Trailblazers of Gospel Music Feted at 7th Annual Awards Luncheon

Posted in News on January 25, 2006
BMI honored the Hawkins Family and Bishop Paul Morton with a "who's who" of gospel music at its 7th Annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon in Nashville on January 20. The standing-room-only event was held in conjunction with the 2006 Stellar Awards.

Pictured on stage are Pastor Marvin Winans, Edwin Hawkins, Tramaine Hawkins, Shirley Miller, BMI's Catherine Brewton, Feddie Hawkins, Bishop Paul Morton, Deborah Morton, BMI's Thomas Cain, BeBe Winans and BMI's Wardell Malloy. Photo by DRE Photography

Hosted by BMI's Catherine Brewton, the gala luncheon was attended by Kurt Carr, DeNetria Champ, Damita and Deitrick Haddon, Rodney Jerkins, Keith "Wonderboy" Johnson, Mary, Mary, Smokey Norful, Donnie McClurkin, Albertina Walker, Tye Tribett, Byron Cage, Karen Clark-Cole, William Murphy, Myron Butler, Juan Winans and Marvin Winans, Jr. The audience was treated to transcendent performances by BeBe Winans, Marvin Winans, Kim Burrell, Micah Stampley and Dorinda Clark-Cole, who interpreted classic selections from the Hawkins and Morton repertoires.

BeBe Winans, Melvin Williams of the Williams Brothers, Walter Hawkins, Joel Smith, Daniel Hawkins, Donnie McClurkin, Lynette Hawkins, Carol Hawkins, Pastor Marvin Winans Sr., Feddie Hawkins, Edwin Hawkins, Lil iROCC, Tramaine Hawkins, Donald Lawrence, Marvin Winans, Jr., BMI's Catherine Brewton, Damita Haddon, Karima from Virtue. Photo by DRE Photography

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.

Edwin Hawkins, Dorinda Clark-Carter, Carol Hawkins, Walter Hawkins, Tramaine Hawkins and Bishop Paul Morton gather on stage for a musical tribute to the Hawkins Family. Photo by Kay Clary

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 took 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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