BET Announces 2012 Celebration of Gospel Air date

BET has announced that the 12th Annual "Celebration of Gospel" will be aired on Palm Sunday, April 1st at 8 PM. The theme for this year's show is "Rise Up! Renew! Rejoice!"

This is the first time in its 12 years that the show will air during the Easter season. The two hour special will be taped Friday, March 16th at 8 PM at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. "Celebration of Gospel", the #1 religious telecast since its inception, will bring together artists from both the Gospel and R&B genres. Once again, Steve Harvey will be the host. 

The Gospel artists on this year's line-up includes Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Yolanda Adams, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Earnest Pugh, Ricky Dillard & New G, Marvin Sapp, The Rance Allen Group, James Fortune & FIYA, Zacardi Cortez, LeAndria Johnson, Jessica Reedy, Isaac Caree and Mali Music. The R&B artists that will be featured on the program are Faith Evans, Johnny Gill, Jennifer Holliday, Ledisi and Kelly Price.

There will also be two special tributes to Mahalia Jackson and Whitney Houston. Both tributes seem appropriate. I'm actually surprised that there hasn't been a tribute to Mahalia Jackson before now. It is good to see that BET is finally making this happen. BET has been criticized in the past for not handling tributes properly. Many people were disappointed with the tribute BET did for Michael Jackson when he died shortly before the 2009 BET Awards. Personally, I really don't have a problem with that they did. 

Many people don't know this, but tickets to the event at free. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis by submitting a request to

"Celebration of Gospel" is always one of the best events in Gospel music each year. This line-up looks extremely promising. What do you think about the Celebration of Gospel? Do you plan to watch it?

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