Recording Academy, firstly I must say thank you for bringing back the GRAMMY Award's to the New York City area. I only hope that you will make this a continual habit.
That said, lets talk about heaven coming down at the Sounds of Brazil (S.O.B) in lower Manhattan last night. This was for the Gospel Grammy Celebration, a pre-grammy event hosted by Hezekiah Walker. Indeed. The Pre-Grammy celebration and salute to some of the best in the industry did not disappoint in terms of the performances from new comers like worship soul sensation Maranda Curtis, Jason Nelson, Deon Kipping and JJ Hairston and not to mention the delicious ordures. Subsequently, It was certainly above B+ magnitude.
Host of Gospel Grammy Celebration Bishop Hezekiah Walker
"It is a good feeling to be able to honor my colleagues on their Grammy nominations and I want to thank you all for helping me do this tonight," Walker said. Truth be told, Grammy award winner Hezekiah Walker did a fantastic job hosting the celebration. In a room filled with fashionably specially invited guests, music executives and grammy nominees - Anticipation ran high, as the line-up of performers were not announced until the actual night of the event. Everyone came hope to honor the current gospel nominees including Anita Wilson, JJ Hairston, Travis Greene, Le'Andria Johnson, CeCe Winans, The Walls Group, Tina Campbell and Marvin Sapp.
However, among the nominees, only Anita Wilson and JJ Hairston nominated for Best Gospel Album and Best Gospel Song/Performance respectively were in attendance.
Anita Wilson JJ Hairston
Maranda Curtis, who delivered the most powerful performance of the night was the first one honoring the nominees. She rendered favorites such as "Nobody Like You Lord", "Fill Me Up" and new ballad and a sure hit, "Open Heaven." Other musical guests included Jason Nelson who gave us a snippet of his latest single "Forever" and Deon Kipling with "By Myself".
From left, Deon Kipping, Maranda Curtis and Jason Nelson in performance at Pre-Grammy event.
Honoree JJ Hairston also took to the stage thanking the guest in attendance and David Bloom, writer of the Grammy nominated single and song of 2017 “You Deserve It”. He then ushered into a electrifying performance, performing "You Deserve It". Anita Wilson followed thanking the pack room of supporters for their support and prayers.
Patrons in attendance at the Gospel Grammy Celebration
All in all, this was a great event. The 60th GRAMMY Awards will take place at New York City's Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. The telecast will be broadcast live on CBS at a new time: 7:30–11 p.m. ET and 4:30–8 p.m. PT.