Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More Backlash from the Stellars

Released today, Central City Productions president Don Jackson issued an open letter in response to the growing concerns about its nomination process and its embattled issues of integrity.

In his letter, Jackson stated, "As a direct result of the constructive feedback of the Gospel Music Industry, from the sources I’ve identified above, I am pleased to inform you that for our 25th Anniversary Show we implemented several improvements to our Entry, Nominating and Balloting process that we feel strengthened our overall Voting process and made our procedure more open and inclusive, while continuing to maintain the integrity, fairness and highest standards of our overall process for everyone. "

Several minute changes included the elimination of the mail-in ballot, expanding the charting system to include all Nielsen BDS data which virtually allows all independents a right to a nomination and extended time record labels to submit their recommendations.

Strangely, all of these changes seem to have been made this year as evidence points that artists were added to the nomination lists days after the first round ballot surfaced. Previously, albums had to have visibility on the Billboard charts. Most of the independent artists nominated this year have not even charted on Billboard; which ultimately suggests that the new changes had to be activated prior to Jackson's recent announcement.

On the heels of the Stellar Awards' open letter to the public and gospel media, a letter from Stellar Awards Gospel Music Academy (SAGMA) president Henry Harris encouraged all of the Academy's members to vote for his online Radio Station and media resource,, for Best Online Radio Station - once again creating a cloud of criticism. The problem abounds in its conflict of interest. The email was sent to Harris's Facebook followers and to his mailing list. This year, Spiritco1, also an independent marketing firm, became embroiled in a massive pool of controversy due to its long list of customers making the Stellar Awards' ballot. Included in the drama, Harris also announced a 2-for-1 membership special to help encourage his supporters to buy more memberships to increase his artists' changes to make the final ballot.

An online petition, created by gospel blogger EJ Gaines, caused a stir three week ago asking the Stellars' to develop necessary corrections. Unfortunately, only 200 individuals have signed it.

The Stellar Gospel Music Awards, celebrating its 25th year anniversary, will take place at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN on January 16, 2010.

Online Petition to SAGMA & CCP []
Stellar Award Nominees, Controversy [PRAYZE Report]
Stellar Mess []
Stellar Awards (Official Website)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Raw Video: Voices of Citadel

About the only thing reconcilable about Voices of Citadel's latest album, Won't It Be Wonderful, is their revisit to Butch Heyward's '80s classic "Hallelujah to the Lamb." The song has that extra punch and energy very reminiscent of '90s contemporary gospel music via the Hezekiah Walker movement.

While it was posted back in 2008, the raw video taken at a James Hall's appreciation service may be the only video of VOC in action singing the song. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Temporarily, you can listen to the single at PRAYZEHYMN in the Nu Tunes section.

The album is digitally available at iTunes and

Voices of Citadel - Won't It Be Wonderful []
PRAYZEHYMN [Official website]

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gossip Leak: Tye Tribbett and Da' T.R.U.T.H.

Got to call it what it is. It's gossip. But as they always say, there's always some truth in the tale.

Twitter posts and unauthorized gospel blogs went haywire this week concerning the moral discrepancies and recent fall outs concerning urban gospel/hip-hop rapper Da' T.R.U.T.H. and gospel star Tye Tribbett.

Both are now the subject of marital infidelity and moral indiscretion. For Da' T.R.U.T.H., the rapper publicly posted via his web site a letter to his fans that he will be taking a sabbatical from the music ministry and is need of time to heal for his wife and family.

But even more puzzling revelations are surfacing concerning a soap opera-tinged love triangle. According to gospel blog Da Gospel Truth, "Tye cheated on his wife with a choir member who was his good friend’s baby’s mother. Da’ T.R.U.T.H., Tye’s mentee, cheated with Tye’s wife."
According to reliable resources, Tye Tribbett nor his publicist will comment about the new revelations or his moral crisis.

In May, former label mate Ambassador was released from his record label, Cross Movement Records, concerning moral failure pertaining his wife.

After Da' T.R.U.T.H publicly announced his semi-retirement leaked, Cross Movement issued a public statement revealing their decision to drop him from the label. "It is with tremendous sadness and humble disappointment that Cross Movement Records must inform you regarding the suspension of the promotion and forwarding of the artist...Da Truth,...due to recent findings of moral failure in his marriage." stated the letter. "It is the expressed ambition and demonstrated intent of this label to foster Christian leadership that utilizes the platforms of an artist or musician. While obedience to the word of God is the high standard for all who name the name of Christ, for the Christian leader, the standards and the consequences are even greater.

No word has surfaced if Columbia or Sony Urban will decide to drop Tribbett from their roster concerning the newly released allegations.

In closing, for those that want to label this as just another sleazy, downgrading ploy designed by Satan. I leave you with these powerful words: "You shall know Da' T.R.U.T.H. And the truth shall set you free." Amen.

Torrence's Take on Da T.R.U.T.H. [The Gospel According to Torrence/BET]
Official Web Site []

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Donnie McClurkin Faces Tears, More Controversy

In the charismatic climate of the Churches of God in Christ Holy Convocation, Pastor Donnie McClurkin once again addressed the cloudy and controversial nature of homosexuality - a subject that continues to give the popular gospel singer more and more media coverage. And things got even more graphic as he peculiarly opened the painful chapters of his past and his epiphanies concerning today's generation in front of thousands of youth and young adults at a youth service.

