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CeCe Winans Wins Big at Grammy Awards

Congratulations to the winners in the 60th Grammy Awards Gospel and Christian categories: Best Gospel Performance/Song: “Never Have to Be Alone” — CeCe Winans; Dwan Hill & Alvin Love III, songwriters Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song: “What a Beautiful Name” — Hillsong Worship; Ben Fielding & Brooke Ligertwood, songwriters Best Gospel Album: Let Them Fall in Love — CeCe Winans Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: Chain Breaker — Zach Williams Best Roots Gospel Album: Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope — Reba McEntire

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Edwin Hawkins’ “Oh Happy Day” Back on Billboard Charts, Hits #1

From a press release: A week after the death of four-time Grammy® Award-winning recording artist, Edwin Hawkins, The Edwin Hawkins Singers’ 1969 million-seller, “Oh Happy Day,” has charted at #1 on Billboard Magazine’s Gospel Digital Song Sales chart for the issue week ending January 27, 2018. The classic song had a 999% sales increase following worldwide news coverage of the celebrated artist’s passing from cancer last week and it also amassed over 173,000 streams during the same period. In recent months, Hawkins and his management team had begun to plan activities surrounding the 50th anniversary of “Oh Happy Day” which was ...

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33rd Annual Stellar Gospel Music Award Nominees

From The Stellar Awards website: The 2017-2018 33rd Annual Stellar Gospel Music Award Nominees Category #1 ARTIST OF THE YEAR – Anthony Brown & group therAPy, A Long Way from Sunday, Key of A/FairTrade/Tyscot Records – JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise, You Deserve It, JamesTown Music/Entertainment One – Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Heart. Passion. Pursuit, Motown Gospel – Travis Greene, Crossover Live in Music City, RCA Inspiration Category #2 SONG OF THE YEAR – Anthony Brown, Trust in You – A Long Way from Sunday, Key of A/FairTrade/Tyscot Records – David Bloom, Cortez Vaughn, Phontane Demond Reed & JJ Hairston, You ...

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2018 Absolutely Gospel Music Award Nominees Announced

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (January 18, 2018) – The administrators and staff of AbsolutelyGospel.com are proud to announce the nominees for the 2018 Absolutely Gospel Music Awards. As in years past, the nominees were chosen by the staff of AbsolutelyGospel.com and select media representatives. Starting on Tuesday, January 16, 2018, the fans will get a chance to vote for their favorites in several categories. “It’s hard to imagine that we’ve been doing this awards program for 17 years,” mentioned Deon Unthank, President/CEO of AbsolutelyGospel.com. “We believe that our staff does such a fantastic job of choosing nominees and winners, and this ...

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RIP: Edwin Hawkins, Architect of Contemporary Gospel

By Bob Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music has learned that Edwin Hawkins, whose arrangement of the nineteenth-century hymn “Oh Happy Day” became a crossover success and signaled the emergence of contemporary gospel music, passed away today (Jan. 15) in Pleasanton, California. Here is a brief biography I put together: Born August 19, 1943, to Mamie and Dan Lee Hawkins, Edwin Hawkins grew up in music. Trained by his elder brother, Edwin began playing piano at age five and accompanied the family group. By the time he was sixteen, Edwin had sung at a variety of churches in the Bay Area and was part ...

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JGM’s Best CDs, Singles, and Historic Reissues of 2017

By Bob Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music presents its Best of 2017 list in the categories of CDs, songs, and historical releases. The recordings were not chosen based on sales, chart status, promotion, voting, fan popularity, number of likes or retweets, committee decisions, throwing darts, reading tea leaves, arm twisting, or anything other than JGM: 1) was serviced with the music for review and 2) believes they best represent gospel/Christian/sacred music in 2017 in terms of overall quality of music, message, and presentation. Artists whose music does not appear here: do not despair. These lists were compiled from many hundreds of releases ...

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A New Year’s Message to Gospel Artists

By Bob Marovich (I posted this initially on Facebook but had an inquiry to place it on the Journal, so here it is, verbatim). Based on what I read in the gospel section of the 2017 year-end Billboard issue, I believe the gospel music industry can be disrupted by an artist or artists who do the following: Set excess to the side – tone it down – we know what the band sounds like. We want to hear more of YOU. Focus more on the streets of gold than the red carpet. Humility and Integrity should be your motto. Never ever settle ...

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RIP Pastor Norris Turner, Quartet Veteran

By Bob Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music has learned that veteran quartet singer Pastor Norris Turner passed away yesterday evening. He was 81 years old. Norris Turner was born March 19, 1936, in Troy, South Carolina, to Johnnie and Helen Chiles Turner.  As a youngster, Turner sang with various quartets, including the Golden Stars of Greenwood, South Carolina; the Spiritualaires of Columbia, South Carolina; Therman Ruth’s famous Selah Singers of New York; and the Brooklyn All Stars. An article by Damian Dominguez for South Carolina newspaper The Index-Journal notes that when Turner was with the Selah Singers, he performed for President ...

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Bill Hearn, Christian/Gospel Music Executive, Dead at 58

NASHVILLE, December 11, 2017—William Ray “Bill” Hearn, a highly admired and revered music industry executive who led the Nashville-based market-leading Capitol Christian Music Group (CCMG) as its Chairman & CEO, passed away yesterday at age 58 in Nashville, Tennessee. Hearn successfully combined an unwavering vision, a commitment to excellence, and an arsenal of exceptional talent to make CCMG the leader in the Christian/Gospel music industry. Hearn was instrumental in the formation and leadership of that company, having played a leading role in the sale and highly-successful transition of family-owned Sparrow Records – founded by his father, Billy Ray Hearn – ...

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Check Out the Trailer for “Detroit: The Gospel Journey”

By Bob Marovich If you think the story of music in Detroit begins and ends with Motown, think again. Detroit’s gospel music legacy goes back many decades, way before Berry Gordy started Hitsville, USA.  The contributions that Detroiters have made to gospel music continue to enrich the genre today. The story of gospel music in Detroit was just waiting to be told by the right person.  That right person is Marcel West.  With great passion and diligence, West spent years mining archival photos, videos, and other rare ephemera, and interviewing the living legends who took gospel music around the world. The result is a documentary DVD called Detroit: The Gospel Journey. The ...

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