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Home Featured Content Marvin Sapp Gets Star Studded Honor at BMI Trailblazers 2017

 

BMI CELEBRATES THE BEST IN GOSPEL MUSIC
AT THE TRAILBLAZERS OF GOSPEL MUSIC HONORS IN ATLANTA
 
SPECIAL HONOR AWARDED TO GOSPEL MUSIC LEGEND MARVIN SAPP
 “WANNA BE HAPPY?” BY KIRK FRANKLIN AND AL GREEN AWARDED SONG OF THE YEAR

**The Inspirational Event Will Air Nationwide on TV One January 29th at 7:00 PM ET**

ATLANTA, January 15, 2017 – Broadcast Music, Inc. ® (BMI®)  celebrated the best and brightest in gospel music last night during its 18th annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors at the Rialto Center for the Arts in Atlanta, GA. The night paid tribute to iconic gospel singer-songwriter Marvin Sapp and was hosted for the second consecutive year by previous Trailblazer recipient and renowned gospel singer-songwriter Yolanda Adams along with gospel singer-songwriter VaShawn Mitchell. The inspirational event will air nationwide on TV One on January 29th at 7:00 PM ET. 
The invitation-only event featured the most promising young stars and iconic figures in gospel music today. In addition to honoring Marvin Sapp for his indisputable musical contributions to the gospel community, BMI’s Most Performed Gospel Song of the Year“Wanna Be Happy?” written by Kirk Franklin and Al Green, was also recognized. The Grammy-winning single debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart where it remained for an astounding 45 weeks, the second-longest reign in the chart’s history. 
Catherine Brewton, Kirk Franklin and Mike O'Neill pose for a photo onstage at the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors at the Rialto Theatre on January 14, 2017, in Atlanta, GA. (Erika Goldring Photo)

Catherine Brewton, Kirk Franklin and Mike O’Neill pose for a photo onstage at the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors at the Rialto Theatre on January 14, 2017, in Atlanta, GA. (Erika Goldring Photo)

BMI also recognized the Ten Most Performed Songs of the Year (2016) from its affiliated songwriters: “123 Victory,” written and performed by Kirk Franklin; “Bless This House,” written and performed by Dorinda Clark-Cole with co-writers Saeed Renaud, Rodrick Simmons and Fields Blanchard, Jr.; “How Awesome Is Our God,” co-written by Neville Diedericks, Israel and Meleasa Houghton and performed by Israel & New Breed featuring Yolanda Adams; “I’m Good,” written and performed by Tim Bowman, Jr. with co-writers Rodney Jenkins and Marvin Winans, Jr.; “I’m Yours,” written by Korey Bowie and performed by Casey J; “Intentional,” written by Victor Navejar and performed by Travis Greene; “Thank You Jesus (That’s What He’s Done),” written by Myron Butler and performed by Kim Burrell; “Worth Fighting For,” written by Aaron Lindsey and performed by Brian Courtney Wilson; “Yes You Can,” written and performed by Marvin Sapp with co-writer Jarmone E. Davis and “You Love Me (Best of My Love),” written and performed by Anita Wilson. 
Dorinda Clarke Cole performs at the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors at the Rialto Theatre on January 14, 2017, in Atlanta, GA. (Erika Goldring Photo)

Dorinda Clarke Cole performs at the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors at the Rialto Theatre on January 14, 2017, in Atlanta, GA. (Erika Goldring Photo)

The ceremony began with upbeat renditions of  “Intentional” by Travis Greene featuring 112 and “Bless This House” by Dorinda Clark-Cole. Jonathan McReynolds serenaded the crowd on acoustic guitar with his song, “Full Attention.” The inspirational music continued with Zacardi Cortez singing a beautiful version of “Jesus Saves” by Daryl Coley, Stellar Award-nominated singer Lisa Knowles gave a soulful performance of “Oh My Soul Loves Jesus” by Kurt Carr, followed by Yolanda Adams’ interpretation of “He Brought Me” by Tramaine Hawkins. Video packages on The Art of Songwriting featuring multiple award-winning songwriters were peppered throughout the first set.   
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14:  Adrienne Bailon Houghton and Israel Houghton speak at 2017 BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music at Rialto Center for the Arts on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BMI) *** Local Caption *** Adrienne Bailon Houghton;Israel Houghton

ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 14: Adrienne Bailon Houghton and Israel Houghton speak at 2017 BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music at Rialto Center for the Arts on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BMI) *** Local Caption *** Adrienne Bailon Houghton;Israel Houghton

Before moving on to the tribute portion of the evening, Mike O’Neill, BMI President and CEO, and Catherine Brewton, BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, introduced Kirk Franklin’s performance of BMI’s Most Performed Song of the Year, “Wanna Be Happy?” which kept the audience on their feet. 
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14: Tank performs at 2017 BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music at Rialto Center for the Arts on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BMI) *** Local Caption *** Tank

ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 14: Tank performs at 2017 BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music at Rialto Center for the Arts on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BMI) *** Local Caption *** Tank

Zacardi Cortez performs at the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors at the Rialto Theatre on January 14, 2017, in Atlanta, GA. (Erika Goldring Photo)

Zacardi Cortez performs at the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors at the Rialto Theatre on January 14, 2017, in Atlanta, GA. (Erika Goldring Photo)

The celebration continued with several tributes to the legendary singer Marvin Sapp from some of the best in gospel. R&B singer-songwriter Tank gave a soulful performance of “Grace and Mercy,” Isaac Carree performed “Praise Him in Advance,” Travis Greene sang “Not The Time, Not The Place,” and Todd Dulaney performed “I Believe.” Le’Andria Johnson paid homage to the gospel great with her version of “Never Would Have Made It” and brought the crowd to their feet as Bishop Paul Morton joined her on stage. The uplifting performances kept coming with Bishop William Murphy (“Perfect Peace”) and Tasha Cobbs (“You Are God Alone”).  After accepting his honor and thanking those who helped his career along the way, Sapp belted out his chart-topping single “Best in Me” from his 2010 album Here I Am and closed the show with a performance of “One Thing.” 
Le'Andria Johnson performs at the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors at the Rialto Theatre on January 14, 2017, in Atlanta, GA. (Erika Goldring Photo)

Le’Andria Johnson performs at the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors at the Rialto Theatre on January 14, 2017, in Atlanta, GA. (Erika Goldring Photo)

   

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