After a virtual year in 2020, a return to previous home sites of Atlanta and Nashville, the Stellar Gospel Music Awards return to the city that truly never sleeps! And, how could you with BIG events at each corner of the city? The Stellar Gospel Music Awards’ return to Las Vegas is heralded but the biggest night in gospel music isn’t the biggest event in the city. The Stellar Awards join the NBA Summer League action, Usher Raymond’s residency at Park MGM, Chris Tucker’s weekend at the Wynn Resort, the WNBA All-Star game, AAU West Coast Championships, AGT Super Stars LIVE, countless musical reviews and attractions.
However, the biggest night in gospel music could be getting even bigger! With a return to Las Vegas, the Stellar Awards are making room for gospel music lovers from all around the world. Early indications are that Saturday’s show is nearly sold out so if you plan to be there, you should probably have already bought your ticket!
The city is excited, the gospel music industry is excited but no one is more excited than Chairman & CEO, Central City Productions, Inc. Founder & Chairman, Stellar TV Network, Mr. Don Jackson. He says of this year’s Stellar Awards, “We’re back in Vegas and we’re there because the Stellar Awards has grown and to accommodate all of these wonderful nominees, the press, the performers and their families and all of that we have more than enough room in Vegas and we’re just so delighted at how they are receiving us at the Orleans arena.”
With the lineup that we have, I feel like a kid again!
Jackson continues, “They are happy to see us coming back to the Orleans. Vegas is a wonderful atmosphere for our pre-show, our involvement with the radio partners and radio stations where we are giving awards…” On Wednesday, during the Stellar Awards Youth Symposium, Mr. Jackson and the Central City Productions were honored with a proclamation proclaiming Saturday July 15th, Stellar Gospel Music Awards Day in Las Vegas by Councilman Cedric Crear.
Youth in attendance were treated to a sit down with Pastor Mike, Jr. and a dance session with celebrity choreographer Rosero McCoy. This year’s performing and visual arts camp carries a theme of passing the torch and Mr. Jackson seems to have passed the torch to his daughter Rhonda Jackson-Simmons who is behind much of the 2023 community involvement effort. This year, Central City Productions introduced the Stellar+ Experience which features one of a kind experiences with gospel music lovers, artists, media and friends leading up to Saturday’s big show.
The Stellar+ Experience comprises highly informative and engaging events as well as new events engaging gospel music lovers, artists, their representation and working media. This year’s show is hosted by Tasha Cobbs- Leonard and Jonathan McReynolds, transformative artists whose connections to listeners extend well beyond the confines of gospel music. Top nominees this year are: Pastor Mike, Jr. (10), Tye Tribbett (9), Maverick City x Kirk Franklin (6), Tasha Cobbs-Leonard (5), Zacardi Cortez (5). Other notable artists with multiple nominations include: Travis Greene & Forward City, JJ Hairston, Maranda Curtis, Bishop S.Y. Younger feat. Sounds of the Ramp, and Brent Jones.
CeCe Winans returned like she never left. After a 10 year hiatus, everything she has since touched has turned golden, adding another tier to her already legendary status. Acknowledging her return to dominance in both gospel and Christian music, Winans will receive the Aretha Franklin Icon Award. This year’s James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award will honor Reverend Milton Biggham, Pastor of the Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Newark, NJ and founder of several mass choirs – The Miami Mass Choir, The Mississippi Mass Choir, the Dallas Fort Worth Mass Choir, and the Georgia Mass Choir. Songstress extraordinaire, Dottie Peoples will receive the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legend Award and Dr. Bobby Jones, recognized as a global ambassador of gospel music will receive the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award for his indelible contributions to gospel music.
The Stellar Awards have if nothing else a home away from home in Las Vegas. And with community roots growing and deepening, “sin city” could soon be known in posterity as “Stellar City.” Flights are landing, the saints are hitting the strip and over on Tropicana Avenue at the Orleans Arena, gospel music lovers are preparing to rock the arena and raise the roof with praise!
The Stellar Gospel Music Awards pre-show begins Friday night at 5 PM and the 38th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards begin at 4:30 Saturday afternoon. Record temps in the forecast, get your reprieve in the coolest seats in the city when the gospel music industry converges on the Orleans Arena for the 38th Stellar Gospel Music Awards. We’ll be there, stay tuned for our reports and red carpet coverage.
The Stellar Awards will premiere on the newly-launched Stellar TV network between July 24 and August 6, 2023, which can be found on Charter Spectrum, Verizon Fios and Xumo Play. Viewers may check with their local provider for availability in their area.