Stellar Notebook: 2005
Gospelflava.com is on location at the Stellar Awards in Houston, Texas! We have our ear to the ground, so stay tuned to information as comes in. Check it out below:
January 15, 2005
January 14, 2005
- The downtown area is buzzing with people getting ready for the big ceremony, taping at the Convention Center tonight. Texan-sized limos, burgeoning restuarants, all the scurrying around, hotel lobbies stuffed with people, it's all happening. Sightings include: Steve Harvey, Evander Holyfield, K&K Mime, Kirk Franklin, The Williams Brothers, Rance Allen, DeAndre Patterson, Warryn Campbell, Lelah Hathaway, Donald Lawrence, Men of Standard.
January 13, 2005
- The music performing rights group, BMI, held their annual Gospel Trailblazers Luncheon at the Houston Aquarium, in an invitation-only celebration of The Rance Allen Group and John P. Kee. Paying tribute in song to Kee was Men of Standard and Smokie Norful, as well as Vanessa Bell Armstrong, who brought the house down with her famed "medley" as she sang it back in the day in a guest spot on Kee's album. Honoring Allen was Damita Haddon among several others. Kee was coaxed to sing "Jesus Is Real" by the time the luncheon concluded.
- Verity Records held a special listening party for Donnie McClurkin's upcoming Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs album, to be released in March 2005. McClurkin was on hand to introduce several of the cuts from the new album to the multitude of retail and radio people in attendance. Also present was Kirk Franklin, who explained his new label, Fo Yo Soul, mischeviously informing the crowd that his first artist will be himself. Franklin's new album is expected to release in June.
- EMI Gospel held a showcase of their new artists, bringing several of them up to perform selections. With a buffet of finger food, desserts and beverages available to cater to appetites, host Kierra "Kiki" Sheard introduced artists such as Smokie Norful, Micah Stampley and Darrel Petties and Strength In Praise.
- The official nominee reception was held in the ballroom of the George R. Brown Convention Centre, beginning at 8 PM. Hosted by Vickie Winans and Clifton Davis, each of Stellar Award categories was introduced, along with each of the nominees, who came to the stage. Special announcers for the evening were Walter Hawkins, Walt "Baby" Love, Kim Burrell and Kurt Carr. Performances were given by Houston's own Shawn McLemore, and also Trin-i-tee 5:7, with both artists announcing new projects in the works.
- Click here for photo feature from the Nominee Reception.
- The Sony Music showcase was held in the late hours of Friday, an all-out mega affair that showcased artists from both the Sony Urban Gospel label and also Integrity Gospel. Tye Tribbett and G.A. started things with their usual full-band, stunning set, leading the house into praise and worship that lasted for a good half hour. Tribbett can truly preach. Israel Houghton was honored with a plaque for his chart-topping album, Live From Another Level, and he also sang a praise medley, sitting alone at the keyboard. BeBe Winans invited an impromptu choir of Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, Kurt Carr, Kirk Franklin and J.Moss to sing backup for him (with hilarious results), for a couple songs. Winans releases his new project on Hidden Beach Recordings in February. Anointed performed a cut from their new CD, and Kim Burrell did likewise. Lisa McClendon also came to the stage to sing a couple songs from her Soul Music album. Mary Mary closed the evening with some great cuts from their new album, an eponymously titled project set for June.
- Click here for photo feature from the Sony Showcase.
- Everyone's arriving in Houston, this being the first official day of the slate of activities planned for the 20th Annual Stellar Awards weekend. This evening is the official Kickoff Reception, in the grant ballroom of the George R. Brown Convention Center. It's "radio night", with announcers and radio stations from across the land being honored specifically.
- Special mention goes to Detroit's Deborah Smith Pollard, who was honored with the prestigious "Gospel Announcer Of The Year" award. The veteran and savvy announcer, hosts her show, "Strong Inspirations" on WJLB FM 98, Clear Channel Radio Detroit, on Sunday mornings.