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[01/06/11 - 12:03 PM]
Heart-Warming, Hand-Clapping, Soul-Stirring Gospel Music Was Ordered as BET Delivered Another Electrifying "Celebration of Gospel," Airing Sunday, January 30 at 8:00 P.M.
Steve Harvey hosted the annual event, which "paid tribute to the rich history of gospel music in a unique format that combined today's leading gospel and secular artists."

[via press release from BET]

Heart-Warming, Hand-Clapping, Soul-Stirring Gospel Music Was Ordered as BET Delivered Another Electrifying "Celebration of Gospel," Airing Sunday, January 30 at 8:00 P.M.*

Legendary Vocalists Whitney Houston and Kim Burrell Amazed Audience Members with an Inspiring Performance of 'I Look to You.'

Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin, Chaka Khan, El DeBarge, BeBe Winans, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Kelly Price, LeAndria Johnson, Rance Allen Group, Israel Houghton, VaShawn Mitchell and More United for Gospel Music's Biggest Night.

PASADENA, Calif., Jan. 6, 2011 -- It was a night filled with the Holy Spirit and high notes reaching the heavens as audience members rejoiced at the CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL '11. The two-hour special, premiering Sunday, January 30 at 8:00 p.m.*, paid tribute to the rich history of gospel music in a unique format that combined today's leading gospel and secular artists. Hosted by popular comedian, author, game show host and syndicated radio personality Steve Harvey, the inspirational and uplifting presentation packed a powerful punch by some of the industry's top players.

Taped from the historic Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, California, the CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL '11 had memorable performances by fresh talent alongside current favorites of gospel. Highlights included Byron Cage, Smokie Norful, Kelly Price, and Kathy Taylor coming together for a moving tribute honoring the late "Queen of Gospel," Albertina Walker, and beloved gospel pioneer Walter Hawkins; Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary debuting the world premiere of their new record; Chaka Khan serenading the crowd with her timeless classic, "Through the Fire"; Grammy-nominated´┐Ż artist VaShawn Mitchell performing his chart-topping single "Nobody Greater"; James Fortune and FIYA belting out their rousing hit "I Believe"; and ending the night, a surprise performance of "I Look to You" by Kim Burrell and Whitney Houston, which left audience members speechless!

The audience was also treated to performances by SUNDAY BEST alums LeAndria Johnson, Y'Anna Crawley and Jessica Reedy alongside R&B songstress Kelly Price, Howard Hewett, Earnest Pugh, Rance Allen Group, Chante Moore, Myron Butler, Jonathan Nelson and Purpose, Israel Houghton, and Beverly Crawford with Dr. Bobby Jones and the Spirit of David Choir.

CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL '11 is a BET Networks Production. Stephen Hill, BET's president of music programming, along with Lynne Harris-Taylor, BET's vice president of specials, and Geovanni Brewer will executive produce the telecast.

For more information, please visit www.bet.com.

*All times are ET/PT.

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks - BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.





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