BMI will honor gospel greats Yolanda Adams and Fred Hammond at its 8th Annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon on Friday, Jan. 12, 2007. The ceremony will take place at Rocketown (401 6th Avenue South) in Nashville. Held in conjunction with and prior to the Stellar Awards, the invitation-only celebration will host gospel music's premier songwriters, recording artists and music industry executives, as well as the genre's legends.
Yolanda Adams, who was recently nominated for two Grammys, earned a living as a school teacher in Houston, Texas, during the 1980s, while her striking beauty also supplied her with work in the modeling industry. Adams' debut album, Just As I Am, hit shelves in 1988, ushering in a bright new star on the forefront of gospel music. 1996's Yolanda Live in Washington earned the soulful singer her first Grammy nomination, while her next album, Mountain High Valley Low, snagged the performer her first Grammy Award. Since 2000, Adams has delivered the Lord's message to the masses on two more beautiful albums, showcasing both her unparalleled talent and devotion.
Detroit native Fred Hammond is one of the most beloved praise and worship leaders in the gospel music genre. His studio albums take on the alive, emotive feel of a concert. Like so many before him, Hammond developed his passion for song in the church choir at age 12. After playing bass and supplying vocals for the Winans during the early 1980s, Fred joined the group Commissioned, where he showcased his unique arrangements and grew as a producer, vocalist and songwriter. While Fred remained a member of Commissioned, intricately crafted solo albums like I Am Persuaded, Purpose By Design and In Case You Missed It...And Then Some hit shelves, cementing Hammond's position as one of recent history's premier gospel music artists.
The 22nd Annual Stellar Awards will be held the day after the BMI Trailblazers Luncheon, on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2007, at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. The awards show, celebrating the year in gospel music, is produced by Chicago-based Central City Productions. 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.