Gospel Music Hall of Fame Welcomes BMI’s Frances Preston

Posted in News on February 16, 2004

BMI President & CEO Frances Preston joined performers and BMI affiliates Sandi Patty and Al Green, along with the late Vestal Goodman, as the newest members of the Gospel Music Association's Gospel Music Hall of Fame, during ceremonies on February 11. Pat Boone, who was inducted by the GMA in 2002, hosted the show from Trinity Music City, just outside of Nashville. The hour-long special, which featured performances by Patty, Boone, Michael W. Smith and Kristy Starling, was taped for later broadcast on TBN.

Seen here after the induction ceremony are Vestal Goodman's son Rick Goodman, honorees Al Green, Frances Preston and Sandi Patty, and GMA President John Styll.

EMI CMG Chairman Billy Ray Hearn made the induction presentation to Preston, who was entered in the non-performer category. She is Past Chairwoman and President of the Gospel Music Association and a lifetime board member.

Presented Billy Ray Hearn, Frances Preston, presenter Michael W. Smith

Al Green, senior pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis, has won seven Grammys for his gospel albums. He began his career as a child as part of the Green Brothers, but later went out on his own to become one of the most important soul singers in history before becoming an ordained minister in 1976. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and in 2002, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy.

Billy Ray Hearn, Frances Preston

With 39 Dove Awards and five Grammy Awards to her credit, Sandi Patty is the most awarded female artist in the history of contemporary Christian music. Her 23 albums have sold more than 11 million units. Recipient of the Dove Award for Female Vocalist of the Year a record 11 times, her career has spanned more than two decades as she has taken her music to every corner of the world.

Vestal Goodman, known as the "Queen of Gospel Music," was a founding member of the Happy Goodman Family and the first artist to receive a Female Vocalist of the Year Dove Award in 1969. Goodman was notified of the GMA honor shortly before her death on December 27, 2003, at the age of 74. Her induction certificate was accepted by her son, Rick Goodman.

The GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame was established in 1971 and has inducted 125 members since its inception, including Elvis Presley, Mahalia Jackson, Amy Grant, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Andrae Crouch, Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Oak Ridge Boys, Petra, Bill and Gloria Gaither, The Rambos, Thomas A. Dorsey, The Fairfield Four, Rev. Billy Graham and The Jordanaires.

Founded in 1964, the 4,500-member Gospel Music Association is dedicated to exposing, promoting and celebrating the gospel through music. The GMA represents all styles of gospel music including contemporary pop, rock, urban gospel, praise & worship, Southern gospel, country and children's gospel music. The GMA produces the Dove Awards, recognizing achievement in all genres of gospel music.


photos by Stephen Kohl


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