Emerging and mainstream musical performers for gospel, rhythm-and-blues and hip hop came together for one night of magic at the Celebration of Gospel 2016 hosted by Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated actress Taraji P. Henson on Sunday, Jan. 31, on Black Entertainment Television (BET).
The music special was taped Jan. 9 in Los Angeles, Calif., and aired Sunday. The first show aired starting at 7 p.m. CST, with an encore performance again at 9 p.m. CST.
This year's "Celebration of Gospel" featured legendary singers Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight and Pastor Shirley Caesar hitting the stage with contemporary gospel powerhouses Yolanda Adams, Erica Campbell, Tamela Mann, Le'Andria Johnson, Heavenly Joy Jerkins, Jessica Reedy and Tasha Cobbs.
"I am thrilled to return to BET's Celebration of Gospel. It is truly a celebration of the best in music with love and hope. A celebration of what brings us all together and reminds us of what is important," said Henson.
"God is good, and things may be rough, but when you know the one who holds the future in the palm of His hand, you can have more hope, joy and compassion," said the host, who said she definitely knew from where her blessings come.
Chrisette Michele and Tank showcased their gospel roots, along with electrifying performances from Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, Bebe Winans, Tye Tribbett, Donald Lawrence, Kurt Carr, Travis Green, Jonathan McReynolds and Geoffrey Golden.
Show-stopping praise came from Anthony Brown & Group Therapy, Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago and an all-star tribute to honor the late, gospel pioneer Andraé Crouch led by Dr. Bobby Jones capped the evening.
Henson reminded attendees and viewers that one New Year's Resolution is easy to keep: "Telling God thank you."
Through music, voices and actions, the entertainers expressed gratitude for Jesus, and the new mercies He gives every day. The celebration was all about moving forward in one's faith.