BMI will honor gospel greats Donnie McClurkin and Andraé Crouch at the organization’s 11th Annual Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards Luncheon, slated for January 15, 2010. Held the day before the 25th Annual Stellar Awards, BMI’s invitation-only ceremony will take place at Rocketown in Nashville, and will welcome gospel music’s premier songwriters, recording artists and music industry executives, as well as the genre’s legends.
A devoted pupil of gospel legends, Donnie McClurkin has done more than admire the giants: He has become one himself. The two-time Grammy winner is one of the genre’s finest producers, beloved vocalists, and most inspiring communicators. A discerning songwriter, he has composed a rich catalog of worship songs, including BMI Christian Award winners “I’m Walking” and “That’s What I Believe,” while he has also collected a trove of Dove, Stellar and other prestigious honors, including the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Gospel Artist. He released a critically acclaimed new collection entitled We Are All One (Live in Detroit) in March 2009, and in addition to garnering a 2010 Stellar Award nomination for Traditional Male of the Year, he will co-host the Stellar Awards ceremony with fellow BMI trendsetters Kirk Franklin and Vickie Winans. For McClurkin, being honored alongside the genre-shaping Andraé Crouch is a deeply personal accomplishment: He fondly refers to Crouch as his mentor.
Eight-time Grammy winner Andraé Crouch is a definitive pioneer. One of the most influential molders of contemporary gospel music, Crouch combines the power of the traditional with the immediacy of the contemporary. His work with The Disciples and later, as a solo artist, is legendary, and as a songwriter, he is behind classics, including “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power,” “Through It All,” “Bless His Holy Name,” and “My Tribute,” which has been performed by more than 600 artists all over the world. He has collected a host of Dove and Stellar Awards. In addition to working with pop icons including Madonna, Diana Ross, and Elton John, Crouch contributed songs to films including The Color Purple and The Lion King. The vocal arranger for Michael Jackson’s smash “Man in the Mirror” and the star’s Invincible album, Crouch also penned “You Will Be There,” featured in the film Free Willy. A member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, he became the only living gospel artist to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004, and the following year, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural NARAS Salute to Gospel Music.