Aretha Franklin To Be Honored At 34th Annual Stellar Awards

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 19: Aretha Franklin performs onstage during the “Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives” Premiere Concert during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival at Radio City Music Hall on April 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

Aretha Franklin fans, this is NOT a drill, we repeat, this is NOT a drill. Central City Productions announced a sensational line-up of performers and presenters for The 34th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards presented by AT&T, including a posthumous tribute to the undisputed Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. The exhilarating all-star tribute performance by Kelly Price, Regina Belle, and Erica Campbell will be followed by a presentation of the Aretha Franklin ICON Award. Gospel prince, Kirk Franklin, will return to host the live show taping at Las Vegas’ Orleans Arena on Friday, March 29, 2019.

Stellar Awards Executive Producer and Founder, Don Jackson shared, “It was 35 years ago when Aretha performed ‘Precious Lord’ on my very first Gospel Music television special ‘Living the Dream.’ In recognition of Aretha’s roots in Gospel Music and her continuing love for the genre, I am delighted that our executive committee agreed to present her with our ICON Award posthumously and continue to present the award forever in her name as the Aretha Franklin ICON Award.”

For the first time since 2005, The Stellar Awards telecast will premiere on BET on Friday, April 19 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT and again at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT. The biggest night in gospel music will also feature rousing performances by Brian Courtney Wilson, Charles Jenkins, Jekalyn Carr, Jonathan McReynolds, Kelontae Gavin, Koryn Hawthorne, Maranda Curtis, and Todd Dulaney.

Among this year’s presenters are Anthony Brown, Yolanda Adams, Dr. Bobby Jones, DeVon Franklin, Janice Gaines, and JJ Hairston. As previously announced, The Stellar Awards nominees with multiple nominations include Jonathan McReynolds, Maranda Curtis, Todd Dulaney, Jekalyn Carr, Koryn Hawthorne, Snoop Dogg, Tori Kelly, Bishop Noel Jones & City of Refuge Sanctuary Choir, Jarell Smalls and Company, Kelontae Gavin and Tasha Page-Lockhart.