17th Annual Stellar Awards Ceremony (2002)
The 17th Annual Stellar Awards once again graced the city of Atlanta. Presented by Central City Productions, January 12th 2002 at the Atlanta Civic Center was the culmination of several days of activities and celebration.
The overflow crowd was full of heavy duty fans and notable faces and voices alike. Faces seen in the crowd included Chris Tucker, Keith Sweat, Kirvy Brown and
Sheila Lakin. Hosting the live-to-tape celebration was the duo of Donnie McClurkin and Yolanda Adams.
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The show's highlights were several, with Commissioned Reunion making a special mark, blasting out "King of Glory", sung with an incredible tightness of band and vocals.
Destiny's Child sang their "Gospel Medley" from their Survivor CD. As the song finished, Michelle Williams slowly walked to join Shirley Caesar (both dressed in white) coming from behind stage to sing together in duet on "Steal Away", as Youthful Praise in blue and white entered from the wings to provide vocal support.
Lee Williams and the Spiritual QCs ministered complete with a full band that included a prominent conductor. CeCe Winans sang "Anybody Wanna Pray" in an energetic uptempo creation that brought together several standout backing vocalists. Dressed in red velvet, Kurt Carr with The Kurt Carr Singers had opened the show with "In the Sanctuary".
The Most Notable Achievment Award was given to Tom Joyner of ABC Radio Networks for his community work in raising funds for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He accepted by satellite transmission. Rev. Clay Evans was honored for his body of work.
The James Cleveland Award was presented to Albertina Walker for her work in Gospel music over the decades. Walker reminisced about Cleveland, and noted how it was a particular honor for her, seeing as she had brought him on board The Caravans in their heyday.
Richard Smallwood and Vision paid tribute to Walker with "Anthem of Praise"; in sequined purple and white, Dottie Peoples represented Atlanta well with "Show Up and Show Out".
Yolanda Adams changed from black into white for her song "Thank You", and proceeded to give a heart-felt shout spanning the entire stage. She was evidently in her own environment, and right at home. Donnie McClurkin followed with an impromptu and uplifting sermonette of thanksgiving and while the production set up for a re-take.
Tonéx did a dance-heavy number along with a small dance crew, a new song called "Bout A. Thang" from his upcoming O2 project.
Presenters throughout the night included: Angela Spivey, P. Diddy, LeJuene Thompson, Faith Evans, Hezekiah Walker, Jermaine Dupri with Chapter Five, Montell Jordan, Tramaine Hawkins, Blessed, Dr. Bobby Jones and BET news anchor Jacque Reid.
Multiple Stellar winners included Yolanda Adams with two, Lee Williams with two, John P. Kee with two, Donnie McClurkin with six and Kurt Carr with five. Notably, these were Carr's first ever Stellar honors.
Kirk Franklin was introduced to close the show, and dressed in a long white coat, finished with an incredible uptempo praise number with white-clad collaborative voices on stage with him, along with violins and horns.
Stay tuned for the 2002 Stellar TV listings to see when the 2-hour ceremony airs in your area. And check our notes from the weekend.
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