There were countless articles written about the gospel music industry this year in this column. Here are the most popular articles for 2012.
10. Anthony Brown & group therAPy CD release concert goes ‘Beyond, Beyond’ -The singer delivered one of the most exciting release concerts of the year. Many heavy hitters in the gospel industry came out to support the assistant minister of music at First Baptist Church of Glenarden who made his album debut after years of songwriting and background vocal work.
9. Chuck Brown Memorial Service: A musical celebration -The “Godfather of Go-Go” passed away at age 75. Thousands came out to say farewell at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The service was peppered with music that paid tribute to the man who put D.C. on the map with Go-Go.
8. Pastor Jerome Bell recalls his friendship with Whitney Houston and her homegoing – Pastor Jerome Bell was one of the few who received an invitation to attend her services. In a touching interview, Pastor Bell shared his memories of the friendship he shared with the singer the world will always love.
7. Pictures – 2012 Stellar Awards Red Carpet Photos – Gospel’s premier award show is considered Gospel’s biggest night. Many artists walked the red carpet at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn. in January.
6. Omarosa O. Manigault ordained as Baptist minister in Los Angeles – The popular reality show star added “Reverend” to her name when she was ordained at Weller Street Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, Calif. in February. Unfortunately, she would lose her fiancé, actor Michael Clarke Duncan in September when he died at age 54.
5. Verizon How Sweet the Sound: 4 The Caz of Christ wins D.C. regional competition – In its fifth year, the competition returned to Verizon Center. Artists from the DC metro area took part, but Pittsburgh, Pa. group Trini Masse and 4 The Caz of Christ took home the top prize.
4. Gospel duo Mary Mary shares glimpse of family life with new reality show -The internet was abuzz with news that gospel duo Mary Mary would launch a reality show. The charming, engaging and candid show won the hearts of viewers and quickly earned a second season. The show airs Thursdays on We tv. The singers received nine Stellar Award nominations and two Grammy nods for their latest album.
3. Fred Hammond’s new album, God, Love & Romance” hits stores January 31, 2012- News that Hammond would release an album that not only focused on God’s love but also relational love was met with great anticipation.
2. Sunday Best finalist Dontavies Boatwright dies at 34 – The gospel industry was shocked by the unexpected death of Sunday Best alum Dontavies Boatwright at the very young age of 34. This month, several Sunday Best alumni, including Stellar Award winner Y’Anna Crawley paid tribute to Boatwright in a concert at Howard Theater with proceeds benefiting a scholarship in his name.
1. Joshua Rogers crowned Sunday Best winner -After a contest that left many viewers wishing there could be two winners 18 year-old Joshua Rogers rose to the top. He is the youngest and first make winner of BET’s Sunday Best gospel music competition. His debut album “Well Done” debuted #1 this month.