Breaking News

RIP Edna Wright: Soul Singer, Member of COGICs

By Bob Marovich Professor Robert Darden of the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project informed JGM of the passing of Edna Wright in Encino, California, yesterday, September 12. She was 76. Prior to her well-known work with the vocal trio Honey Cone, where she was lead singer on the group’s 1971 chart-topping hit, “Want Ads,” Wright was a member of the COGICs, a mixed-voice gospel group formed by Andrae’ Crouch. In addition to Wright, members of the COGICs included Crouch and his twin sister, Sandra, as well as Sondra “Heartaches” Williams and Gloria Jones (Jones would also go on to stardom ...

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Christian Music Winners Announced in 2020 Unsigned Only Music Competition

Judges Included Rhett Walker, Sanctus Real, and Tenth Avenue North Nashville, TN, September 9, 2020 — The winners of the US-based Unsigned Only Music Competition were announced today. A total of ten Christian artists garnered wins in the 2020 competition. Taking home First Place in the Christian category is Aaron David from Tampa, FL, for his song “Dirty Heart.” Second Place is awarded to Liz Bailey from Griffin, GA for “Better.” Additionally, eight Christian music artists garnered Honorable Mentions. “From church services to stages, Christian music continues to impact the experience of Christians worldwide with its personal lyrics that can ...

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RIP: Verline Rogers (Meditation Singers)

By Bob Marovich JGM was saddened to learn from Laura Lee and Marcel West that soprano Verline Rogers of the Meditation Singers passed from labor to reward on August 27, 2020, after an extended illness. She was living in Las Vegas at the time of her passing. Rogers was a member of the Meditation Singers of Detroit, a female group headed by Ernestine Rundless. She appears to have joined the group sometime in the early 1960s and recorded with them throughout the decade. In addition to Rogers, other members of the group over the years included R&B stars Della Reese ...

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35th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Award Winners

(CHICAGO, IL) August 23, 2020 – Not even a global pandemic could diminish the powerful spirit of praise, worship and celebration during the historic virtual broadcast of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards Sunday night on BET and BET Her. Led by hosts Kirk Franklin, Jonathan McReynolds, and Koryn Hawthorne, the 35th Anniversary Stellar Gospel Music Awards awarded trophies in 28 categories for the year’s best performances in the genre — including six statues presented to the night’s big winner, host and Gospel icon Kirk Franklin. Here is the complete list of 35th Stellar Award Winners. Congratulations to all the winners ...

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35TH ANNIVERSARY STELLAR AWARDS VIRTUAL SPECIAL PREMIERING ON BET & BET HER THIS SUNDAY, AUGUST 23 AT 6 PM ET

RENOWNED ANNUAL SALUTE TO GOSPEL MUSIC CELEBRATES 35TH ANNIVERSARY MILESTONE BY HONORING FIRST RESPONDERS AND THE LATE CONGRESSMAN JOHN LEWIS VIRTUAL PRODUCTION ENCORES AT 9PM ET AND AIRS IN SYNDICATION NATIONWIDE AUGUST 29 – SEPTEMBER 27 (CHICAGO, IL) August 21, 2020 – This Sunday, music fans, Gospel enthusiasts and anyone looking for a little inspiration can tune into the highly-anticipated 35th Anniversary Stellar Gospel Music Awards premiering on BET and BET Her as a two-hour virtual special on Sunday, August 23 at 6 p.m. ET/5C (with an encore at 9 p.m. ET). The award show will also run in national ...

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RIP: Bernard Pinder (Newberry Singers, Utterbach Ensemble)

Willy Leiser and Linwood Heath informed JGM that Bernard Pinder has passed away. Here is a brief bio, courtesy of andre-café.com: Bernard Pinder is an anointed gospel singer whose gift has allowed him to travel extensively across the country as well as overseas. Bernard has sung before some of the most influential people in the world today, yet is as excited about singing at the smallest storefront church, as he is to sing before great men. It is a blessing to hear Bernard sing and he is an undisputed favorite in the Delaware Valley. His life is devoted to the worship ...

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51st Annual GMA Dove Awards Nominees Announced

ZACH WILLIAMS AND FOR KING & COUNTRY LEAD WITH FIVE NOMINATIONS EACH HILLSONG WORSHIP, KIRK FRANKLIN, AND JONATHAN McREYNOLDS HONORED WITH FOUR NOMINATIONS THIS YEAR’S GMA DOVE AWARDS “CARRY THE CHANGE” BROADCAST ONLY CELEBRATION TO AIR FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30TH ON TBN NASHVILLE, TN (August 13, 2020) – The Gospel Music Association (GMA) announced today the nominations for the 51st Annual GMA Dove Awards recognizing an array of new songs and first-time nominees, as well as esteemed performers and hit songs that have been a bright light during this difficult time. The following nominations were announced live: ARTIST OF THE YEAR: ...

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RIP: Sheila Burton, Mother of Half Mile Home’s Todd and Terence Burton

(Akron, Ohio) Todd Burton and Terence Burton, two-thirds of the contemporary gospel group Half Mile Home, mourn the passing of their mother, Sheila M. Burton, from complications resulting from breast cancer on Monday, August 3rd. They report: “The Burton Family is deeply saddened with the untimely passing of our beloved matriarch, Sheila Burton. Nothing in the world quite like a mother’s love, and we are grateful for all that she meant to us and the valuable life principles she instilled in us. We are convinced if ever we needed the Lord, we need Him now more than ever. “While facing ...

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RIP: Leo Coney (Violinaires, Gospel Classics)

By Bob Marovich JGM learned from multiple sources of the passing of Leo Coney, a quartet singer formerly with the Violinaires and the Gospel Classics. He transitioned to glory on August 2 around 5:00 p.m. Coney was one of the original Violinaires. The quartet was formed in 1952 in Detroit, Michigan, by Coney, Isaiah “Lil Shot” Jones, and Wilson DeShields. Arthur “Bob” Beatty, who served with the Heavenly Gospel Singers and the Sensational Nightingales, was another early member. According to Beatty, the Violinaires sought initially to replicate the sound of the Heavenly Gospel Singers. Eventually, however, their emphasis on treble ...

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RIP: Richard Wallace of the Mighty Clouds of Joy

By Bob Marovich JGM was saddened to learn from Debra Ligon and Libra Boyd’s post that singer and guitarist Richard Wallace of the Mighty Clouds of Joy passed away Monday, July 27, 2020. According to essays by Opal Nations, Richard Edward Wallace was born June 9, 1940, in Austin, Texas. He and his brother Lee O’Daniel migrated west to Los Angeles and, in 1956, joined the Stars of Bethel, a quartet that included cousins from Texas who had moved to LA ahead of them. The quartet later changed its name to the Stars of Bethlehem and cut an album for ...

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