Reflections on BET’s Celebration of Gospel 10

steve_harveyI can’t believe that Celebration of Gospel has been on the air for 10 years. Over that time BET has given us a prime time view of some of Gospel music’s finest artists. So, last night, I sat and watched the broadcast with great anticipation. Here are some of my thoughts on the show. 

The Music
Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that there was a time when Celebration of Gospel was used as a showcase to display artists that have released recorded music at least within the last two years. It didn’t seem like that was the case this year. I think the BET producers got together and said “who do we want on the show this year”.

They have every right to include whomever they want on the show. I wonder if they attempted to book artists like Israel Houghton, J. Moss and Smokie Norful. All of these artists released albums within the last year. Instead, they decided to go with Rance Allen, Yolanda Adams and Fantasia who all sung older songs.

The Best Moment of the Night
Generally BET does tributes very well. They honored Steve Harvey since he has been the only host is the history of the show. This was an extremely touching moment. What was really great was how Steve seemed to be really blessed by the words and music from Donnie McClurkin and Marvin Sapp. Seeing Steve get blessed in that way made the whole night worth if for me.

A Few Surprises  
We really didn’t hear a lot from Steve Harvey throughout the night. I’m sure some of that was due to the tribute. Editing could also be a factor. Overall, it seemed that his role as the host was slightly diminished compared to previous years. 

I was a little surprised to see Tye Tribbett there. Usually when an artist experiences challenges in their personal life they stay away from public appearances for a while. I understand that we all handle things differently. Let’s continue to keep him and his family in our prayers.

On another note…by all accounts, Celebration of Gospel 10 was the last time we will ever see Greater Annointing minister. It has been widely reported that Tye has decided to break the group up. 

Where Was God
A lot of people that I am connected to on Twitter and Facebook were disappointed about the editing job that BET did. By many accounts, there were many time where you could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in the theatre. However, we never saw those moments. This caused one of my friends to make the following statement, “Where was God? Did I miss Him? I think He showed up for a few minutes then left, came back, left and then left for good!”

The Bottom Line
Over the last couple of years BET has been getting a lot of criticism for their programming, but Celebration of Gospel is one of the shows that the network does very well for the most part. Donald Lawrence, Fred Hammond and Tye Tribbett all gave very good performances. I walked away from the broadcast feeling encouraged and uplifted.

Did you see Celebration of Gospel? What did you think about it? What was your favorite performance?


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