BMI recognized the contributions of gospel greats Daryl Coley and Richard Smallwood at the 15th Annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon, held Friday, January 17 in Nashville. Hosted by BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations Catherine Brewton, the invitation-only celebration attracted gospel music’s premier songwriters, recording artists and music industry executives, as well as the genre’s legends.
In addition, the event, held at Rocketown, 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 Tamela’s #1 album Best Days, topped the Billboard gospel chart and achieved crossover success. To help celebrate this astounding achievement, BMI presented Franklin with a video tribute highlighting some of his most precious moments at past Trailblazers luncheons.
Donnie McClurkin and Erica Campbell (Mary Mary) 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 charismatic songs of Richard Smallwood were then 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”).