The 2015 Stellar Awards offered the familiar - a deserving award for a newcomer, several rousing performances -- and the unfamiliar: a surprise reunion of Destiny's Child members; Kelly Rowland, Beyonce and Michelle Williams.
Celebrating 30 years, the annual gospel award show was co-hosted by David Mann ("Mann & Wife), Tamela Mann ("Sparkle") and Ricky Smiley ("Dish Nation") and held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
"Sin City" was turned into "Salvation City" as ten-time nominee Erica Campbell took top honors, winning six awards including; Artist of the Year, The Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary CD of the Year and Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year. Onstage, Campbell acknowledged her sister, the other half of award-winning duo Mary Mary in her heartfelt remarks. Ricky Dillard and New G followed Campbell with three wins, and Deitrick Haddon tied with The Walls Group for two trophies apiece. On stage after winning the Male Vocalist of the Year award, Haddon expressed gratitude for being recognized following a difficult time in his life.
"A couple of years ago I messed up so bad I thought I could never inspire anyone again," he shared. "I was ready to quit and God spoke to me - He said, if you humble yourself I'll lift you up to places you're never seen. This award is for people who think it's over for them."
Haddon later brought the crowd to their feet with a star-studded rendition of "My City" collaborating with Dorinda Clark-Cole, Clareta Haddon, Kierra Sheard, J. Moss, 21:03 and Shelby Five.
Co-host Tamela Mann also walked away with the award for Special Event CD of the year for "Best Days Deluxe Edition." The New Artist of the Year award was presented to Tasha Page-Lockhart, marking her first Stellar Awards appearance, performing "Great Is Your Love" and "Faith Come Alive," with fellow first-timers The Walls Group.
Musical duets and collaborations made up a lot of the two-hour taped telecast. The big surprise of the evening came at the top of the show when opening act Michelle Williams was joined by former bandmates Beyonce and Kelly Rowland in a show-stopping reunion that brought the audience to its feet chanting her song, "Say Yes." Yolanda Adams and Israel Houghton performed "How Awesome Is Our God" celebrating the life of Andrae Crouch who was honored posthumously with the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award for his lifelong contributions to Gospel. Smokie Norful, Jonathan McReynolds and Pastor Beverly Crawford all delivered passionate performances to a delighted crowd. Other performances including the Rance Allen Group, Lisa Knowles & The Brown Singers, as well as Uncle Reece, Willie Moore, Jr. and Canton Jones teaming up to deliver astounding musical numbers.
Bishop Paul Morton received the Allstate James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award for his accomplishments and was honored by Kurt Carr & the Kurt Carr Singers with Zarcadi & Crystal singing a medley of "I'm Still Standing." The Chevrolet Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legend Award went to Al "The Bishop" Hobbs for his career accomplishments in the radio industry.
Dubbed the greatest night in gospel music, the Stellar Awards recognizes the year's best performances in the genre. It honors Gospel music icons and acknowledges the accomplishments of individuals instrumental in advocating for the industry.
The Stellar Awards premieres Easter Sunday, April 5 at 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT on TV One.