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Rance Allen Group wins two Stellar Awards for best-selling CD

The Rance Allen Group

According to a recent news release, the legendary Rance Allen Group has earned two Stellar Awards for their latest CD, The Live Experience II: Celebrating 40 Years of Music and Ministry (Tyscot Records).  The group picked up awards in the categories of Quartet of the Year and Traditional Group/Duo of the Year. The ceremony will broadcast on The GMC Channel at 7 p.m. February 11. Check your local listings at

The live CD celebrates the group’s 40-year career. It features two medleys of their past hits such as “Feel Like Going On,” “We Care a Lot” and “Smile.” It also features new songs such as the old school soul flavored “You That I Trust” and the worship ballad, “Holy One.” Making cameo appearances are renowned artists such as Shirley Caesar, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, and The Christianaires’ Paul Porter. 

The Rance Allen Group has been recording professionally since 1971. They started with Stax Records where they recorded a string of gritty, R&B-flavored gospel and message songs through the 1970s. From there, the group recorded for a variety of labels and scored their first No. 1 gospel album in 1991 with the Phenomenon CD that featured the crossover R&B smash, “Miracle Worker.”

In 2002, the Rance Allen Group joined Tyscot Records, where they have enjoyed a new string of hits such as “Do Your Will,” “Closest Friend,” “For Your Feet,” and the Kirk Franklin duet, “Something About the Name Jesus.”  The music industry has now begun to honor the Rance Allen Group for its groundbreaking work in bridging R&B and gospel. They received a Legend Award during the 2009 Stellar Awards and were feted in a BMI Trailblazers of Gospel ceremony in 2008.

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Shekinah Glory Ministry earns Stellar Award for Contemporary Choir of the Year

According to a recent news release, Shekinah Glory Ministry has earned a Stellar Award (gospel music’s answer to the Grammy Awards) in the category of Contemporary Choir of the Year for their double CD, “Refreshed by Fire” (Kingdom Records). The ceremony took place at The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville and will make its television broadcast debut at 7 p.m. EST February 11 on The GMC Channel. Check your local listing at

Released last fall, “Refreshed by Fire” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums sales chart. The CD also came in at No. 2 on Billboard’s Christian/Gospel chart, No. 12 on the Independent chart, No. 61 on the Top 200 pop chart and No. 59 on the Current Albums chart. The live DVD version of the CD was also a Top 10 debut and continues to sell briskly. The majestic ballad “Just for Me” became a Top 20 radio hit, and the video of the song has received almost 200,000 YouTube views. Shekinah Glory Ministry is profiled in the February 2012 issue of Sister 2 Sister magazine.

Shekinah Glory Ministries is not a choir. It’s an ensemble of psalmists, minstrels, and banner bearers who perform “under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. “ Their Hebrew name means “the glorified presence of God.” Their CDs Praise Is What I Do (No. 5 peak Top Gospel Albums) and Shekinah Glory Ministry Live (No. 3 peak Top Gospel Albums – 103 weeks on the chart) were both certified gold in 2005 and 2008 respectively. They also have three gold or platinum DVDs to their credit. Fore more information, go to

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Stellar Award winner Stephen Hurd to release “O That Men Would Worship” in February

Over the last decade, Stephen Hurd has distinguished himself as one of the leading voices in urban praise and worship music. His songs “Undignified” and “Lead Me to the Rock” are sung at faith gatherings around the globe. Now, he’s preparing to release his most ambitious project yet – O That Men Would Worship, his sixth CD and the first on his own Hurd The Word recording label. He’s designed the new CD as a tool to inspire men to take on a greater leadership role in church worship services. Recorded live at The First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro, Md., where Hurd is the minister of music, the collection is scheduled to hit retail stores on February 21, 2012, via a distribution deal with Central South Distribution Inc.

“My goal is to get men and especially men of color to realize that worship is not a feminine sport,” Hurd says in a news release. “In this season, I feel we should come together and lift up a sound that has the power to change families and strengthen communities and help brothers to get a glimpse of what real worship is. I think when men see other men worship it gives them freedom to worship without feeling emasculated.”

Joining Hurd are Verity Gospel Music Group recording artist Jason Nelson, Christian pop artist Anthony Evans and Min. Deonte Gray who is a member of the 7 Sons of Soul vocal group. Hurd created an all-male sextet of singers to back certain songs and a coed group called Extol to back the CD as a whole. Aside from co-writing most of the songs, Hurd produced the 15-track set alongside up-and-coming producers Kenny Shelton and Anthony Brown. Celebrated producer Steve Ford, who’s worked with acts ranging from Phyllis Hyman to Richard Smallwood, created the lush string arrangements while the in-demand Phil Lassiter (John P. Kee, Marvin Sapp) delivered the hearty horn arrangements.

