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BMI to Honor Trailblazers of Gospel Music at 7th Annual Luncheon

Posted in News on December 20, 2005
BMI has announced that The Hawkins Family and Bishop Paul Morton will be honored at the 7th Annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon. The invitation-only event, to be held in conjunction with the 2006 Stellar Awards, will take place on January 20, 2006 at Rocketown in Nashville, Tenn. (401 6th Avenue). The gala luncheon salutes gospel music and honors outstanding gospel music recording artists, award-winning BMI writers, and gospel music industry executives.

Edwin Hawkins Paul S. Morton Walter Hawkins

A trailblazing force behind the evolution of the contemporary gospel sound, singer and choir director Edwin Hawkins is best known for the 1969 classic "Oh Happy Day," one of the biggest gospel hits of all time that was also a major pop radio hit. He and his younger brother, Bishop Walter Hawkins, leader of the Love Center Choir and a recent Gospel Music Hall of Fame inductee, have been making memorable gospel music both together and as solo artists for more than four decades. With two Dove Awards, multiple Grammy Awards and nominations, numerous Stellar Awards, a host of multi-million-selling albums and several chart-topping songs, the music of the Hawkins Family remains an integral part of today's gospel movement.

Bishop Paul S. Morton has led the New Orleans-based Greater St. Stephen Baptist Church since the 70s, building its congregation to more than 20,000 with three locations and the creation of many groundbreaking community outreach and support ministries. A native of Canada, he is an author, recording artist and recognized leader in the secular business community. He hosts and produces a daily radio and weekly television program, which air in several markets nationwide, including on Dream Television Network, Black Entertainment Television (BET) and Word Network.

Past BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music include Rance Allen, Pastor John P. Kee, Kurt Carr, Take 6, Teresa Hairston, Cissy Houston and the Clark Sisters.

The 21st Annual Stellar Awards will take place the day after the Trailblazers Luncheon on January 21, 2006, returning to Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry House. Considered the premier gospel event, nominations are received and voted on by the Stellar Awards Gospel Music Academy (SAGMA), made up of members who encourage and promote gospel music worldwide.

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