BET brought together the hottest names in gospel music for an unforgettable night of dynamic performances and soul-stirring tributes at the annual celebration, the “Stellar Gospel Music Awards.” The “Stellar Awards” was the #1 program for the night on all TV for Black viewers P2+ excluding sports with, 867 K Total Viewers during premiere night (Live+3, simulcast across BET and BET Her on 8/1/21). On BET alone the “Stellar Awards” scored a .243 P18-49 rating, and 798 K total viewers P2+, up 104% year-over-year.** The telecast grew +18% in Live + 3 (Adults 18-49, BET Alone). BET now has the Top 3 Cable award shows of 2021 for Black viewers: “BET Awards” (#1), “NAACP Image Awards” (#2), and “Stellar Awards” (#3) excluding sports.*
Hosted by gospel chart-toppers Jekalyn Carr and Tye Tribbett, this year’s ceremony showcased an eclectic mix of gospel legends and industry standard-bearers along with the unstoppable force of young, contemporary artists who are spreading the good news in new ways. A new generation of gospel artists showed up and showed out during the celebration as a testament to the genre’s staying power.
Big winners at the 36th Stellar Gospel Music Awards include Pastor Mike Jr., who was named Artist of the Year and won Rap/Hip Hop Gospel Album of the Year and Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year. Kierra Sheard was feted during the ceremony with Song of the Year and Contemporary Album of the Year, and Maverick City Music won both New Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. Other multiple Stellar Awards winners include Jonathan McReynolds, who was named Male Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year, and as part of a group that won Producer of the Year; and Tasha Cobbs Leonard, whose wins included Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year, Praise and Worship Album of the Year, and Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year. Among many highlights from “The Greatest Night in Gospel Music,” Yolanda Adams, Tamela Mann, and Avery Sunshine joined together to deliver a powerful tribute to Lady Tramaine Hawkins, who was honored with the Aretha Franklin Icon Award presented by Toyota. The trio performed a medley including widely-known Hawkins’ songs such as “Holy One,” “Changed,” and “Going Up Yonder.” The Clark Sisters, who received the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award presented by AT&T, also performed rousing renditions of “Is My Living In Vain,” “Blessed & Highly Favored,” “You Brought The Sunshine,” and “His Love.” The legendary group received three nominations for this year’s Stellar Awards. Kierra Sheard, Sheléa, Christina Bell, Jonathan McReynolds, Mali Music, CeCe Winans Pastor Mike Jr., Jekalyn Carr, Maverick City Music, Jokia, Terrian, and Nia Allen also delivered soul-stirring performances.
Social media lit up during the event, generating more than two million impressions with posts featuring performances, winners, and other notable moments. The audience and performers were pleased to return to an in-person ceremony after the Stellar Awards went virtual last year due to pandemic lockdowns. COVID-19 safety protocols were enacted as part of the in-person event. The ceremony, held at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, TN, on Saturday, July 10, will also be carried in various markets for national broadcast syndication from August 7 through September 5.
The Stellar Awards not only recognizes the year’s best performances in the genre, but also honors gospel music icons and those who have been instrumental in advocating for the gospel industry.
AT&T is proud to be this year’s presenting sponsor. With support from additional sponsors, including State Farm (Song of the Year presenter), Toyota, P&G (Traditional Female Vocalist presenter), and McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour, the 2021 Stellar Gospel Music Awards is set to be the gospel event of 2021.For additional updates, follow The Stellar Awards on social media and check their website.
For more information about the “Stellar Awards” visit, STELLARAWARDS.COM and BET.COM. Follow the “Stellar Awards” on social media for updates and more @TheStellars
*Source: Nielsen | Award Programs of 2021 ranked on Blk P18-49 average imps (home network only)
**Source: Nielsen | 8/1/21 premiere of Stellar Awards (vs. YAGO premiere as noted)