On Friday, Jan. 17, in a room filled with some of the biggest names in gospel music, Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the global leader in music rights management, brought gospel legends and contemporary stars together to celebrate the careers of gospel giants Daryl Coley and Richard Smallwood. It all took place at its 15th annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon held at Rocketown in Nashville, Tenn.
The event also recognized BMI’s Most-Performed Gospel Song of the Year: “Take Me to the King,” written by Kirk Franklin and performed by Tamela Mann. The song, pulled from the Mann’s #1 album "Best Days," topped the Billboard gospel chart and achieved crossover success. In celebration of that astounding achievement, BMI presented Franklin with a video tribute that highlighting some of his most touching moments at previous Trailblazers luncheons.
Donnie McClurkin and Erica Campbell hosted the luncheon, along with Del Bryant, BMI President and Catherine Brewton, BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta.
Musical tributes began with an awe-inspiring nod to Daryl Coley, featuring Zacardi Cortez (“Jesus Saves”), Tasha Page-Lockhart (“He’s Preparing Me”), Earnest Pugh (“More Like Jesus”), Floyd Wilkinson (“II Chronicles”), Beverly Crawford (“Can’t Tell It All”) and Jason Nelson (“Sovereign”).
Serving as the event’s triumphant finale, the timeless songs of Richard Smallwood were celebrated with dynamic performances by Yolanda Adams (“ Total Praise”/“I Love The Lord”), Anaysha Figueroa-Cooper and Timiney Figueroa (“Angel Watching Over Me”), Y’Anna Crawley (“He Won’t Leave You”), Dorinda Clark Cole (“What He’s Done For Me”), Donnie McClurkin (“Jesus Lover of My Soul”/“Center of My Joy”) and Marvin Sapp (“Healing”).
To see Red Carpet and performance photos, click here.