Although Hurd began recording albums in the late 1990s, his first national CD release was 2004’s A Call to Worship (Integrity Music) that featured the Caribbean-styled radio smash, “Undignified.”  The 2006 My Destiny (Integrity Music) CD featured the hit singles “Great Praise (The War Cry)” and “Destiny” while his 2008 Top 10 Stellar Award winning CD Times of Refreshing (Integrity Music), featured the radio single, “Amazing.” For more information, visit
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Organist Moses Tyson Jr. earns first Stellar Award nomination

Moses Tyson Jr.

According to a news release, organist Moses Tyson Jr. has earned the first Stellar Award nomination of his long and illustrious career. The Stellar Award is gospel music’s version of the Grammy Awards.

Tyson’s latest CD, “Music Remastered & Sacred Organ” (Tymo Gospel Music), is up for a Stellar Award in the category of Instrumental Gospel CD of the Year in a field of noted competitors such as saxophonist Harold Rayford, sax man Todd Ledbetter and Winston Stewart, the former keyboardist for the ’70s era R&B band, The  Bar-Kays. The awards ceremony is at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, at The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn.

It’s been a banner year for Tyson, who has been endorsed by Hammond Organ (Hammond Suzuki USA Inc.) and is the spokesperson for their new line of portable keyboards such as the Mini-B and the Melodian. He’s been all over the media spectrum, turning in mesmerizing performances on BET’s “Bobby Jones Gospel,” TBN’s “Praise the Lord” and The Word Network. His dynamic tunes “Pray for Me” and “You’ve Got to Move” have been in heavy rotation on various radio stations.

Tyson isn’t only promoting himself though. His Tymo Records label recently issued the hit CD, “Tribute to Bishop G.E. Patterson 2,” an exhilarating musical celebration of the life of the beloved leader of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). It also features the last live recordings by the late Bishop Walter L. Hawkins and the late Rev. Timothy Wright. The Hammond B3 has spiced up some of the greatest pop records of all time, from Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” to Billy Preston’s psychedelic “Will It Go Round in Circles?” Although, the self-taught Tyson began his career playing on a sessions with his cousin, funk legend Sly Stone, he’s distinguished himself as gospel music’s leading organist over the last three decades.  He began his career under the management of Suzanne de Passe and recorded for Liberty/EMI Records on a roster alongside Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton. He returned to his roots in the ’90s and has been home ever since keeping traditional gospel music alive.

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Gospel singer Rance Allen to be installed as bishop on Monday at the Church of God in Christ’s 104th Holy Convocation

Dr. Rance Allen

Legendary gospel singer and pastor of Toledo, Ohio’s New Bethel Church (COGIC), Dr. Rance Allen, will be installed as bishop on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011, to oversee 14 Michigan churches in the Church of God in Christ denomination this week at the 6.5 million-member organization’s 104th Holy Convocation in St. Louis, Mo. He will succeed the late Bishop Alfred D. Knight, Jr. as the Jurisdictional Prelate of the Michigan Northwestern Harvest Jurisdiction.

“I have literally been working in the church since the age of 5,” Allen said in a news release. “Singing and preaching, and now at 62, almost 63 in another week or two, I get elevated to the position of a bishop! I’m trying to figure out how I feel about it because right now I still can’t believe it.”

Allen is also thrilled that the Rance Allen Group’s latest top 10 CD “The Live Experience II: Celebrating 40 Years of Music and Ministry” (Tyscot Records), has been nominated for four Stellar Awards (Gospel music’s answer to the Grammy Awards) in the categories of Group Duo of the Year, Traditional Group/Duo of the Year, Traditional Male of the Year and Quartet of the Year. 

“When I found that out, I was just elated!” Allen said. “I couldn’t believe we were nominated in four different categories.” The 27th annual Stellar Awards will take place at Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn., on January 14, 2012. For more information, visit  The new radio single, “Holy One,” a praise and worship ballad, is currently making its way up the gospel radio airplay charts.

The Rance Allen Group was born in their grandfather’s Monroe, Mich., church in the 1960s. They began recording for Stax Records in 1971 where they made a string of gritty, R&B-flavored gospel and message songs for the Gospel Truth imprint. They toured with the big R&B artists of the day such as Isaac Hayes and Barry White, and literally took the gospel to the world. From there, the group recorded for a variety of labels and scored their first No. 1 gospel album in 1991 with the “Phenomenon” CD that featured the crossover R&B smash, “Miracle Worker.” Allen closed out the 1990s performing in a variety of gospel-oriented touring play productions, but the group signed with Tyscot Records in 2002 and kicked off a new string of hits such as “Do Your Will,” “Closest Friend,” “For Your Feet,” and the Kirk Franklin duet, “Something about the Name Jesus.” For more information, visit or