RECAP: Celebration Of Gospel ‘11

Published by Torrence Glenn on Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 12:22 pm.

Last night, we taped our 11th installment of BET’s Celebration Of Gospel and even as I type this I’m still “IN.” It probably sounds like we say it every year but it’s true, it was one of the best ever! The night was full of highlights and moments and the Celebration Of Gospel veterans and newcomers all tore it down. Here’s the rundown.

1. There’s no use in even trying to keep it a secret anymore as Twitter and all the other social networks went crazy the minute Whitney Houston appeared on stage to sing her R. Kelly-written and produced anthem, “I Look To You,” with every singer’s favorite singer, the amazing Kim Burrell. As you can see from the photo she looked great and I have to say, sounded good too! Kim Burrell began the song alone masterfully interpreting it as only she could, but the audience lost control when the stage opened up and Whitney Houston joined her for the 2nd verse. They did the impossible and complemented each other and didn’t over-sing each other one time! Trust me, you’re not ready for this performance!

2. Kirk Franklin opened up the show with a brand new song, “Get Up And Live.” Kirk’s got another hit on his hands and after all these years, the man still performs HARD!!!! There have been a few hot gospel songs to incorporate “go-bo” and they’ve been good, but this is THE ONE.

3. Mary Mary sang one of my new favorite songs, “Something Big,” and really turned it out! They just have a way of making gospel so fun!

4. Smokie Norful and Myron Butler took it straight to church with a Sunday Morning Medley that opened up with “I’m A Soldier In The Army Of The Lord.” Yeah, that kind of church!

5. “Sunday Best” 3 winner Leandria Johnson, Season 2 winner Y’Anna Crawley, Jessica Reedy, Kelly Price and Chante Moore flipped the popular worship ballad “Because Of Who You Are.” Yes, five powerful female voices on one song. You’re going to have to see it to believe it, but know this, they were singing!

6. Jonathan Nelson & Purpose brought it with “Expect The Great!” (Y’all know that’s one of my favorite songs.) It was the perfect way to perform on the show for the first time. (One of my favorite things about this year’s show is all of the new faces!)

7. Chaka Khan did a modified inspirational version of her classic hit “Through The Fire” and really tried to go in. You have to see that one too.

8. Vashawn Mitchell, as we all predicted, laid the audience out with his “Nobody Greater” and I don’t think by the end of the song there was a dry eye in the house. I know folks were losing it on my row! It was definitely a highlight of the show, especially with Israel Houghton on guitar!

9. El DeBarge (who I’m convinced is the new “E” in BET, lol) sang his new song, “Second Chance,” and was later joined by Howard Hewitt on “Say Amen.” It’s amazing how their voices have held up just so beautifully. No key changes there!

10. Israel Houghton performed “Help Somebody” featuring Kirk Franklin and I must say, I absolutely love this song and this performance made me a fan. Hadn’t heard the song until last night and now I can’t wait to get back to NYC so that I can listen to the CD version.

11. The Rance Allen Group as always SMASHED and let us know they were “Living For Jesus.”

12. Another new face to the show, Earnest Pugh, won the crowd over with his popular song, “Rain On Us.” Here’s another one you just have to see!

13. Kathy Taylor, Byron Cage and Smokie Norful sang a tribute to deceased gospel greats Walter Hawkins and Albertina Walker with a medley of both of their classic songs.

14. James Fortune & FIYA performed their new, big song, “I Believe.”

15. Beverly Crawford & Dr. Bobby Jones closed out the show with ”It’s About Time For A Miracle” and it was a perfectly churchy ending to a great show!

Celebration Of Gospel airs on BET on Sunday, January 30 at 8 p.m. and I promise you don’t want to miss it!

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