Every year the famed Grand Ole Opry in Nashville is turned into “Stellar Awards central”, handling the reservations and needs of Gospel Music’s royalty during the Stellar Awards ceremonies.
Really, the Stellar Awards is kindred to the glamorous and hard working side of the Grammy Awards. It kicked off on Jan. 17, with members of the Media/Press from across the United States and some of the islands too.
On Jan. 18 , there was a Pastor’s Leadership Breakfast Showcase, sponsored by the American Diabetes Association, on site at the Opryland Resort. Then came the pre-show, which took us downtown to one of Nashville’s gems: the TPAC (Tennessee Performing Arts Center), where the stars and guests came out to shine.
And shine they did! The entire weekend, one could sit in the lobby and watch the ongoing parade of fashion, captivating shoes, fur coats and lots of “bling.”
Saturday (Jan. 19) was the day of days. This reporter had to get up with the chickens to literally jump into the fray. Don’t get me wrong, it was all good, and I was in awe the entire time; even when gathering the on-point photographs that I took.
At the “Sistafriendz Stellar Women of Gospel Awards,” women of power and grace, enjoyed an invitation-only reception at the Grand Opryland Pavilion.
Back downtown to TPAC, we were blessed to have the guidance of Ed Stephens, a legend himself with the GMWA (Gospel Music Workshop of America). Not only did Ed find time to do a “mini-training," he too worked the crowd.
When we say “crowd” we can add growing-by-the-minute crowd!
At that night's 2013 Stellar Awards Show, the stars walked the red carpet. Before media could get in to see parts, and at times, glimpses of the actual show; we had to wait until we were invited inside. Still, it was all worth it.
Media folks from near and far were packed the holding area. Talk about one heck of a networking opportunity, “Wow!”
At the taping, all of the Gospel Music stars were brought out to a stage with the backdrop of a collage of “Stellar Awards”, which made for awesome photographs.
You name it; they were there – standing on the stage, turning to the left, then to the center then to the right. This was the promoters: “the Front Page Firm’s”, format to make sure we all got photographs.
The parade of stars included: Shirley Caesar, Dottie Peoples, Mary Mary, Isaac Carree, Marvin Sapp, Marvin Winans, Vicki Yohe, Kirk Franklin, Tye Tribbett, Donald Lawrence, Byron Cage, Dorothy Norwood, “Ms. Goo-Goo” (Mary Mary’s sister), Donnie McClurkin, Kurt Carr, Le’Andria Johnson, Amber Bullock and Jessica Reedy.
I cannot wait to see next year’s Stellar Awards and the beautiful Grand Ole Opry again.