NASHVILLE, Tenn. The breakout gospel troupe Anthony Brown & Group Therapy have earned eight Stellar Gospel Music Awards nominations for their freshman effort, "Testimony." The number of nominations they received ties with that of veteran performer Tye Tribbett.
Anthony Brown, a child prodigy who began playing piano at the age of 3, has already made his mark as a songwriter. His song "It Ain't Over" was recorded by Maurette Brown Clark and hit No.1 on the Billboard chart. The song was featured on Brown Clark's Stellar Award-winning album "The Dream," which also included Anthony Brown's anthem "Sovereign God."
Brown, who serves as assistant minister of music at his church, has also worked with Donald Lawrence, Myron Butler, Stevie Wonder, Anthony Hamilton, Juanita Bynum, Fred Hammond and Donnie McClurkin "Still having a 'WOW' moment," Brown posted on the band's Facebook page the day the nominations were announced.
The 29th annual awards are scheduled to be presented Jan. 18 at Nashville Municipal Auditorium with hosts Sherri Shepherd of "The View" and Rickey Smiley, a syndicated radio personality. The award show will be aired on various networks through March 2.
"I am once again humbled by the continued growth of the Stellar Awards, which this year leads us to move to a bigger venuedouble the size of the Grand Ole Opry," said Don Jackson, founder and executive producer of the Stellar Awards. "The time, talent and commitment exhibited by the artists continues to make our sold-out live show a must-see event. I am thankful to the Gospel music community for all their support."
Anthony Brown & Group Therapy, which has performed for several years but just produced its first album, was nominated for Song of the Year, Group/Duo of the Year, New Artist of the Year, CD of the Year, Producer of the Year (Justin Savage), Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year, Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year, and Music Video of the Year.
Tribbett's nominations centered on his album "Greater Than" and included Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, CD of the Year, Producer of the Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary CD of the Year, Urban/ Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year, and Praise and Worship CD of the Year."
Other artists receiving multiple nominations include Tamela Mann and Tasha Cobbs with seven nominations each and going head-to-head in the hotly contested Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year and CD of the Year categories; gospel great Fred Hammond United Tenors with six nominations, including Contemporary CD of the Year and Group/Duo of the Year; and also vying for Group/Duo of the Year honors, contender John P. Kee & Life received four additional nods for the CD "Life of Favor."
In addition to Tribbett, nominations for Artist of the Year include Bishop Paul. S. Morton, Tamela Mann and Tasha Cobbs.
Song of the Year nominations include Donald Lawrence, "Your Best Days Yet"; Kirk Franklin, "Take Me to the King"; Williams Regan, 'Break Every Chain"; and Brown's single, 'Testimony.'
Male Vocalist of the Year nominations include Tribbett and Morton, plus Jonathan Nelson and VaShawn Mitchell.
Artists in the Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year category include Mann, Shirley Caesar, Tasha Cobbs and Twinkie Clark.
CD of the Year nominations included Brown and his group, Tribbett, Mann and Cobbs.
Hailed as "gospel music's biggest night," this year's Stellar Gospel Music Awards features live performances by Hezekiah Walker, Donald Lawrence, Shirley Ceasar, Erica Campbell, Anthony Brown & Group Therapy, Isaac Carree, The Winans Brothers, and Tasha Cobbs, among others.
Gospel music legend Kirk Franklin will present the Most Notable Achievement Award to Congresswoman Sheila Lee Jackson in recognition of her leadership role in Congress passing legislation naming September Gospel Music Heritage Month. Veteran gospel artist Vicki Winans will present Hezekiah Walker with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Stellar Awards will also present five special categories highlighting the top radio stations serving urban gospel music audiences. Selected via online fan voting, the awards will honor radio and internet programs that broadcast gospel music.
For more information, visit www.thestellarawards.com.