28Th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards Nominees Announced Mary Mary Tops List of Nominees with Nine Nods; Best New Artist Nominee Charles Jenkins Earns Eight, Including Artist of the Year; Marvin Sapp, Fred Hammond and Andre Crouch Score Multiple Nominations

CHICAGO, Oct. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Two of Gospel music's biggest acts will share the microphone when Kirk Franklin and Tina and Ericka Campbell of Mary Mary co-host the 28th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards. 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 TV 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."

"We've participated in the Stellar Awards for years and always look forward to it," said Tina Campbell of Mary Mary. Erica Campbell added, "Serving as hosts this year with our friend and colleague Kirk Franklin is an added bonus - we're looking forward to having an amazing time!"

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.

This year, the Stellar Awards will also present five special categories highlighting the top radio stations serving urban Gospel music audiences. Via an online fan voting campaign that runs November 1 through November 25, the award for "Radio Station of the Year" will let viewers decide who should receive the highest honor among terrestrial radio, internet, syndicated and satellite programs that broadcast Gospel music.

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."

In addition to recognizing the year's most outstanding contributions in the genre, The Stellar Awards also bestow special honors upon individuals whose names are synonymous with greatness through distinguished careers in the gospel arena. This year, global inspirational leader Bishop TD Jakes will receive the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award; the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to gospel music great Kurt Carr; and the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award will be bestowed upon Inez Andrews for her contributions to the industry.

"It is always humbling to be recognized for the work you do in service of others," said Jakes who will be acknowledged for his work as a faith-leader, author and producer. "To receive the Most Notable Achievement Award from The Stellar Gospel Music Awards is a true honor."

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 which 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.

For additional details, visit the Stellar Awards website (http://www.thestellarawards.com/).

Highlight of Top Nominees:

Mary Mary - Total Nominations 9
Group/Duo of the Year, Song of the Year, Contemporary Group/Duo of the Year, Contemporary CD of the Year, Urban Inspirational Single or Performance, Special Event CD of the Year, Producer of the Year, Music Video of the Year and Recorded Music Packaging of the Year

Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago - Total Nominations 8
Artist of the Year, New Artist of the Year, CD of the Year, Choir of the Year, Song of the Year, Traditional CD of the Year, Traditional Choir of the Year and Pre-Recorded Music Packaging

Marvin Sapp - Total Nominations 6
Artists of the Year, Song of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, CD of the Year, Traditional Male of the Year and Traditional CD of the Year

Fred Hammond - Total Nominations 6
Male Vocalist of the Year, CD of the Year, Producer of the Year, Contemporary Male of the Year, Contemporary CD of the Year, and Urban Inspirational Single or Performance

Andre Crouch - Total Nominations 5
Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, CD of the Year, Traditional Male of the Year and Traditional CD of the Year

Isaac Carree - Total Nominations 5
New Artist of the Year, Producer of the Year, Contemporary Male of the Year, Urban Inspirational Single or Performance and Music Video of the Year

TO VIEW A COMPLETE LIST OF THE NOMINEES VISIT: WWW.THESTELLARAWARDS.COM

Check out the official Stellar Awards website: www.thestellarawards.com; Connect with Stellar Awards on social media -- Facebook: www.facebook.com/stellarawards, and Twitter:@theStellars.

ABOUT CENTRAL CITY PRODUCTIONS (CCP)
The Stellar Gospel Music Awards show is Executive Produced by Don Jackson and Produced by Barbara Wilson for Central City Productions. Founded in 1970 by Don Jackson, Chicago-based Central City Productions is a distributor of original targeted programming to television and cable networks. CCP's award-winning television programs include the Stellar Gospel Music Awards, the Trumpet Awards, Bud Billiken Back-to-School Parade, Know Your Heritage, The Black College Quiz Show Series, Hispanic College Quiz, Our World with Black Enterprise and The Black Enterprise Business Report, among many others. For more information, please visit www.ccptv.com.

ABOUT GMC TV
GMC TV (www.watchGMCtv.com) is America's favorite television channel for uplifting music and family entertainment. The Parents Television Council™ has twice awarded its Entertainment Seal of Approval™ to GMC TV for being "an authentic family-friendly cable network." GMC TV is the only television network brand to be so honored. GMC TV can be seen in more than 56 million homes on various cable systems around the country, as well as DISH Network on channel 188, DIRECTV on channel 338 and Verizon FiOS on channel 224. Follow GMC TV on Facebook and Twitter at http://facebook.com/gmctv and http://twitter.com/gmctv.

SOURCE Central City Productions, Inc.



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