Event at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Highlights September's 6th Annual Gospel Music Heritage Month
2014 Honorees Include Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin and Sen. Blanche Lincoln
This awards event will be held onand will be produced by Ernest Walker of Walker Entertainment Group, Houston, TX. Musical tributes will be rendered by some of the most anointed Gospel vocalists including Kathy Taylor, Edwin Hawkins, Dottie Peoples, Stephen Hurd and Tasha Page Lockhart, among others.
Charles Humbard, CEO of UP and who was instrumental in the creation of GMHM, said, "No other music uplifts like gospel music. It is a part of the fabric of America and our heritage at UP and we are pleased to be a part of this terrific celebration."
Congresswoman Lee says of the event, "Gospel music is an American art form that has spanned hundreds of years and across several generations and has touched millions of lives around the world while demonstrating its profound ability to transcend secular musical genres. Gospel music reaches all denominations and racial groups. From the Tennessee Valley, to the Appalachia, to New York to Houston, to Mississippi to Atlanta gospel music is sung by many different people all over the United States and the world. This month, we are commemorating those people that bring joy and comfort to soldiers on the battlefield and many others. We are all reminded by the song 'Amazing Grace' that was written by former boat captain John Newton. Gospel Music speaks to everyone and the Gospel Music legislation is important because it highlights all of those stories of gospel music and the early leaders in gospel music. The influence of it can be found infused in all forms of secular music including rock & roll, country, R&B, and countless other styles. I am thankful that we are continuing to commemorate and designate the month of September as Gospel Music Heritage Month which will celebrate and honor the heritage of gospel music. Gospel Music Heritage Month has been celebrated in the Halls of Congress as well as the Administration as well as other locations around the nation. We hope to see many more events like this across the nation in the month of September."
Carl Davis, chairman of the Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation said, "Our annual gala has become one of the most anticipated events on the Gospel music calendar, and it gets bigger and better every year. The live performances and tributes to the great history of this music genre make the event like no other. We will honor two gospel icons, Kirk Franklin and Yolanda Adams, and our friend Senator Blanche Lincoln, the co-sponsor of that historical resolution declaring September as 'Gospel Music Heritage Month.' The efficacy of these individuals has impacted the genre of gospel music with historical relevance and meaning. They have indelibly written on the consciousness of the human spirit the unyielding power of the gospel through song. I wish to thank the leadership of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Thomas A. Dorsey Convention of Choirs and Choruses, Edwin Hawkins Music & Arts Seminar, and the Gospel Heritage Foundation for joining the Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation in this celebration. Together we can take gospel music to its rightful place in the history of this great nation."
In 2008, Congresswoman Jackson Lee introduced the historic resolution, H.J. Res. 90, after meeting in her U.S. Capital office with Charley Humbard, Gospel Music Advocate Carl Davis and Entertainment Executive Alvin Williams. The group met to discuss the rich contributions of Gospel music to this country and to provide the necessary support and leadership to have September designated as "Gospel Music Heritage Month" across the nation. With the support of Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), the bipartisan passage of the bill helped to usher in a new national focus to honor Gospel music for its valuable and longstanding contributions to the culture of the United States. Congresswoman Jackson Lee then led the effort with Gospel Music Advocate Carl Davis to create the Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation that celebrates Gospel music annually.
Previous honorees of the Evolution of Gospel event, include Gospel icons and trailblazers Dr. Bobby Jones (Bobby Jones Gospel); Cathy Hughes (Radio One); Charley Humbard (UP TV); Don Jackson (Stellar Awards); Congressman John Lewis, who was honored as a salute to the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington; and Gospel icon Richard Smallwood, along with Bill Hearn of Capital Music Group for their major contributions to the legacy of Gospel music.
Follow the Foundation and honorees at:
* Yolanda Adams on Twitter @Yolandalive
* Kirk Franklin on Twitter @kirkfranklin
* Sen. Blanche Lincoln online at www.lincolnpolicygroup.com
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About Gospel Music Heritage Month
Gospel Music Heritage Month was created by Congressional resolution in 2008 to celebrate and educate people about the rich history of gospel music. GMHM honors a true American art form for its vast contributions to our culture, bringing a message of hope and inspiration to people of all racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. People are encouraged to celebrate Gospel Music Heritage Month by attending concerts, events, watching and listening to gospel music, learning and reading about gospel music and more.
About Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation
The Foundation was established six years ago to celebrate and educate people everywhere about the rich heritage of the gospel music genre through word and song by Gospel music advocate Carl Davis. In 2008, Congresswoman Jackson Lee and Senator Lincoln led the passing of a resolution in both chambers declaring September as "Gospel Music Heritage Month." In each year since its establishment, both local and global celebrations have been held to educate and entertain diverse audiences about the rich history and legacy of gospel.
Chelsye J. Burrows