For Immediate Release
June 25, 2023
Contact Information

Tosha Whitten Griggs, FrontPage Firm
Executive in Charge of Publicity

Red Carpet and Media Center by
Marchand Productions, Inc.


Next-Generation Gospel Superstars Tasha Cobbs-Leonard and Jonathan McReynolds Pair to Host the 38th Annual Salute to Gospel Music, Returning to Las Vegas’ Orleans Arena for Taping on Saturday, July 15 and Premiering on Newly-Launched Stellar TV Network

(Black PR Wire) CHICAGO, IL - Central City Productions today announced the nominees in 25 categories for the 38th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards taping on Saturday, July 15, returning to the Las Vegas Orleans Arena. The 38th edition of the Stellar Awards will premiere on the newly-launched Stellar TV between Monday, July 24 and August 6, 2023, as well as air in national broadcast syndication from August 7 through September 10, 2023. Gospel music’s most epic celebration is co-hosted this year by Gospel superstars and multiple Stellar Award winners Tasha Cobbs-Leonard and Jonathan McReynolds, who returns to share co-hosting duties for the 2nd year.

Don Jackson, Founder of the Stellar Awards and Chairman of Central City Productions, Inc. commented, “I am elated to celebrate this landmark 38th year of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards and its premiere on our very own newly-launched Stellar TV network. Our flagship show is one of the longest-running nationally televised African American awards programs in history – we couldn’t be more proud to bring this new inspirational network to viewers, while honoring the work of Gospel music artists and industry professionals who use their gifts to lift the spirits of many during troubling times. We look forward to another spectacular weekend of family-friendly entertainment in Las Vegas.”

Eleven-time Stellar Award winner Pastor Mike, Jr. leads the field of nominees this year with ten nominations. The trailblazing Gospel artist earned recognition this year for his work on the album “Winning” (Blacksmoke Music Worldwide), in the key categories of Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Producer of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Contemporary Male Artist of the Year, Urban Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year, Rap/Hip Hop Song of the Year, Music Video of the Year and Contemporary Album of the Year.

With nine nominations, groundbreaking Gospel artist Tye Tribbett is being recognized by the voting body for excellence in the categories of Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Producer of the Year, Contemporary Male Artist of the Year, Contemporary Album of the Year, Rap/Hip Hop Song of the Year, Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year for his work on “All Things New” (Motown Gospel). In addition, the project received a nomination for Recorded Music Packaging of the Year.

Always appreciating a great musical collaboration, Stellar Awards voters recognized Maverick City Music x Kirk Franklin with six nominations for keeping the praise party elevated on their project “Kingdom Book One” (Tribl Records/Fo Yo Soul Recordings/RCA Inspiration), nominated in the categories of Artist of the Year, Contemporary Duo/Chorus Group of the Year, Song of the Year, Producer of the Year, Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year and Contemporary Album of the Year.

Stellar Awards 2023 co-host and fifteen-time winner Tasha Cobbs-Leonard continues to bless audiences with her gift and is rewarded this year with five nominations for her work on “Hymns” (TeeLee Records/Motown Gospel), including Artist of the Year, Albertina Walker Female Artist of the Year, Contemporary Female Artist of the Year, Praise and Worship Song of the Year, and Praise and Worship Album of the Year. Also earning five nominations each are Zacardi Cortez for his work on “Imprint” (Blacksmoke Music Worldwide), and DOE, nominated for the first time as a solo artist for her work on the album “Clarity” (Life Room Label/RCA Inspiration). DOE is going head-to-head with Cobbs-Leonard, Maranda Curtis, and legends CeCe Winans and Tamela Mann in the prestigious Albertina Walker Female Artist of the Year category. Mann, a sixteen-time Stellar Award winner, is nominated this year in four total categories for her project “Overcomer Deluxe” (Tillymann Music Group), including Album of the Year, Contemporary Album of the Year and Contemporary Female Artist of the Year.

Other artists earning multiple Stellar nominations include: Travis Greene & Forward City, JJ Hairston, Maranda Curtis, Bishop S.Y. Younger feat. Sounds of the Ramp, and Brent Jones.

An important tradition at the Stellar Awards, Founder Don Jackson will bestow special recognition upon Gospel greats who have elevated the genre. This year’s James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award will honor Reverend Milton Biggham, Pastor of the Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Newark, NJ and founder of several mass choirs – The Miami Mass Choir, The Mississippi Mass Choir, the Dallas Fort Worth Mass Choir, and the Georgia Mass Choir.

The Stellar Awards also announced nominees for the Gospel Radio of the Year Awards in six categories, including Gospel Announcer of the Year. Those nominees include multiple Stellar Award winner Erica Campbell, host of the nationally-syndicated morning show, Get Up! Mornings With Erica Campbell; Darlene McCoy Jackson, host of The Nightly Spirit With Darlene on WPZE Praise 102.5FM in Atlanta, GA; Charles Johnson, from KOKA 980 AM in Shreveport, LA; and Melanie Pratt, host of Melanie In The Midday on WPZS Praise in Charlotte, NC.

The Stellar Awards show taping will return to The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 15, 2023 and is open to the public. Ticket prices range from $59 - $229, and are available now at Additional announcements regarding ancillary events will follow. As previously noted, The Stellar Awards will premiere on the newly-launched Stellar Network between July 24 and August 6, 2023, which can be found on Charter Spectrum, Verizon Fios and Xumo Play. Viewers may check with their local provider for availability in their area.

Some of the biggest names in Gospel will be appearing as participants in this year’s show – stay tuned for future announcements and follow @thestellars on Instagram and Twitter, or Stellar Gospel Music Awards on Facebook for the latest news and updates about the Greatest Night in Gospel Music.

The Stellar Gospel Music Awards show is Executive Produced by Don Jackson, with Jennifer J. Jackson serving as Executive in Charge of Production. Michael A. Johnson will produce and direct this year's award show.

To view the complete list of nominees CLICK HERE


Pastor Mike, Jr. – 10 Nominations

Tye Tribbett – 9 Nominations

Maverick City Music x Kirk Franklin – 6 Nominations

Tasha Cobbs Leonard – 5 Nominations

Zacardi Cortez – 5 Nominations

DOE* – 5 Nominations

Tamela Mann – 4 Nominations

Maranda Curtis – 3 Nominations

Travis Greene & Forward City* – 3 Nominations

JJ Hairston – 3 Nominations

Brent Jones* – 3 Nominations

Bishop S.Y. Younger feat. Sounds of the Ramp* – 3 Nominations

About Central City Productions (CCP)

TFounded in 1970 by Don Jackson, Chicago-based Central City Productions, Inc. is a national broadcast television producer and syndicator of its exclusively owned African-American programming. Celebrating over 50 years of broadcasting Black excellence with uplifting and entertaining original television content, CCP’s award-winning television programs include the Black Music Honors (, Stellar Tribute to the Holidays, Black College Quiz Show Series (, Black History Honors, America’s Black Forum (, Mentoring Kings (, and Mentoring Queens (, among many others. For more information, visit

About Stellar Network:

For over 50 years in television programming targeted to Black audiences, Central City Productions has become the most recognized and respected company in the Faith-based community. Going forward we are excited about the continued success we will enjoy in the launch of our Stellar Network. The Stellar Network fills the void for a Family-Friendly, entertainment, lifestyle network targeting Black audiences. Stellar Network is the first in uplifting content with positive, inspirational and entertainment programming. Stellar’s Goal is to be the most preferred network to Black audiences in the country.

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