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January 13, 2012

BMI Honors Kirk Franklin, Hezekiah Walker & Marvin Sapp at 13th Annual Trailblazers of Gospel Awards

Press Release

NASHVILLE, January 13, 2012 – Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) honored gospel giants Kirk Franklin and Hezekiah Walker at its 13th annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon today in Nashville. Held at Rocketown, the event brought legends and contemporary stars together to celebrate the careers of two of the genre’s finest.

Marvin Sapp’s “The Best in Me” was named BMI’s Most-Performed Gospel Song of the Year. Co-written by Sapp and Aaron Lindsey, the song topped gospel charts and achieved historic crossover success, climbing from no. 78 to no. 14 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hot Songs Chart – the biggest jump for a gospel hit since Billboard began using Nielsen SoundScan 18 years ago. To celebrate, Sapp surprised the audience with a performance of “The Best in Me.”

Kim Burrell and Israel Houghton hosted the luncheon, along with Catherine Brewton, BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, and Del Bryant, BMI President & CEO.

A full slate of artists delivered stunning performances before the show, including Wess Morgan, William McDowell, Earnest Pugh and VaShawn Mitchell.

The awe-inspiring musical tribute to Hezekiah Walker featured Faith Evans, Dorinda Clark Cole, Kim Burrell, DJ Rogers, Tamela Mann, Israel Houghton and Marvin Sapp. The charismatic songs of Kirk Franklin were then celebrated with dynamic performances by Fred Hammond, Jessica Reedy and the Kirk Franklin Singers, Myron Butler, LeAndria Johnson, Isaac Carree, Rance Allen and Kim Burrell.

Finally, an all-star collection of artists gathered on stage for “Looking for You,” which served as the event’s triumphant finale.

High-resolution photos will be available at 7 p.m. CST on January 13.
visit, http://bit.ly/xwO7sf
password: rocketown

Photos will be available for download from BMI.com at 10 a.m.  CST on January 14
visit, www.bmi.com/press:
Username: bmimedia; password: songwriter


Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI®), a global leader in rights management, is an American performing rights organization that represents more than 500,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music and more than 7.5 million musical works. BMI has represented the most popular and beloved music from around the world for more than 70 years. The company provides licenses for businesses that perform music, and distributes the fees it generates as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents. Find out more at http://www.bmi.com, follow @BMI on Twitter and stay connected through Facebook.

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CONTACT:

Jamil Walker, BMI
212-220-3143; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Kay Clary, BMI
615-401-2728; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

About the 2012 Trailblazers honorees:

Kirk Franklin is the best-selling contemporary gospel artist in SoundScan history. He was the first gospel artist to sell more than one million albums, and today, his sales tally exceeds 15 million. While Franklin has earned 20 no. 1 singles on gospel charts, he has transcended genre and medium in countless ways, from serving as host of BET’s Sunday Best, to consistently crossing over to urban radio. With multiple BMI songwriting awards, seven Grammys, 37 Stellar Awards, 14 Dove Awards, and six NAACP Image Awards, he is one of gospel’s most decorated creators. In addition to changing hearts and minds through his music, Franklin rolls up his sleeves for numerous charities, such as World Vision and the Children’s Defense Fund, for which he was an Ambassador. He’s showing no signs of slowing: Released this year, his 12th album Hello Fear and its lead single “I Smile” both topped charts.
www.kirkfranklin.com

Hezekiah Walker has led the Love Fellowship Choir, one of gospel music’s most influential groups, for more than two decades. The multiple Grammy winner has taken home 11 Stellar Awards, as well as numerous nominations for Dove, NAACP Image, and Soul Train honors. Through injecting traditional gospel and choir music with hip-hop and funk, Walker has crafted a distinct style that inspires and comforts young and old, black and white. He is also a soulful and persistently honest songwriter, capable of quiet introspection and airborne glory. Determined to carry the message even farther, Walker founded Love Fellowship Tabernacle Church and Hezekiah Walker Ministries, which serve not only as brick and mortar churches in New York and Pennsylvania, but resource centers for congregations all over the country as well. Walker’s acclaimed latest effort, Souled Out, is the thirteenth of his career.
www.hezekiahwalkerministries.com

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David and Tamela Mann pay musical tribute to Kirk Franklin at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held January 13 in Nashville.

