Former NFL great and current CBS Sports personality Deion Sanders and gospel music sensation Yolanda Adams will serve as the hosts for the Gospel Music Association’s (GMA) 35th Annual Music Awards on April 28th in Nashville, John Styll, president of the GMA and executive producer of the awards show, announced today. UPN has also been announced as the award show’s national broadcast outlet. UPN will televise the music show, on May 28th at 8:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
GMA’s Music Awards is gospel music’s biggest night of the year, where top artists from every style of gospel music come together for a national night of music and celebration as the GMA bestows gospel music’s highest honor — the Dove Award.
Theatergoers in 50 cities, including all top 10 markets, will also have the exclusive opportunity to see the GMA Music Awards live as Regal Entertainment Group (REG) Theatres presents a “One Night Only” Big Screen Premiere of the show in a special simulcast event from Nashville on April 28th. The awards show will be shown live at Regal Cinemas, United Artists Theatres and Edwards Theatres. The Regal Entertainment premiere event marks the first time a live awards show has been simulcast in movie theatres nationwide.
“We’re thrilled to have Deion and Yolanda as our hosts for this year’s show,” said Styll. “Both are great entertainers in their own right. Deion is one of the all-time great professional athletes and an entertaining TV personality and Yolanda is truly a gospel music treasure. They have achieved the highest honors in their fields and are respected for their professional accomplishments and personal integrity. I look forward to working with Deion and Yolanda to put on a rousing and entertaining evening for the live audience in the Regal theatres and for the UPN television audience.”
“We also welcome UPN as this year’s television network and Regal Entertainment Group for their participation in a groundbreaking live premiere,” Styll continued. “UPN brings a new opportunity to showcase one of America’s most popular genres of music to a large and passionate television audience, and Regal will give gospel music fans the chance to see the awards live on the big screen at their neighborhood movie theatre.”
NorthStar Studios will produce GMA’s awards show. Announcements about performers and presenters for the show will be made in the coming weeks. Prior to the broadcast show, Curb Recording Artist Natalie Grant and Word Records’ Mark Schultz will emcee the opening ceremonies where winners in many of the 44 categories of Doves will be announced. Switchfoot, Stacie Orrico, Smokie Norful, CeCe Winans, Steven Curtis Chapman, Robert Randolph (of Robert Randolph and the Family Band), Darwin Hobbs, Randy Travis, Third Day, MercyMe, and KJ-52 lead the diverse list of nominees. A complete list of nominees for can be found on the Web at www.gmamusicawards.com.
Tickets for the Regal Entertainment Big Screen Premiere event are $10 and are now available at event location box offices and at www.RegalCM.com. ForeFront Recording Artist and Dove Nominee Rebecca St. James will host the Regal event, providing exclusive backstage access to the show. Child sponsorship organization Compassion International will participate at the Regal events to promote sponsorship of children from Africa.
Sanders joined CBS’ “NFL Today” two years ago and has become one of football’s most dynamic and captivating personalities, not unlike his professional sports career, during which he earned the nickname, “Prime Time.” Sanders played for the Atlanta Falcons the San Francisco 49ers, the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins during his 12-year NFL career earned two Super Bowl rings, was named to the Pro Bowl seven times, and finished as possibly the greatest cover corner in NFL history. Sanders also enjoyed success as a part-time Major League Baseball player for nine years, with time on the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants. Sanders is the only pro athlete to play in both a World Series and the Super Bowl.
Yolanda Adams poses with Donnie McClurkin at the 2003 Dove Awards. Photo by Lauree Leyland for ChristianActivities.com.
With her soaring voice, boundless energy plus an unshakable faith, Houston native Adams has long been one of gospel’s biggest stars. Adams soared to new heights with the 1999 release of her Elektra Entertainment debut Mountain High…Valley Low. The album spent much of the year at #1 on Billboard Magazine’s Gospel and Contemporary Christian Charts, eventually selling more than a million copies. Her subsequent Elektra albums — Christmas With Yolanda Adams, the live release The Experience, and her latest, Believe, have further strengthened her position as one of gospel’s best loved and most successful artists. Among her many awards, Adams has won three Doves, two Grammy Awards and 13 Stellar Awards. She previously hosted the Doves with NFL player Kurt Warner in 2002.