Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards

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Hosted by Donnie McClurkin and Kim Burrell the star studded tribute concert features performances by The Clark Sisters, Marvin Sapp, and many more.

Bebe and CeCe Winans Perform “Close to You,” Named BMI’s Most performed Gospel Song of the Year

GMC, America’s favorite channel for uplifting music and family entertainment, today announced the Exclusive World Premiere Television Broadcast of the 12th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards honoring Gospel music’s living legends, Pastor Shirley Caesar and the group Commissioned, founded by Fred Hammond, Mitchell Jones, Keith Staten, Karl Reid, Michael Brooks and Michael Williams. Taped in Nashville, Tennessee on January 14th, the star studded tribute concert will premiere exclusively on GMC, on Saturday, February 19th at 7:00pm ET with an encore broadcast at 8:30 pm.

Featuring unforgettable performances by some of the greatest vocalists in contemporary Gospel music, the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards is co-hosted by Donnie McClurkin and Kim Burrell. The tribute concert features performances by Ledisi, Lucinda Moore, Beverly Crawford, Men of Standard, The Clark Sisters and Marvin Sapp with The Soul Seekers.

“I am so grateful to BMI for this honor,” says Pastor Caesar. “It was so genuine and so kind, I could just feel it. And to see so many talented people perform your own songs is just an incredible experience. It was simply wonderful.”

Founding members of Commissioned gathered on-stage to perform a finale, marking the first time the original members have performed on-stage together in over a decade. They were later joined onstage by Marvin Sapp, Maxx Frank, Marcus Cole, and Montrell Darrett to receive their awards. “This was such a great moment,” says Fred Hammond. “This was an event, and is one we will not forget. We really appreciate it.”

BeBe & CeCe Winans’ “Close to You” was named BMI’s Most Performed Gospel Song of the Year. The honor was celebrated with a blazing performance of “Close to You” by BeBe and CeCe Winans.

“We are proud to bring this remarkable event to our viewers for the fifth consecutive year,” said Leslie Chesloff, executive vice president of programming at GMC. “Our commitment is to be the #1 destination for the greatest in Gospel music entertainment and, year after year, Trailblazers continues to entertain and inspire our viewers. It is a show that is not to be missed.”

GMC TV and BMI present The 12th Annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards featuring Donnie McClurkin, Kim Burrell, Pastor Shirley Caesar and Commissioned, including Fred Hammond, Mitchell Jones, Keith Staten, Karl Reid, Michael Brooks and Michael Williams, and features performances by BeBe & CeCe Winans, Ledisi, Lucinda Moore, Beverly Crawford, Kim Burrell, Men of Standard, The Clark Sisters and Marvin Sapp with The Soul Seekers.

About Pastor Shirley Caesar

Pastor Shirley Caesar is the quintessential artist: In her soul-stirring gospel music, she has embodied progress without forsaking tradition. Her work with the Caravans first introduced her to large audiences. During her time with the legendary group, she preached her first sermon and delivered lead vocals on hits including “I Won’t Be Back,” “No Coward Soldiers,” “Holy Boldness,” and “Choose Ye This Day.” As a solo artist, Caesar soared. She embraced contemporary production and secular rhythms like R&B and disco. As a result, she climbed pop, r&b and gospel charts. In addition to a stunning 11 Grammys, Pastor Caesar has earned 18 Dove Awards and 14 Stellar Awards. Currently, she is the Senior Pastor of Mount Calvary Word of Faith in Raleigh, NC.

About Commissioned

For 17 years, six-member group Commissioned spread the gospel with an emboldened sense of purpose and fierce musical skill. The group was co-founded in 1982 by past BMI Trailblazers honoree Fred Hammond, along with Michael Brooks, Karl Reid, Keith Staten, Mitchell Jones and Michael Williams. As the lineup changed, standout members included Marvin Sapp and others. Funk, R&B and hip-hop grooves helped shape Commissioned’s groundbreaking sound, as lush harmonies carried the message to a receptive young audience that had previously seemed hard to reach. While Commissioned parted ways in 1999, their music remains a bold influence of contemporary gospel stars and a beloved favorite of fans around the world.

About GMC

GMC, the fastest-growing network in television and the number one digital network in perceived value (source: BETA Research), is America’s favorite channel for uplifting music and family entertainment. Recently, The Parents Television Council awarded its Entertainment Seal of Approval to GMC for being “an authentic family-friendly cable network.” GMC is the only television network to receive the highly coveted honor in 2010.

GMC can be seen in nearly 48 million homes on various cable systems around the country, on DIRECTV on channel 338 and on Verizon FiOS on channel 224.

About BMI

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) is an American performing rights organization that represents more than 475,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music and more than 6.5 million works. BMI has represented the most popular and beloved music from around the world for 70 years. The U.S. corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.