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BMI Announces 2008 Trailblazers Honorees

Posted in News on December 18, 2007

Ceremony Will Salute Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Mighty Clouds of Joy and Pastor Marvin Winans

BMI will honor gospel greats Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Mighty Clouds of Joy and Pastor Marvin Winans at its ninth Annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon on Friday, Jan. 11, 2008. The ceremony will take place at Rocketown (401 6th Avenue South) in Nashville. The invitation-only celebration will host gospel music’s premier songwriters, recording artists and music industry executives, as well as the genre’s legends.

  • Vanessa Bell Armstrong
  • Mighty Clouds of Joy
  • Marvin Winans

Contemporary and traditional gospel bridge builder Vanessa Bell Armstrong first entranced Gospel circles in the early 1980s. Her Onyx debut, Peace Be Still, yielded a title track that immediately and eternally resonates with listeners. A native of Detroit and mother of five, Armstrong has generated seven Grammy nominations, enjoyed mainstream chart success and side stepped into a role on Broadway. Her latest project, 2007’s Walking Miracle, finds Armstrong continuing to inspire, reflect, unify and praise.

Legendary group Mighty Clouds of Joy must smile when they look back on 48 years of soul-saving, joy-inducing, ice-melting music. More than 35 albums and three Grammys punctuate the group’s resume, and they have shared the stage with icons including the Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin and James Brown. Church gigs and White House invitations line Mighty Clouds of Joy’s long career, while they consistently released simultaneously hip and authentic gospel hits.

Pastor Marvin Winans first gained recognition as an original member of ground-breaking familial quartet The Winans. Marvin Winans channeled his musical gifts into an impressive stream of outlets including songwriting, vocal dynamics, keyboards, production, the big screen and, most recently, work as a solo artist. As a producer, his credits include fellow honoree Vanessa Bell Armstrong. An active pastor, Winans has also recorded performances by the Perfected Praise Choir, featuring fresh arrangements and new hooks.

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