Erica Campbell and Ricky Dillard are leading gospel artists in the 30th annual Stellar Gospel Music Award nominations.
The Stellar Music Awards celebrates African American artists in an award show that recognizes the top gospel, television and film stars. This year, gospel music artists Erica Campbell and Ricky Dillard are leading the pack with 10 nominations each.
Both Campbell and choir director Dillard were nominated in some of the same categories such as Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, and CD of the Year. While Mary Mary's Campbell earned nominations for her solo debut last year in categories such as Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary CD of the Year, and Urban /Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year, Dillard stood out in categories such as Male Vocalist of the Year, Producer of the Year, Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year, Traditional CD of the Year, Choir of the Year, Traditional Choir of the Year, and Recorded Music Packaging of the Year.
After she debuted her solo album "Help" earlier this year, Campbell spoke about being overwhelmed by the honor after the news was announced.
"I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW ECSTATIC I AM," Campbell wrote on Instagram. "GOD IS FAITHFUL AND AWESOME AND ALWAYS EXCEEDS MY EXPECTATIONS!!!!"
While The Walls Group received eight nominations, Deitrick Haddon received seven, and Arkansas Mass Choir, Smokie Norful and Michelle Williams earned their share of multiple nominations. Kirk Franklin, the super producer and recording artist who heads Fo Yo Soul Entertainment, is battling himself in the Producer of the Year category where he worked on projects for Tasha Page-Lockhart and The Walls Group since both acts are on his label.
Don Jackson, founder and executive producer of the Stellar Awards, spoke about the show's 30-year anniversary.
"I am pleased that God has blessed us with the staying power of the Stellar Awards brand, and we are celebrating our 30-year anniversary as the most respected name in gospel music and in the faith-based community today," Jackson said in a statement. "Our 2015, 30th anniversary 'Stellars' will give thanks to those who have contributed to the success of the Stellar Awards in tribute and in song, bringing back some of the greatest names in the genre as well as featuring many of the nominated artists of 2015."
The show will be hosted by television personality David Mann, multiple Stellar Award winner Tamela Mann, and syndicated radio personality Rickey Smiley. Special honors will be given to President Barack Obama who will receive the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award, Bishop Paul Morton with the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award. Andrae Crouch and Al "The Bishop" Hobbs will posthumously be recognized with the Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award.
The Stellar Awards will take place on Saturday, March 28, 2015. For more information, please visit http://www.thestellarawards.com/.