The View’s Sherri Shepherd and syndicated radio personality Rickey Smiley will co-hosts of the 29th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards that will be held this Saturday at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium. The show will air on the UP television network live on January 18, and in broadcast syndication on 150 stations in over 125 markets around the country from January 18 through March 2.

Gospel music’s biggest night will feature live performances by Hezekiah Walker, Donald Lawrence, Shirley Ceasar, Erica Campbell, Anthony Brown & Group Therapy, Isaac Carree, The Winans Brothers, and Tasha Cobbs and others.

For the second consecutive year, a gospel music newcomer shares the top spot with an established artist on the nominee list, with Anthony Brown & Group Therapy earning eight nominations for their freshman effort, “Testimony.” Nominations include “Song of the Year,” “Contemporary Group/Duo of the Year,” and “Contemporary CD of the Year.” Joining them at the top of the nominee list, Ty Tribbett’s “Greater Than” tied “Testimony” for the most recognition with eight nominations for “Artist of the Year,” “Male Vocalist of the Year,” “CD of the Year,” “Producer of the Year,” “Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year,” “Contemporary CD of the Year,” “Urban/ Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year,” and “Praise and Worship CD of the Year.”

Other artists to receive multiple nominations include Tamela Mann and Tasha Cobbs with seven nominations each and going head-to-head in the hotly-contested “Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year” and “CD of the Year” categories; gospel great Fred Hammond United Tenors with six nominations, including “Contemporary CD of the Year” and “Group/Duo of the Year”; and also vying for “Group/Duo of the Year” honors, contender John P. Kee & Life receives four additional nods for the CD “Life of Favor.”

The Stellar Awards will also present five special categories highlighting the top radio stations serving urban Gospel music audiences.
In addition to recognizing the year’s most outstanding contributions in gospel music, the Stellar Awards will hand out special honors to Hezekiah Walker, Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Pastor Maceo Woods.