With all big award shows, there is never just the show to look forward to, but a ton of other events for attendees to look forward too as well. For the Stellar Awards weekend, the ASCAP & Motown Gospel Morning Glory Breakfast, is just one of those events that take place- and it did not disappoint! Now in its 7th year, this year’s breakfast honored all of the Motown Gospel artists and ASCAP members who were nominated for a Stellar Award for 2016. Held at the Mirage Hotel & Casino in Vegas, The Morning Glory Breakfast also honored two of Gospel music’s best and brightest stars, Tasha Cobbs and Brian Courtney Wilson, with the ASCAP Power & Praise Award. This distinctive award celebrates artists who have made significant strides in shaping Gospel music; and both Tasha and Brian made their presence known this year.
Hosted by singer and radio personality, Darlene McCoy, the breakfast was full of great performances, lively testimonies, awards and a mini-impromptu “church service” (that can only happen when you have a room of amazing voices all under one roof)! Industry new comers Janice Gaines and Royce Lovett hit the stage, with impressive voices and great R&B and soulful music that showed the progressive side of today’s Gospel music. Myron Butler, who has been somewhat of a pioneer in Gospel music in front of and behind the scenes for years, tore up the stage with his group Levi- sharing his new spirited hit “Best Praise.” While Brian Courtney Wilson had the entire room in tears, once he was done, singing one of his newest praise song “I’ll Just Say Yes.” Of course, every performance had several people on their feet, with hands raised, and voices in harmony.
Some of the labels artists who were awarded for their Stellar’s nomination(s) this year were: Anthony Brown, Alexis Spight, Jonathan McReynolds, JJ Hairston, Casey J., William McDowell, Flame, and Gerald & Tammi Haddon. As Tasha Cobbs received her prestigious award, she reminisced about her life as a “young worshipper” sharing how she was signing praise and worship at 3 years old. She also shared how she remembers asking her parents at 10 years old, if she could fast for 3 days, and them granting her permission. She says jokingly of that memory, “Who does that?” Now this worshipper, who admits to being an introvert, says her private praise is on display for the world to see and for the Lord’s glory.
Brian Courtney Wilson shared how he remembers a time when he would come to the awards breakfast and couldn’t find a seat, or no one knew who he was or even his name. He said he didn’t share that to knock anyone, but to prove that nothing happens before the Lord’s timing. He encouraged his fellow artists and others, to never lose sight of what the Lord is doing in your life, no matter how long it takes for you to see where He’s bringing you. Needless to say, his words and this event, truly touched the hearts of the audience.
This awards breakfast truly shows the comradery between these artists, who all have one goal…to make the name of the Lord famous. Next year, the Stellar Awards will be held again in Las Vegas at the end of March, and again some of Gospel’s best will be honored. We’ll look forward to seeing who will light up the stage, and the radio airwaves, with their spirits and their songs.
Writer: Shani Lodge of ShaniSpeaksNow, LLC.