Every year during Stellar Awards weekend, it’s always a well-kept secret of who will perform which musical tributes for the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Luncheon. Of course, we already knew who’d be honored – Pastor Shirley Caesar and Commissioned, but taking a wild guess to find out who’s singing for each one is surely the biggest surprise of the weekend.
This year, BMI didn’t let us down. The intimate show hosted by Donnie McClurkin and filmed for television featured the perfect showcase of the music industry’s most exquisite talent from all over, but first BMI had to honor BeBe & CeCe Winans, the recipients of the BMI 2011 Most Performed Gospel Song of the Year Award for their mega-hit “Close to You” – a song that has catapulted their careers back into the spotlight yet once again.
As the show continued, special guests included Arnetta Murrill (formerly of Donald Lawrence’s Tri-City Singers), Lucinda Moore, Pastor Beverly Crawford, BMI Trailblazers of Gospel co-host Kim Burrell and the phenomenal Ledisi all singing heartfelt renditions of Pastor Shirley Caesar‘s hits in the first segment of the show. With voices ranging from soaring sopranos to riveting altos, the ladies each took turns going in on Caesar’s “I Feel Like Praisin’ Him,” “Sweeping Through the City,” “No Charge” and “You’re Next in Line for a Miracle” just to name a few. You’ll have to listen to the audio clips to relive every moment along with us.
If you thought that was more than enough good soul and gospel singing, then prepare to have your hearts melt all over again as BMI honored the original gospel “boy band” Commissioned. With special performances from contemporary worship duo Dawkins & Dawkins, Men of Standard, Deitrick Haddon, Parkes Stewart, Marvin Sapp and The Soul Seekers plus the equally legendary Clark Sisters, the day could not have gotten any better. On second thought, it surely did when Commissioned fans got to see the entire lineup featuring each of the founding members on stage at once in a reunion setting we’ve been waiting for.
Be sure you set your DVRs now for Saturday, February 19th when the entire show is telecast on the GMC (Gospel Music Channel) at 7:00PM EST and again in an encore presentation that same evening at 8:30PM EST. You won’t want to miss it a second time!
For those of you who did miss it live in action, check out our exclusive images below from inside Rocketown in Nashville, TN including photos from the performances, the red carpet and more to find out what happened.
One of the highlights was of course seeing vocal champion Kim Burrell take on her tribute to gospel great Pastor Shirley Caesar. Listen below to hear the magical moment in action, but listen even closer to hear Donnie McClurkin join Kim Burrell hit her identical notes on the reprise. Want more clips from the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel performances? Check out the complete list here.
KIM BURRELL – “NO CHARGE” & “JESUS, I LOVE CALLING YOUR NAME” PART I
KIM BURRELL – “NO CHARGE” & “JESUS, I LOVE CALLING YOUR NAME” PART II
More from the Urban Soul Cafe – Access Granted 2011:
View Additional Coverage from the 2011 Stellar Awards: