December 17, 2007
BMI Announces Prestigious 2008 Trailblazers Honorees
Ceremony Will Salute Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Mighty Clouds of Joy and Pastor Marvin Winans
NASHVILLE, December 17, 2007 - BMI will honor gospel greats Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Mighty Clouds of Joy and Pastor Marvin Winans at its ninth Annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon on Friday, Jan. 11, 2008. The ceremony will take place at Rocketown (401 6th Avenue South) in Nashville. The invitation-only celebration will host gospel music’s premier songwriters, recording artists and music industry executives, as well as the genre’s legends.
Contemporary and traditional gospel bridge builder Vanessa Bell Armstrong first entranced Gospel circles in the early 1980s. Her Onyx debut, Peace Be Still, yielded a title track that immediately and eternally resonates with listeners. A native of Detroit and mother of five, Armstrong has generated seven Grammy nominations, enjoyed mainstream chart success and side stepped into a role on Broadway. Her latest project, 2007’s Walking Miracle, finds Armstrong continuing to inspire, reflect, unify and praise.
Legendary group Mighty Clouds of Joy must smile when they look back on 48 years of soul-saving, joy-inducing, ice-melting music. More than 35 albums and three Grammys punctuate the group’s resume, and they have shared the stage with icons including the Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin and James Brown. Church gigs and White House invitations line Mighty Clouds of Joy’s long career, while they consistently released simultaneously hip and authentic gospel hits.
Pastor Marvin Winans first gained recognition as an original member of ground-breaking familial quartet The Winans. Marvin Winans channeled his musical gifts into an impressive stream of outlets including songwriting, vocal dynamics, keyboards, production, the big screen and, most recently, work as a solo artist. As a producer, his credits include fellow honoree Vanessa Bell Armstrong. An active pastor, Winans has also recorded performances by the Perfected Praise Choir, featuring fresh arrangements and new hooks.
Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI) is an American performing right organization that represents more than 350,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music and more than 6.5 million works. BMI’s recently announced financial results, $839 million (U.S.) in royalty collections for its 2007 fiscal year, are the highest for any copyright organization in the world. BMI has represented the most popular and beloved music from around the world for over 65 years. The non-profit-making U.S. corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.
Kay Clary, BMI
Jerry Bailey, BMI