The music industry’s top r&b and gospel artists came together over the weekend for BET’s Annual Celebration of Gospel. The event, which was held at the Oprheum Theater in Los Angeles, drew hundreds of mainstream artists and fans who paid homage to the roots of music today.
The gorgeous and talented Taraji P. Henson took over the role of Steve Harvey who ended his historic 13-year-run as the event’s host. HipHollywood caught up with the the Empire star to talk about filling the shoes of the King of Comedy.
“The one thing about church folk, they make you feel welcome. They uplift you. There’s no hateration going on here tonight, everybody’s in my corner praying for me to do a really good job. It feels good,” Henson told us. “If you don’t believe in God, you’re lost. We need programs like this, shows like this and celebrations like this to remind us that we are never alone.”
The Rance Allen Group, Jonathan McReynolds, Eric Campbell and Yolanda Adams were just some of the gospel greats who took the stage to give God the glory and anoint the audience with song. While on the red carpet, we talked with Adams who expressed why this event is so important.
“Gospel music is a genre that has helped a lot of other genres,” she said. “It has spearheaded folks in r&b. You look at your Patti LaBelle’s, and your Cissy Houston’s, and your Aretha Franklin’s and your Eddie Levert’s, they all came out of the church.”
During the show, one of gospel’s most influential voices, Richard Smallwood was honored for his contributions and work within the industry. “It’s wonderful when you’ve worked, and worked, and worked, and people appreciate what you did,” Smallwood told us.
BET’S annual gospel celebration premieres on Sunday, April 6 at 8 p.m.
Check out some of the clips from the red carpet below: