The year 2020 has been a year of great uncertainty — Covid-19, massive natural disasters, police brutality and hate crime across humanity; but nothing has not been strong enough to cancel a locally-birthed awards show.
The Gulf Coast Gospel Music Awards (GCGMA) will move in another dimension on October 4, when it is set to be broadcast before a television audience!
The awards started locally in 2017 by Minister LeKeisha Cotten and has grown to be a national sensation within the gospel community. Cotten revealed her heart as she mentioned that she had been honored on many national platforms, but had not seen local artists and singers honored for their many contributions in music, ministry and community on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
The mission of GCGMA is to recognize the accomplishments of local gospel artists, writers and industry professionals, and to provide a stable platform that will assist in the further advancement of the performing arts in business and in ministry. One entity that has been birthed out of this mission is ‘The Collective’. The Collective are the official background vocalists for GCGMA and is the brainchild of Cotten’s business partner, Derrick Bridges, founder of TranZparent Music.
“The importance of background vocalists has been undermined for years,” Cotten said. “There is definitely a difference in artist and background vocals. At least 50% more music will be recorded in 2020 than any other year. Artists are scrambling because of this pandemic. We want to help.”
Lisa Johnson of The Collective said, “I love the experience and being able to utilize and display my gifts with other artists. This is a much needed platform for all artists.”
This year’s honorees will include Bishop Leonard Scott and Sir The Baptist. Scott is the founder and CEO of the nation’s oldest black-owned and operated gospel recording company, TyScot Music & Entertainment. TyScot has been the home to some of gospel’s superstars including John P. Kee & New Life, Rance Allen, Dr. Bobby Jones, The Anointed Pace Sisters, Casey J, Kelontae Gavin and more.
Scott is a dentist, author, musician, pastor and community advocate and has received the Stellar Honors Hall of Fame Award and the Gospel Music Association Legacy Award.
Sir The Baptist, a hip-hop gospel recording artist, producer, songwriter and philanthropist. Internationally known Artist and Spiritualist, Sir The Baptist has been acknowledged by Forbes, Jay Z, Billboard, CNN, Late Night with Seth Meyers, BBC Radio 1, NPR, The Grammys and many more for his trailblazing cause of Kingdom Economics. Sir, who has recently partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of the Gulf Coast, produced a song entitled “Can’t Help Myself”, which also features Ann Nesby, MC Lyte, Syleena Johnson and GCGMA’s own LeKeisha Cotten providing background vocals.
Marcus Green of Tallahassee, Florida, reminisced about last year and said, “I had such a great time. The networking, fellowship and support is paramount. It was a blessing to meet pioneers like Walt Whitman, Paul Porter and Lannie Spann-McBride.”
Angela While-Carter, GCGMA’s 2017 Traditional Artist of the year award winner, said that the awards is “such an experience. Not being there has dampened my spirit. I was looking forward to seeing the hard work that the staff puts together for us.”
The show will air at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 4 on FOX, immediately following the Saints game and will be streamed on GCGMA’s Facebook, YouTube and Periscope platforms.
This year’s awards show will be hosted by recording Artist, C. Ashley Brown-Lawrence, JZ94.5 Radio Personalities Sheena Myles and Tabari Daniels and Actor/Public Figure Jonathan Brannan.
GCGMA 2020 was produced by LeKeisha Cotten and her team and Executive produced by Landon Lawrence of the Pentecostals of the Gulf Coast. GCGMA will be on the heels of the NFL showdown between the New Orleans Saints and the Detroit Lions, which will air at noon. For more information on the awards and sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.GCGMA.com or call 662-228-6511.