Gospel Music Channel (GMC) will world premiere the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Awards Tribute to Twinkie Clark, Donald Lawrence & CeCe Winans on Sunday, Feb. 22 at 8:00 p.m. ET as part of the network's celebration of Black History Month. (Encores at 11:00 p.m. and Mon. Feb. 23 at 10:30 p.m. All Times Eastern.) For complete schedule visit http://www.gospelmusicchannel.com/schedule.
The special event is hosted by GRAMMY-Award winning and platinum-selling superstar Kirk Franklin and includes appearances and inspired live performances from a selection of contemporary stars and gospel powerhouses including Marvin Sapp, Bebe Winans, Karen Clark-Sheard, Donnie McClurkin, 2008 Trailblazers honoree Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Israel Houghton, Kiki Sheard, Kim Burrell, Tommy Simms, Crystal Lewis, Lejune Thompson and DeWayne Woods.
The special was recorded in Nashville last month as part of the 2009 Stellar Award activities.
Elbernita "Twinkie" Clark has enthralled listeners for decades, both through her acclaimed solo work and leadership of one of gospel's royal families, The Clark Sisters. A skilled musician dubbed "Queen of the B3 Hammond Organ," Clark also wields aerobatic vocals only matched by her sublime knack for composition. Clark boasts two Grammys, and in addition to penning staples for The Clark Sisters, she has composed songs for artists including Rev. James Cleveland, Al Green, Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers, Esther Smith, James Moss, Dave Hollister, Xscape, and Mary J. Blige.
As a producer, BMI songwriter, choir director, and singer, Donald Lawrence's influence on contemporary gospel music is unparalleled. His starkly original work with the multiple award-winning Tri-City Singers first revealed a rare and innovative artist capable of musical brilliance and authentic Christian praise, while his work as a producer emboldened projects by gospel icons including fellow honoree Twinkie Clark, Kirk Franklin and Karen Clark Sheard. The recipient of numerous BMI Christian and Stellar Awards, Lawrence has also penned songs for The Clark Sisters, the Tri-City Singers, his own well-received solo projects, and more.
CeCe Winans' career has generated a trove of top-shelf industry accolades comprising numerous GRAMMY, Stellar, and Dove Awards. Her work with her brother in the duo BeBe & CeCe Winans expanded the boundaries of gospel music and welcomed new listeners into its fold, while her solo projects reintroduced an artist comfortable with evolution and the spotlight. A BMI songwriter for more than 20 years, Winans has created a thick catalog of compositions including BMI Christian Award-winning song "Say a Prayer," "Addictive Love," "Well Alright," "Pray," and many more.
Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI) is an American performing right organization that represents more than 375,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music and more than 6.5 million works. The U.S. Corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents. Gospel Music Channel (GMC) is the fastest growing network in television today and can be seen in more than 40 million homes nationwide on various cable systems and on DIRECTV Channel 338.