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BMI to name Richard Smallwood and Daryl Coley 'Trailblazers'

Richard Smallwood and Daryl Coley will be named BMI Trailblazers on Jan. 17, 2014.
Richard Smallwood and Daryl Coley will be named BMI Trailblazers on Jan. 17, 2014.

Broadcast Music Inc. will honor Washing, DC based artist Richard Smallwood and Daryl Coley at its 15th Annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Luncheon. Hosted by Donnie McClurkin and Erica Campbell, the ceremony will be held in Nashville on Friday, January 17, 2014 at Rocket Town.

BMI (Broadcast Music Inc) is a leading music rights management company. 1939, BMI created a groundbreaking open-door policy becoming the only performing rights organization to welcome and represent the creators of blues, jazz, country, and American roots music. Today their roster includes gospel artist such as Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin and Twinkie Clark.

At the exclusive gathering, honorees are feted with performances of their own songs that set an atmosphere of admiration and worship. In 2013 BMI captured the performances and released the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Live 2013, marking the first-ever recording from the performing rights organization.

This year invited guests include Yolanda Adams; Tamela Mann; Kirk Franklin, Erica Campbell; Isaac Carree; The Clark Sisters; Fred Hammond, James Fortune; Smokie Norful; Jessica Reedy; Kierra Sheard, Marvin Sapp; Shirley Caesar; Beverly Crawford; Anaysha Figueroa-Cooper, Ledisi; Michelle Williams; Rodney Jerkins; VaShawn Mitchell. Tasha Page-Lockhart; Y’Anna Crawley; Dr. Bobby Jones; Lisa Knowles and others.

Andrae Crouch, Edwin Hawkins, Trmaine Hawkins and Kirk Franklin are among past BMI Trailblazer Award recipients.

ABOUT THE 2014 HONOREES (Courtesy of BMI):


Richard Smallwood is a legend in his own time. After more than three decades as one of the most popular inspirational artists in the music business, with classic tunes such as “Total Praise,” “Center of My Joy,” and “I Love the Lord” to his credit, the GRAMMY-nominated, Stellar and Dove award-winning songwriter and musician continues to enjoy widespread popularity and influence.

His seminal recordings with the Richard Smallwood Singers and Vision include Psalms, Adoration: Live in Atlanta and Journey: Live in New York. Each album and song released continually landed on the top of the gospel charts and in the repertoires of choirs throughout the world. His songs traverse genre boundaries and have been recorded by Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Destiny’s Child and many others. In 2006, Smallwood was inducted into the Gospel Music Associations’ Gospel Music Hall of Fame. He is currently exploring his gift as an author, as he works on completing his autobiography Total Praise, scheduled to be released in 2014.


Daryl Coley’s voice is an inimitable instrument that fuses musical genres into a unique, mellifluous and cohesive sound. His multi-decade career began as singer with Edwin Hawkins, which led to being a songwriter and musical director for Lady Tramaine Hawkins. Lead vocal appearances on recordings for James Cleveland’s Gospel Music Workshop of America resulted in Coley’s solo debut, Just Daryl. What followed was a string of Stellar, Dove and GRAMMY award nominations for career-defining albums including Beyond the Veil: Live at Bobby Jones Gospel XIII and Oh, the Lamb. Coley has recorded a landmark collection of more than 100 studio performances and worked with some of the industry’s legends, including Stevie Wonder, Nancy Wilson and Philip Bailey. Most recently, Coley received a Doctorate of Sacred Music from the Ray of Hope Theological Seminary and Bible College International School of Divinity.

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