Photo by Rick Diamond

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Le’Andria Johnson delivers an inspiring performance in tribute to Kirk Franklin at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held January 13 in Nashville.

Photo by Rick Diamond

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Pictured are Tammy and Kirk Franklin at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held January 13 in Nashville.

Photo by Rick Diamond

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Pictured are DJ Rogers, BMI Trailblazers honoree Hezekiah Walker, Marvin Sapp, and BMI’s Wardell Malloy at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held January 13 in Nashville.

Photo by Rick Diamond

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LeAndria Johnson delivers an inspiring performance in tribute to Kirk Franklin at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held January 13 in Nashville.

Photo by Rick Diamond

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Kim Burrell hosts the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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Michelle Williams arrives at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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2012 Trailblazer of Gospel honoree Kirk Franklin and wife Tammy pause for a photo at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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BMI Trailblazers of Gospel honoree Kirk Franklin (center) is joined by Michelle Williams and Jessica Reedy at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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Faith Evans arrives at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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Donnie McClurkin at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held January 13 in Nashville.

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Rance Allen and Isaac Carree deliver an inspiring performance in tribute to Kirk Franklin at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held January 13 in Nashville.

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Marvin Sapp accepts his award for Most Performed Song, “The Best in Me,” at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held January 13 in Nashville. Pictured are Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing President Dale Mathews ; co-writer Aaron Lindsey; BMI President & CEO Del Bryant; Marvin Sapp; BMI Vice President, Writer-Publisher Relations Catherine Brewton; BMI Director, Writer-Publisher Relations Byron Wright; BMI Senior Director, Writer-Publisher Relations Wardell Malloy.

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Isaac Carree Evans arrives at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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Trin-I-Tee 5:7 arrive at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held January 13 in Nashville.

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Fred Hammond arrives at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held January 13 in Nashville.

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Israel Houghton hosts the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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Lowell Pye performs at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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BMI 2012 Trailblazers of Gospel honorees Hezekiah Walker & Kirk Franklin flank recording artists Michelle Williams at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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BMI 2012 Trailblazers of Gospel honorees Hezekiah Walker & Kirk Franklin at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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Jessica Reedy and 2012 BMI Trailblazers of Gospel honoree Hezekiah Walker backstage at the awards luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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Le’Andria Johnson delivers an inspiring performance in tribute to Kirk Franklin at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held January 13 in Nashville.

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Earnest Pugh performs at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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BMI Trailblazers of Gospel honorees Hezekiah Walker and Kirk Franklin share a moment onstage at the awards luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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Dorinda Clark Cole arrives at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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Wess Morgan performs at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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Dorinda Clark Cole performs at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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Byron Cage arrives at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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Faith Evans performs at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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VaShawn Mitchell backstage at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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William McDowell performs at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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BMI 2012 Trailblazer of Gospel honoree Kirk Franklin arrives at the award luncheon, held January 13 at Rocketown in Nashville.

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Jessica Reedy arrives at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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Jessica Reedy delivers an inspiring performance in tribute to Kirk Franklin at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held January 13 in Nashville.

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VaShawn Mitchell performs at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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Faith Evans and Jessica Reedy at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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Tamela Mann delivers an inspiring performance in tribute to Kirk Franklin at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held January 13 in Nashville.

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Marvin Sapp pauses for a photo at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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Israel Houghton & Fred Hammond perform at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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LeAndria Johnson arrives at the13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held January 13 in Nashville.

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BMI 2012 Trailblazer of Gospel honoree Hezekiah Walker arrives at the award luncheon, held January 13 at Rocketown in Nashville.

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BMI’s Chairman Susan Austin, BMI’s Wardell Malloy, Hezekiah Walker and BMI’s Catherine Brewton pause for a photo at the 13th Annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 13 in Nashville.

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