Soul-Stirring Performances Raise the Roof at BET’s CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL VI

Be prepared to catch the holy spirit as BET brings together some of the brightest stars in gospel and R&B to raise the roof during the network’s sixth annual praise fest, CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL. This inspirational affair is hosted by comedian Steve Harvey and premieres on BET Thursday, February 23 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL VI is a hand-clapping, foot-stomping two-hour revival, filled with rousing performances by Stevie Wonder, Anthony Hamilton, Tyrese, Mary Mary, CeCe Winans, Kirk Franklin, Pastor Donnie McClurkin, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Dr. Bobby Jones, Hezekiah Walker, Juanita Bynum, Kelly Price, Fred Hammond, Bishop Paul S. Morton, Micah Stampley, Martha Munizzi and others who hit the stage in front of the standing-room only crowd. Celebrities such as Henry Simmons (NYPD Blue), Terry Crews (Everybody Hates Chris), Richard Roundtree (Shaft) and Terri J. Vaughn (All of Us) joined the “congregation,” which transformed L.A.’s historic Wilshire Ebell Theatre into a rollicking church sanctuary as soon as the 24-piece orchestra struck up the opening number led by world renowned musical director Ray Chew.

“Even if you’re a complete heathen, you’ll enjoy CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL,” said Reginald Hudlin, BET President of Entertainment. “Even in rehearsals, I saw performances so powerful that grown men were crying. It’s one of the best music shows of the year — period.”

Kirk Franklin got things rolling on a high note with his spirited rendition of “Looking For You,” and CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL continued its tradition of pairing gospel legends with R&B royalty to rock the house. Viewers can ‘get lifted’ with high-energy collaborations between Stevie Wonder and Kirk Franklin, Sheila E. and Martha Munizzi, then witness Kelly Price shake the rafters with Bishop Morton in a moving rendition of “Amazing Grace.” There’s also a surprise performance by Tyrese, cajoled onto the stage by Harvey; a star-studded tribute to BET gospel legend Dr. Bobby Jones; and Bishop Morton is honored for his tremendous work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL has always been about bringing the best of the gospel world and the secular world together,” said Stephen Hill, BET’s Executive Vice President of Music Programming. “From Kirk Franklin’s wondrous circus of an opening, to Tyrese’s impromptu offering and the Stevie Wonder led finale, this show highlights what’s truly special and unique about gospel music. This show will truly make Thursday feel like Sunday.”

Other stellar performances include a duet from Pastor Shirley Caesar and Tye Tribbett breaking it down across generational lines with “I Know the Truth”; Shekinah Glory Ministry performing their latest hit, “Say Yes”; Mary Mary rocking “Yesterday”; and Stevie Wonder’s Hurricane Katrina salute with “Shelter in the Rain.” Wonder, McClurkin and a surprise guest close out the show by performing one of Wonder’s classic hits.

“CELEBRATION Of GOSPEL, it’s always incredible to be a part of,” says Erica Campbell of award-winning contemporary gospel duo Mary Mary. “Even the year we weren’t involved, I came and sat in the audience just to experience it. You get the full gamut of what gospel music is today — the energy, the old school, the new school…”

“I think gospel music is food for your soul,” adds Tina Campbell, the other half of Mary Mary. “And you get fed well when you watch the CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL.”

You can bet that no one left the theater hungry. BET viewers can get extra helpings of this uplifting celebration by tuning in to encore presentations on Sunday, February 26 at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET/PT, as well as a special two-and-a-half hour encore on Sunday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Via PRNewswire

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