by Calvin Terrell
(Excerpted from the April/May issue of Sister 2 Sister magazine)
Did anyone else hear this: that they changed the name of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards to the Marvin Sapp Awards?? How ’bout that? During the event, Marvin picked up seven statues for his CD, titled Thirsty, and for the cut “Never Would Have Made It.” And rightfully so! Not only was the voting academy rooting for Marvin, but his fellow gospel artists were hoping he would win big too!
Marvin snatched trophies for categories including artist of the year and song of the year for “Never Would Have Made It.” But like many songs that receive a lot of attention, that particular song was not that new to Marvin. In fact, he wrote it some time ago. Its message definitely resonated far beyond the gospel airplay lists and onto the secular lists at radio. It’s just a song that nearly everyone can relate to.
When I arrived in Nashville for the Stellars, just like every year, we were rushing to get down to help Catherine Brewton and the folks at BMI celebrate their annual Trailblazers of Gospel event at Rocketown in downtown Nashville. I’ll get back to that event later. Fast-forward to the biggest night in gospel, the 24th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, held at the historic Grand Ole Opry house. This year’s event was co-hosted by Sinbad, Donnie McClurkin (who somehow eluded me and others the entire night) and Dorinda Clark Cole.
But on the plane rid into town, I sat near Da’ T.R.U.T.H. as well as Evin, Jor’el and Torrence, a.k.a. 21:03. The name of their current CD is Total Attention. These dudes are really cool, but I won’t tell y’all how they loaded up the plane with their entourage and arrived fashionably late, don’t you know? “We came up with the concept ourselves,” Evin told me backstage during the show about the CD, adding that “we needed to get everyone’s attention back on God, so we just believe that if you get your total attention on God, then He’ll bless your ministry.” I teased Torrence, who had just had a birthday. I said he was finally 12 years old … but he’s really 21!
Pick up the April/May issue of Sister 2 Sister magazine to for more on the Stellar Awards.