The Gospel music community is paying tribute to the legendary artists that helped redefine the genre.
Donnie McClurkin and Kim Burrell will host the 2011 BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards, airing tomorrow night at 7 p.m. EST on GMC. The show, taped January 14 in Nashville, honors the achievements of Shirley Caesar and Gospel group Commissioned.
BeBe and CeCe Winans set the tone for the evening, opening the awards with a rousing performance of "Close To You." Kim, Beverly Crawford, Lucinda Moore and Ledisi were all tapped to hit the stage and do their stirring renditions of some of Shirley’s biggest hits.
The tribute nearly left Shirley speechless, but she eventually found the right words to express her thankfulness.
"I am so grateful to BMI for this honor," Shirley said. "It was so genuine and so kind, I could just feel it. And to see so many talented people perform your own songs is just an incredible experience. It was simply wonderful."
Men of Standard, The Clark Sisters and Marvin Sapp also performed during the show. You definitely won’t want to miss this, but in case you do, GMC is doing an encore presentation of the 2011 BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards at 8:30 p.m. EST.
Check out these pics from the ceremony, and then get a sneak peek of the show in the trailer we posted below.
— Sonya Eskridge