With 25 Stellar Award categories, only a select few can be presented on air. Friday evening the night before the big televisions taping was the time to honor all the nominees, and to present the off-camera Stellars. Dr. Bobby Jones and Atlanta's own Dottie Peoples were on hand as hosts.
On the music tip, well-known singer/songwriter Darius Brooks started out the evening in solo fashion, delighting with his warm vocals and new material from his recent project In Your Will that has been resounding all over Chicago (see album review).
Then with chicken and greens served for dinner, on stage came the Chevrolet Workshop Mass Youth Choir. Since under the official Stellar rules, there were not enough entries in the Childrens Award this year to present an award, Central City Productions and Chevrolet chose to recognize youth by assembling this special youth workshop choir. Special it was, as under the direction of LaTonya Moore, their contagious enthusiasm seeped from the the front of the room to the back with their renditions of "Bless His Holy Name" and "Jesus is a Rock".
Dr. Jones then invited the several Gospel legends on stage to sing impromptu with the choir. We got a taste of Dorothy Norwood, Albertina Walker, Margaret Allison, Vickie Winans, The Williams Brothers, Dottie Peoples and Candi Staton. Even Al Hobbs delivered a vocal lick or two on the mic.
Invited artist guests performing included Joyce Hurley as well as Loren Mulraine and Divine.
Then as the sweet pie was rolled out to the tables, nominees were invited up to the front, and awards announced. What made this all the more fun was the various combos of artists that Dr. Jones asked to sing on the spur of the moment. We got Virtue and Trin-i-tee 5:7 together, we had Marvin Sapp. GospoCentric VP Kevin Bond was invited to the front to accompany Norman Hutchins on "Battlefield". Some of the Mississippi Mass Choir came to front, including Mosie Burks, and sang "They Got The Word". We all sang along.
More visuals, and two bonus mini-movie clips of Marvin Sapp and the Mississippi Mass Choir are in the right margin below: