her song, or at least sing it with them. (NH)

Fantasia and Momma Barrino-Barber pushed me right on over to see Jesus! That was the ABSOLUTE highlight of LIFE as we know it! (DW)

Yolanda Adams
It was good to see Yolanda out there, even though I was surprised that she sang "Victory" But as always she added her classic flare and stage presence that only she can do! (MW)

I'm not sure why Yolanda did that ancient song, but nevertheless, she did her good singing. (DW)

Now to be honest, we could have done without some of the performances and outfits, but overall the show was good! Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the night. I've already watched the replay on my TiVo. (DW)

The show was great! It represented the entire scope of gospel music as we know it to be! It was diverse, progressive, high energy, innovative, yet still rooted and grounded in the core message of gospel music, which we know is the gospel of Jesus Christ. (NH)

I really love how the show is allowing more secular artist to sing on the show and bring them back to their roots. Every time it has proven successful not only for ratings purposes but the power of God has moved! So I plan on making my way to LA at the end of this year to attend the taping for the 2011 show! (MW)

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