A new generation of gospel artists showed up and showed out during the celebration as a testament to the genre’s staying power. Among them, Pastor Mike Jr., nominated for multiple Stellar Awards this year, performed “Big,” and host Jekalyn Carr belted her songs, “Change Your Story” and “Jehovah Jireh.” Maverick City Music treated audiences to the harmonious sound of “Jireh,” and various emerging artists such as Jokia, Terrian, and Nia Allenwere spotlighted as up-and-coming gospel talent.
Select categories and winners are featured on Instagram @TheStellars. Social media lit up during the event, generating more than two million impressions with posts featuring performances, winners, and other notable moments. The audience and performers were pleased to return to an in-person ceremony after the Stellar Awards went virtual last year due to pandemic lockdowns. COVID-19 safety protocols were enacted as part of the in-person event.
Among many highlights from “The Greatest Night in Gospel Music,” Yolanda Adams, Tamela Mann, and Avery*Sunshine joined together to deliver a powerful tribute to Lady Tramaine Hawkins, who was honored with the Aretha Franklin Icon Award presented by Toyota. The trio performed a medley including widely-known Hawkins’ songs such as “Holy One,” “Changed,” and “Going Up Yonder.” The Clark Sisters, who received the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award presented by AT&T, also performed rousing renditions of “Is My Living In Vain,” “Blessed & Highly Favored,” “You Brought The Sunshine,” and “His Love.” The legendary group received three nominations for this year’s Stellar Awards.