Broadcast Music, Inc. brought legends and contemporary stars together to celebrate and pay tribute to the careers of gospel giants Daryl Coley and Richard Smallwood at its 15th annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon held today at Rocketown in Nashville. The invitation-only event also celebrated BMI’s Most-Performed Gospel Song of the Year, “Take Me to the King,” written by Kirk Franklin.
Musical tributes to Coley and Smallwood began with an awe-inspiring recognition of Coley featuring Zacardi Cortez, who sang “Jesus Saves,” Tasha Page-Lockhart, who sang “He’s Preparing Me,” Earnest Pugh, with a rendition of “More Like Jesus,” Floyd Wilkinson, who delivered “II Chronicles,” Beverly Crawford, who sang “Can’t Tell It All,” and Jason Nelson, who sang “Sovereign.” Topping off the event was a musical homage to Smallwood with dynamic performances of “Total Praise” and “I Love The Lord,” sung by Yolanda Adams, “Angel Watching Over Me” by Anaysha Figueroa-Cooper with Timiney Figueroa, “He Won’t Leave You,” sung by Y’Anna Crawley, “What He’s Done For Me” by Dorinda Clark Cole, “Jesus Lover of My Soul” and “Center of My Joy” by Donnie McClurkin, and “Healing,” delivered by Marvin Sapp.
Kirk Franklin’s “Take Me to the King,” BMI’s Most-Performed Gospel Song of the Year, appears on Tamela Mann’s #1 album Best Days. The song topped the Billboard gospel chart and achieved crossover success in 2013. To help commemorate this outstanding achievement among others in his career, BMI presented Franklin with a video tribute highlighting his incredible journey as a songwriter.
Gospel inspirations Donnie McClurkin and Erica Campbell hosted the luncheon, along with BMI President Del Bryant, BMI CEO Mike O’Neill and BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta, Catherine Brewton.