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'King of comedy' Steve Harvey replaced as host of BET's 'Celebration of Gospel'

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Today BET announced its new host of the 2014 Celebration of Gospel (COG), Taraji P. Henson. To the surprise and dismay of most, Steve Harvey will not be returning. What is the real deal behind this sudden change?

Steve Harvey has hosted BET's Celebration of Gospel for 13 consecutive years and has built a cult following because of his humor and willingness to share is personal failures and triumphs. Harvey has bared his soul before the COG audience giving his testimony of redemption to being in the place he is now. In between the great performances from some of the best Gospel and R&B/Soul artists, Steve would have witty gut busting comedic moments. There's nothing like him reminiscing on how Black folks were raised and how Black church folks behave. Steve Harvey has made BET's Celebration of Gospel not just another television program with musical guests, but an event to look forward to because you knew there was going to be an unforgettable time to be had.

Steve Harvey has built a multimedia empire that consist of his morning radio show, a TV talk show, a mentoring program and the Neighborhood Awards. Since he retired from stand up comedy, Harvey hasn't missed a beat. Matter of fact, just recently his TV talk show, the Steve Harvey Show, won an Image Award over the Queen of talk shows, Oprah Winfrey. Now tell me if the decision to replace Steve Harvey as host wasn't a big mistake.

No shade to Taraji P. Henson. Taraji seems very upbeat and compliments Steve Harvey's tenure hosting. According to her comment via BET's press release today, Taraji stated "I am thrilled to join the BETCelebration of Gospel” family. I look forward to a great evening of incredible music and continuing the rich history of BET and gospel music which started 14 years ago hosted by the talented and very funny Steve Harvey."

How will this change go over to the millions who've come to expect Steve Harvey as host? Did BET really think about the ramifications and backlash that could come from this abrupt change? The proof is in the pudding regarding the effect this will have on ratings and overall likeability of host change.

Despite the host change, it's always great to hear great music and see all the celebrity appearances. Get to know the new host, Taraji P. Henson by clicking here. Find out the who's who list of performers here. If you missed last year's Celebration of Gospel hosted by Steve Harvey click here for the full show.

BET’s annual gospel music special, “Celebration of Gospel” tapes Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 7 p.m./PST at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, CA, and will premiere on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 8 p.m./EST.

Courtesy of BET and Steve Harvey

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