*On Sunday April 1 at 8 p.m., BET will present the 12th annual Celebration of Gospel.
The highly anticipated music special airs for the first time in its 12-year history during the Easter Season, further enriching the power, meaning and significance of the “Celebration of Gospel,” says BET.com.
The two-hour special, to be taped Friday, March 16 at 8 p.m. PT at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, brings together gospel superstars and R&B legends to share the stage in not often seen dynamic and exclusive performances.
The No. 1 Gospel/Religious telecast since its inception is hosted by best-selling author, veteran comedian and media mogul Steve Harvey.
This year’s stellar line-up includes the very best that gospel and secular music has to offer with performances by Gospel greats Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp, The Rance Allen Group, James Fortune & FIYA, 2012 Grammy-award winner Le’Andria Johnson, Jessica Reedy, Earnest Pugh, Isaac Carree, Moses Tyson Jr. Ricky Dillard & New G, Zacardi Cortez and Maurette Brown Clark.
The celebration will also include tributes to legendary singers Whitney Houston and Mahalia Jackson.
*Rising inspirational star and BET Music Matters artist Mali Music is set to go to Gospel radio this week with two new singles, “The Name”and “Walk On Water.”
Having already established a reputation as a stellar storyteller and dynamic performer within the Christian / Gospel community and the larger music scene, MALI MUSIC has legions of fans worldwide who have shared their passion for his musical ministry.
When talking about his latest efforts, the singer said:
“I am blessed and grateful to share these two songs which I hope will inspire people. ‘Walk On Water’ is a special song that I performed while on tour last year and found that audiences in each city enjoyed the message. ‘The Name’ is a strong song with a important message specifically because the story is about the power of Jesus’ name to my generation. The song is simple and straight to the point with a groove and vibe that I hope people will appreciate.”
A prolific singer, songwriter and producer, Mali Music began playing the piano at the age of 5 and writing songs at 8. Since being exposed to the industry, he’s performed alongside artists like Dietrick Haddon, Kim Burrell and Tye Tribbett.
He became the first inspirational artist to be included in their Music Matters program and performed on the top-rated 2011 BET Awards, receiving a standing ovation.
*Ranging in age from 17 to 65-years-old, people call in to Greater Blessings Tabernacle in Tallahassee, Florida where Gospel artist Pastor DeWayne Harvey and the Praise Team reside, just to reach out and say how deeply the music lifts their spirits.
Some use the word unusual to describe the feeling of rapture as the music from the group’s sophomore CD, “The Report of the Lord,” envelops them.
Apparently, it’s no secret. The Praise Team has some of the most dynamic singers in the country. Although the group is fairly large, the team of 16 has been charging up congregations together for years and each member of the group is a lead singer, says Pastor Harvey.
“We enjoy singing and being together; we all have like souls and like spirits,” Harvey confided to EUR’s Lee Bailey over dinner the evening before the taping of BET’s Celebration of Gospel, which airs this Sunday. “This group feeds off me; we’ve been together so long they know exactly what to do. I can take any one member in the group to a venue, and we’ll rip the house, because it’s a gift that god has given us. It’s the anointing.”
Consequently, good singing and good music attracts just that: good singers and good music. Greater Blessing Tabernacle lures great musicians; drummers, pianist and singers who come to sit in the audience just for the experience, according to Harvey.
In the forefront of it all, the 42-year-old pastor is the oldest member in the church and in the Praise Team, and strives to showcase young people who have amazing talents and gifts. Harvey recalls richly the experience of watching a young man, who otherwise might have slipped through life unrewarded, break through and be responsible for turning his inspirations into great songs, time after time.
Nearly all of the songs on the new CD were inspired from Sunday sermons, and are jam packed with life lessons; for example, with the single “Whose Report,” it was a health incident that threatened to claim Harvey’s life.
“One of the things God told me to do was sing the healing. I tell people all the time, I’m not a writer I don’t sit down with a piece of paper and write songs.” The singing pastor said. “I hear Angels and God singing these wonderful songs that all I do [with the help of my minister of music] is sit down and interpret. By the end of service we might get a new song that ends up on the album.”
In brief, Harvey has scores of stories to tell about people who come to Greater Blessing Tabernacle looking for miracles and finding them. And also, about once seemingly aimless-young and talented people who the church and the Praise Team effects. Harvey fondly boasts of his God inspired ministry of healing, pointing out the phenomenal occurrences that happen at his services, particularly with his segment of the service they call the “unusual praise.”
“God does some awesome things with this service,” said Harvey.
Additionally, Harvey said, God has given him and The Greater Blessing Tabernacle of Praise congregation a word for the season- for the nation, and that is to believe “The Report of The Lord” which means roughly, no matter how bad things look, believe in God’s message.
In conclusion, Pastor Harvey reminds everyone of their divine healing and freedom from all the negative reports they are confronted with daily. He encourages all to feel inspired by his CD, “The Report of the Lord,” (and its single, “Whose Report”) which is set for release in March.
Watch the spirit filled Praise Team of Greater Blessings Tabernacle perform ‘Whose Report’:
Get more info here: www.DeWayneHarvey.tumblr.com
Interview by Lee Bailey / written by Billie Jordan