The annual salute to Gospel’s best and brightest performers returns to Nashville’s iconic Grand Ole Opry House Theater Saturday, January 19, 2013. The Stellar Awards will air in broadcast syndication on 150 stations in over 125 markets around the country and on the GMC network from January 19 to March 3, 2013. Today the nominees in twenty-eight categories of excellence were announced via webcast (www.thestellarawards.com) and social media.
With more than 30,000 fans logging online to cast their votes for their favorite projects of the year, show co-hosts and WEtv reality stars Mary Mary lead the list of nominees with nine total nominations based on their latest disc, “Go Get It.” Nominations include “Song of the Year,” “Contemporary Group/Duo of the Year,” and “Contemporary CD of the Year,” in addition to recognition for the project in the “Producer of the Year,” “Music Video of the Year” and “Recorded Music Packaging of the Year” categories.
Newcomer Charles Jenkins who, in addition to earning a “Best New Artist” nomination for his debut CD “The Best of Both Worlds,” garnered recognition in seven additional categories including “Artist of The Year” and “Song of The Year.” Other multiple nominees include superstars Marvin Sapp and Fred Hammond with six nominations each, both nominated in the hotly-contested “Male Vocalist of the Year” and “CD of the Year” categories; legendary Andre Crouch with five nominations, including “Artist of the Year” and “Song of the Year” for his disc “The Journey”; and “Best New Artist” contender Isaac Carree with five nods for his solo debut “Uncommon Me.”
ALSO: ONLINE VOTING OUTPACES LAST YEAR’S TALLY BY 400 PERCENT
Hailed as “gospel music’s biggest night,” this year’s Stellar Gospel Music Awards features live performances by Tamela Mann, Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago, Israel Houghton, Marvin Sapp, Tye Tribbett and Le’Andria Johnson, among others.
Recognizing the impact of the digital age on music and popular culture, Stellar Awards executive producer and Central City Productions Founder/Chairman Don Jackson has embraced social media and digital platforms to attract new audiences to the show.
“I am astounded and extremely pleased with the record breaking fan voting of over 30,000 votes, which exceeded last year by more than 400 percent,” said Jackson. “This is a great testament to the outstanding artist nominees and their projects. Also, we received a similar turnout of fan voting for the gospel music radio stations of the year, which totaled over 20,000 online ballots.”
THE STELLAR AWARDS RETURNS TO THE GRAND OLE OPRY
The live taping at the Grand Ole Opry House Theater in Nashville, TN is open to the public and tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster (http://www.ticketmaster.com/). Ticket prices range from $55 – $200. Balcony seats are available for students for $35. In addition to the awards ceremony, there are a number of ancillary activities that celebrate and recognize outstanding achievement in the genre that are open to the public, including the Stellar Awards Pre-Show on Friday, January 18 and the Stellar Gospel Radio Awards and Showcase on Saturday, January 19.