Twinkie Clark, Donald Lawrence and CeCe Winans Honored at 2009 BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Luncheon

Posted in News on January 16, 2009

BMI recognized the substantial contributions of gospel pacesetters Twinkie Clark, Donald Lawrence, and CeCe Winans at the 10th Annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon Friday, January 16 in Nashville. Hosted by BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations Catherine Brewton, the invitation-only celebration attracted gospel music’s premier songwriters, recording artists and music industry executives, as well as the genre’s legends.

Inspired live performances from a selection of contemporary stars and gospel powerhouses including Kirk Franklin, Karen Clark-Sheard, Donnie McClurkin, 2008 Trailblazers honoree Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Israel Houghton, Kiki Sheard, Kim Burrell, DeWayne Woods, Crystal Lewis, Lejune Thompson, and Lalah Hathaway paid spine-tingling homage to the honorees. BMI President & CEO Del Bryant also presented an award for Most Performed Gospel Song of the Year to Stellar Award-winner and Grammy-nominated Pastor Marvin Sapp and his esteemed collaborator Matthew Brownie in recognition of their co-written hit “Never Would Have Made It,” recorded by Pastor Sapp on his critically acclaimed album Thirsty.

Elbernita “Twinkie” Clark has enthralled listeners for decades, both through her acclaimed solo work and leadership of gospel’s royal family, The Clark Sisters. A skilled musician dubbed “Queen of the B3 Hammond Organ,” Clark also wields aerobatic vocals only matched by her sublime knack for composition. Clark boasts two Grammys, and in addition to penning staples for The Clark Sisters, she has composed songs for artists including Rev. James Cleveland, Al Green, Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers, Esther Smith, James Moss, Dave Hollister, Xscape, and Mary J. Blige. Legendary BMI gospel songwriter Twinkie Clark was recently recognized alongside her sisters at the 2007 Stellar Awards, where the influential group received the award for Most Noted Achievement.

photo Twinkie Clark

photo Donald Lawrence

CeCe Winans’ career has generated a trove of top-shelf industry accolades comprising numerous Grammy, Stellar, and Dove Awards. Her work with her brother in duo BeBe & CeCe Winans expanded the boundaries of gospel music and welcomed new listeners into its fold, while her solo projects reintroduced an artist comfortable with evolution and the spotlight. A BMI songwriter for more than 20 years, Winans has created a thick catalog of compositions including BMI Christian Award-winning song “Say a Prayer,” “Addictive Love,” “Well Alright,” “Pray,” and many more. Gold- and platinum-selling albums bejewel her résumé, and her latest effort Thy Will Be Done promises more acclaim.

photo CeCe Winans


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