The Stellar Gospel Music Awards honor the best and most inspirational artists in the genre today. From traditional to contemporary, with some hip-hop and R&B thrown in, the artists nominated this year can definitely raise the roof. The 30th annual award show, which is taped on March 28 in Las Vegas, will air on TV One on April 5, Easter Sunday. Because we can’t wait that long to hear the performances, here’s a playlist from some of the nominated artists. Check out our playlist on Spotify.
‘Help,’ by Erica Campbell, Featuring Lecrae
Campbell, who’s best-known as half of the award-winning gospel duo Mary Mary, has tied for the most nominations—10—for her first solo album, Help. She also recently won a Grammy for best gospel album.
‘Nuthin,’ by Lecrae
The Houston rapper’s seventh album, Anomaly—up for Rap Hip Hop Gospel CD of the Year—was the first album to top both the Billboard 200 and Gospel Albums charts. The album spawned eight top 10 singles on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart, including three No. 1s, making him Billboard’s gospel artist of the year.
‘No Greater Love,’ by Smokie Norful
‘You Alone,’ by the Arkansas Gospel Mass Choir
Led by Charles Moore, who formed the choir in 2007, AGMC has recorded three albums, including last year’s You Alone. The group is up for six awards, including for Song of the Year, Choir of the Year and CD of the Year.
‘Say Yes,’ by Michelle Williams, Featuring Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland
Nothing like a mini-Destiny’s Child reunion. Williams is up for four awards, including for Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year.
‘Amazing,’ by Ricky Dillard & New G
Dillard and his New Generational Chorale, aka New G, have tied Erica Campbell for the most Stellar Award nominations, with 10.
‘Flaws,’ by Kierra Sheard
Sheard, descended from gospel royalty—her mother is Karen Clark Sheard of the renowned Clark Sisters, and her grandmother is gospel-choir director Mattie Moss-Clark—is nominated for Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year.
‘Beautiful,’ by Mali Music
Mali Music, aka Kortney Jamaal Pollard, knows he has at least one superfan: Jennifer Lopez. The actress-singer and American Idol judge invited him on the show to perform “Beautiful,” which helped bring his music to a wider audience.
‘Love on the Radio,’ by the Walls Group
‘Best for Last,’ by Donald Lawrence, Featuring Yolanda Adams and the Tri-City Singers
Lawrence, who has already won 14 Stellar Awards, is nominated for Group/Duo of the Year, Contemporary Group/Duo of the Year and Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year.
‘Keep Doing What You’re Doing,’ by Anita Wilson
After a career singing backup for some of the biggest names in gospel—including Hezekiah Walker, Donald Lawrence and Marvin Sapp—Wilson released her debut solo album in 2012. Her second album, Vintage Worship, has earned two nominations.
‘Just to Say Thank You,’ by the Williams Brothers
The group has been going strong since 1960, racking up numerous Stellar Awards along the way. This year they’re up for Group/Duo of the Year, Traditional Group/Duo of the Year and Quartet of the Year.
‘Everybody Praise,’ by Temple of Deliverance Women’s Choir, Featuring Carla Tolbert Taylor
This Memphis, Tenn.-based, 200-strong choir is up for New Artist of the Year for debut album In the Sanctuary.
‘Grace of God (Live),’ by Sheri Jones-Moffett
‘God’s on Your Side,’ by the Mississippi Mass Choir, Featuring Le’Andria Johnson and Stan Jones
This award-winning, Jackson, Miss.-based choir has several statues on its shelf, including a Grammy, several Stellar Awards and a Soul Train Music Award. Its 10th album, Declaration of Dependence, helped the group earn nominations for Choir of the Year and Traditional Choir of the Year.
‘Great God,’ by Deitrick Haddon’s LXW (League of Xtraordinary Worshippers)
Haddon’s League of Xtraordinary Worshippers have earned seven nominations for their self-titled album, including Choir of the Year and Contemporary Choir of the Year.
‘Different,’ by Tasha Page-Lockhart
The Detroit singer, who launched her career by winning BET’s Sunday’s Best gospel competition in 2013, has scored four nominations, including for New Artist of the Year and Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year.
‘I Made It,’ by Da’ T.R.U.T.H., Featuring Black Knight and TC
The Philly native’s seventh album, Heartbeat, is up for Rap Hip Hop Gospel CD of the Year.
‘Count It All Joy,’ by Ruth La’Ontra
‘Until I Pass Out,’ by Uncle Reece
The Jacksonville, Fla., rapper flavors his gospel with elements of R&B, reggae and, of course, hip-hop. He’s nominated for New Artist of the Year and Rap Hip Hop Gospel CD of the Year for his album, Bold.
‘We Are Victorious,’ by Donnie McClurkin, Featuring Tye Tribbett
The award-winning singer teamed up with some of gospel’s hottest stars on his latest album, Duets, which has earned three nominations.
‘Withholding Nothing,’ by William McDowell
‘You Can’t Stop Me,’ by Andy Mineo
‘More Than Enough,’ by Charles Butler & Trinity
The 12-member ensemble, led by Butler, has backed some of gospel’s biggest names, including Kirk Franklin, Earnest Pugh and Karen Clark Sheard. The group is up for Contemporary Choir of the Year.
‘So in Love With You,’ by Darnell Davis & the Remnant
Minneapolis native Davis and his ensemble are up for Contemporary Choir of the Year for their latest album, Moving Forward.