Seven-time Grammy Award winning gospel musician Kirk Franklin will host the 2013 Super Bowl Gospel Celebration in New Orleans, La.
Sherri Shepherd of ABC's "The View" will cohost the event along with Franklin with expected performances by Pastor Marvin Winans, Donnie McClurkin, Bishop Paul S. Morton, LeCrae and Fantasia as the headliner at the UNO Lakefront Arena on Feb.1. The Super Bowl game will be played at the Superdome with Beyonce as the half-time performance on Feb.3.
Franklin was unavailable to comment by press time. He had emerged on the gospel scene in 1993 with his debut album "Kirk Franklin and The Family," which remained on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums for 42 weeks. He is the current host and co-executive producer of BET original series Sunday Best.
The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration is a NFL-sanctioned event is currently in its 14th year with expectations for more expansion and growth in the upcoming years. "The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration has been a formal sanctioned partner for over a decade, and has played an integral role in bringing together fans and football players under one roof with a shared love of inspirational music," said Tisha Ford, NFL Director of Events Business Development.
One of the highlights of the gospel celebration is the NFL choir composed of 40 former and current NFL players. Several NFL players wanted to express their faith through song formed the choir.
"We founded this event to bring even more power and celebration to one of the biggest events of the year – the Super Bowl," says Melanie Few-Harrison, creator and producer of Super Bowl Gospel Celebration. "Each year we aim to make the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration bigger than the last with artists and special guests from all backgrounds. Given the rich musical history and culture of New Orleans and a powerful line-up of talent, this year's concert will be sure to kick off Super Bowl Weekend."
Since its inception in 1999, the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration has donated a portion of its proceeds and more than 4,000 tickets to local and national charities. This year's benefactors include the Malcolm Jenkins Foundation, founded by Malcolm Jenkins of the New Orleans Saints, and The Sharper Kids Foundation, founded by Darren Sharper formerly of the New Orleans Saints and his brother former Seattle Seahawk Jamie Sharper.
Tickets start at $40. The show, sponsored by American Family Insurance, will be taped in front of a live audience and will be syndicated for television broadcast.