Shirley Caesar Honored As 2011 BMI Gospel Music Trailblazer

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    BMI honored gospel greats Commissioned and Pastor Shirley Caesar at the organization’s 12th Annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon. The event was held January 14, 2011, at Rocketown in Nashville and was hosted by Catherine Brewton, BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, and Del Bryant, BMI President & CEO.

    The ceremony will be telecast as a special on the Gospel Music Channel Saturday, February 19, 2011 at 7 p.m.; an encore presentation will air at 8:30 p.m.

    BeBe & CeCe Winans’ “Close to You” was named BMI’s Most Performed Gospel Song of the Year. Written by BeBe Winans and published by Music of Everhits, the song also earned the 2010 Dove Award for Urban Recorded Song of the Year. BeBe & CeCe Winans celebrated the honor with a blazing performance of “Close to You.”

    Donnie McClurkin co-hosted the musical tribute to Pastor Caesar, which featured spine-tingling musical performances by Arnetta Murrill, Ledisi, Lucinda Moore, Beverly Crawford, and Kim Burrell.

    Kim Burrell also anchored the homage to Commissioned. A commanding musical tribute was delivered by Dawkins & Dawkins, Men of Standard, Parkes Stewart and Deitrick Haddon, The Clark Sisters, and Marvin Sapp with The Soul Seekers.

    The original members of Commissioned gathered on stage for the finale, marking the group’s first performance together in over a decade. They were greeted with a standing ovation by the audience of gospel music’s premier songwriters and recording artists, executives, and legends.

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