Kirk Franklin wins big at virtual Stellar Gospel Music Awards

The two-hour virtual ceremony honored late civil rights icon and Georgia congressman John Lewis with a musical tribute from CeCe Winans who sang “Bridge over Troubled Water.”

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Kirk Franklin gestures as he performs at the BET Awards in Los Angeles in 2019.

Kirk Franklin gestures as he performs at the BET Awards in Los Angeles in 2019.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

LOS ANGELES — Kirk Franklin made a splash at the Stellar Gospel Music Awards.

The singer took home six trophies during the 35th annual awards on Sunday night. The two-hour virtual ceremony honored late civil rights icon and Georgia congressman John Lewis with a musical tribute from CeCe Winans who sang “Bridge over Troubled Water.”

The awards also paid homage to first responder heroes who were on the front lines in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

Thanks to his “Long Live Love” album, Franklin collected male vocalist, album, producer, contemporary male vocalist and contemporary album of the year honors. He also won music video of the year for “Love Theory.”

Franklin returned to host the awards with Jonathan Reynolds and Koryn Hawthorne. The ceremony aired on BET and BET Her.

Tasha Cobbs Leonard won the show’s top award as best artist. She also took home contemporary female vocalist of the year through her album “Heart. Passion. Pursuit.”

Donald Lawrence’s “Deliver Me (This is My Exodus)” was named song of the year. He won the second most awards with four.

The best new artist went to Pastor Mike Jr., who also claimed top honors for best rap/hip-hop gospel album of the year.

Some of the performers include Tamela Mann, Marvin Sapp, James Fortune, Tye Tribbett and Anthony Brown.

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