Gospel music superstar sibling acts, BeBe & CeCe Winans and Mary Mary, were celebrated at the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors at the Rialto Center for the Arts last night in Atlanta, GA. Hosted by former Trailblazer recipient and renowned gospel singer-songwriter, Yolanda Adams, this special night paid tribute to the best in the Gospel music community. This inspirational event will air nationwide on TV One on February 19 at 8pm ET.
The invitation-only event was a harmonious blend of awe-inspiring performances and worship featuring the brightest young stars and iconic figures in Gospel music today. In addition to honoring BeBe & CeCe Winans and Mary Mary, BMI’s Most Performed Gospel Song of the Year, “Amazing” by Ricky Dillard & New G featuring Tiff Joy, was also recognized. The GRAMMY-nominated single spent an astounding 30 weeks at #1 on Billboard Magazine’s Gospel Airplay chart and catapulted Tiff Joy into the spotlight.
BMI also recognized the Ten Most Performed Songs of the Year (2015): “But God,” co-written by Isaac Carree, Philip Cornish and Eric Dawkins and performed by Carree featuring James Fortune; “Different,” written by Kirk Franklin and performed by Tasha Page-Lockhart; “Help,” co-written by Hasben Jones and Harold Lily and performed by Erica Campbell featuring Lecrae; “I Can Only Imagine,” co-written by Israel Houghton and Meleasa Houghton and performed by Tamela Mann; “I Will Trust,” co-written by Philip Feaster, Calvin Rodgers, and Fred Hammond, who is the performer; “No Greater Love,” written by Aaron Lindsey and performed by Smokie Norful; “This Place,” written by Darrell Blair and performed by Tamela Mann; “War,” written and performed by Charles Jenkins; “We Are Victorious,” written and performed by Donnie McClurkin featuring Tye Tribbett; and “You Alone,” written by Michael McDowell and performed by the Arkansas Gospel Mass Choir.
The ceremony began with a breathtaking performance by Donald Lawrence of last year’s Song of the Year, “The Gift,” before moving to the evening’s musical tributes. Grammy–nominated singers Anita Wilson and Bryon Cage introduced the first Trailblazers of Gospel Music honorees, Mary Mary, followed by KeKe Wyatt’s explosive rendition of the duo’s “God in Me.” The tributes continued with uplifting performances by Y’Anna Crawley (“Heaven”), Tasha Cobbs and Kierra Sheard (“Can’t Give Up”), Tasha Page-Lockhart and Lisa Page-Brooks (“Go Get It”) and Tamela Mann (“Yesterday”) who all paid homage to the iconic sister act. After giving their acceptance speeches, Mary Mary rounded out the first half of the awards ceremony with an amazing performance of their pioneering debut hit single, “Shackles (Praise You),” to close out their tribute segment.
Actress Kim Fields introduced legendary sibling duo BeBe & CeCe Winans as the next Trailblazers of Gospel Music recipients. Their signature sound broke down barriers and paved the way for a whole new generation of Gospel artists. BeBe & CeCe’s tribute segment featured soulful performances by Tamia and Jonathan McReynolds (“Heaven/ It’s Ok”), Yolanda Adams and Brian Courtney Wilson (“Addictive Love”), Kelly Price (“In Return”), siblings Marvin and Debbie Winans (“Lost Without You”), and Deborah Cox and Fred Hammond (“Hold Up The Light”). BeBe & CeCe closed out their powerful tribute segment with a mesmerizing performance of their hit-single “Up Where We Belong” from their 1984 LP, Lord Lift Us Up.
Former Trailblazer recipient and renowned gospel singer-songwriter, Yolanda Adams, hosted the ceremony along with Mike O’Neill, BMI President and CEO and Catherine Brewton, BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta.
BMI’s impressive roster of gospel songwriters includes Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, Jessica Reedy, Marvin Sapp, Twinkie Clark, Donald Lawrence, Wess Morgan, Kim Burrell and many others.