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First, I think the producers of the Stellar Awards for naming many of the awards after some of the most brilliant, memorable and soul-stirring gospel artists. They included the Albertina Walker Award for Female Vocalists of the Year, the James Cleveland Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Thomas A. Dorsey Award for Most Notable Achievement, Dr. Bobby Jones Legend Award and the Aretha Franklin Icon Award. Even those Black folks who don’t share their religious beliefs of the superb gospel singers praise them for their great contributions to Black culture.

It is extremely important that Black people, especially younger ones, be made aware of the immense contributions that those great artists listed above have made to Black culture in the United States and the world.

That’s why it was so disappointing watching and listening singer after singer at the awards program basically ignore the words of the songs they were singing. Instead they focused on being performers who strutted, jumped and paraded around the stage to such a degree that the songs’ words could barely be heard.

Also, their bands played way too loud. Their whole emphasis was on their performances. As gospel singers, they came across as Beyoncé-influenced performers for whom the words in the gospel songs were secondary instead of primary or at least equally important as their presentations.

That would have been fine had they been introduced as performers or musicians rather than gospel singers. Then we would have listened to them as such. It should be noted that many of them were talented performers or musicians. However, as gospel singers, they failed to be memorable or soul-stirring.

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