"I went to Mason's Temple and sat in the musicals." He then cried in displeasure, "No, no, no...Where are the fathers?"

An altar call towards deliverance, hearkened by McClurkin's anti-gay rants, opened the door for even more skepticism. Deliverance, a charming term used overtly and often times out of context, still worries theologians and modern Christians today. According to the "ex-gay" ministry Witness for the World's web site, they believe deliverance from homosexuality is a process. While the debate continues to loom with even larger interpretations in the church, homosexuality is widely encountered in the animal kingdom and is slowly pointing to its place of origin in the world of genetics. Ex-gay movements like Witness for the World still believe that a person can be delivered, or liberated totally, from homosexuality and lesbianism.

In the videos now streamed by thousands of visitors on YouTube, he openly addressed Tonex', the former gospel singer and urban R&B singer who spoke about his long-rumored sexuality. He even went on to compare homosexuals to the likes of vampires. Good gracious.

McClurkin recently spoke about his battle with homosexuality while also comparing his sexual urges to his medical diagnosis of diabetes. "I don't eat sugar, but it doesn't mean that I don't want sugar."

McClurkin also uttered with tears piercing his skin,"It's not the children's fault. We failed our boys...and girls. But today, Bishop Blake said this is the convocation of the turnaround. Today, the tables are about to turn and Satan is going to be destroyed over the lives of our young people."

So I guess in some supernatural way, since this is the year of the turnaround, gays and lesbians will cease to exist and less gays will congregate into the midnight musicals. Or maybe not.

In response to McClurkin's choice of words at the COGIC campmeeting, Yvette Flunder, pastor of City of Refuge Church and renowned gospel artist, stated in a Facebook journal entry:

"My deep concern is for those young people who are part of the COGIC and for their families who have now been driven deeper into the closet by experiences like this. The closet is a dangerous place, where theological, and physical self-abuse runs rampant."

Tell us about it, Yvette. It was the closet that made McClurkin what he was and what he still is.

Thanks Rod 2.0 for informing us about this one. You can read Rod McCullom's post on Donnie McClurkin's rants by clicking here.

What's Gotten Into Donnie McClurkin []

Gotta Have Gospel! Christmas In Stores

The best-selling Gotta Have Gospel series, made possible by a joint-venture between Integrity Music and Zomba Gospel, has released its first holiday compilation featuring a strong list of gospel artists including John P. Kee, Richard Smallwood, Yolanda Adams, Juanita Bynum, Israel Houghton, CeCe Winans and many others.

"Gospel consumers and music fans everywhere will love this homage to the greatest songs of Christmas as well as newly re-purposed classics done in a contemporary gospel style," says Daniel D. McGuffey, chief marketing officer of Integrity Media. "Some of the biggest gospel artists in the world have put their unique signature spin on these wonderful songs, which makes for a marvelous seasonal experience."

The single disc collection is in stores now and is available in CD and digitial form at

Friday, November 06, 2009

BeBe Axed from Oprah

According to the Associated Press, BeBe Winans has been uprooted from the Oprah Winfrey Show until the legal charges against him based on allegations of him attacking his ex-wife are resolved in court.

Winans did appear on her show last week to promote Still, his new album with sister CeCe, and was seen in promos for upcoming shows. A show focusing on a "karaoke challenge," bolstered by the debut of the video game Band Hero, was supposed to feature (BeBe) Winans, but will be cut from the show according to show spokesman Don Halcombe.

Amid growing concerns from bloggers about Oprah's harsh stance against domestic abuse, Oprah responded in a statement: "Domestic violence is something that I wouldn't tolerate. Period."

More growing concerns for Winans has sparked surrounding the rumors of his departure as a judge and co-host on BET's Sunday Best. At press time, BET has not confirmed such a report, but the rumors seem to be true, as reported earlier by Gospel Pundit. BeBe & CeCe Winans are still expected to go on tour to promote their new album.

BeBe Winans Leaving Sunday Best? [Gospel Pundit]

Monday, November 02, 2009

'Free Larry Langford' Begins

I smelt this one coming.

At the social networking web site Facebook, one proud Larry Langford supporter put their foot towards the threshing floor to start up a militant campaign of awareness to help free Larry Langford. Since the trial ended, the fan page --Free Larry Langford -- has welcomed a staggering following of over 3,000 members.

Since most of the former Jefferson County commissioners have all been persecuted and lost in the court of law - including Gary White, Mary Buckelew, Jeff Germany and Chris McNair - the next in line ended up being former Birmingham mayor and former Jefferson County commission president Larry Langford.

Two of the former commissioners (White, Buckelew) were white. The other two were black. Still a considerable number of black citizens in Birmingham rush to his aid crying out that the trial was racially motivated. The group's description states that "racism is still in effect, yes he may be have been wrong but those crackers r doing da same thang he was doin n gettin away with it." *

In his defense, over 3,377 Facebook members have joined the Fan page to express their love and admiration for the embattled mayor. Strange isn't it. Where was that super large support group when Frank "God's Gangster" Matthews and SCLC drum major Rev. Calvin Woods initiated a prayer rally the Sunday before his bribery trial? Only 33 supporters showed up.

Goes to show you Birmingham can sometimes be mostly all talk, very little action.

Check out the special key chain Mr. Matthews wants every Langford supporter to have.

*Apologizes for the bad grammar, but we quoted the text from the original fan page. Author's actual words.

Vote 2009: Let's do something (like select another mayor) [Wade on Birmingham]