GMA Foundation’s annual GMA Honors celebration was held on Tuesday, May 9 at Lipscomb University. Steve Green, Yolanda Adams, Gold City Quartet and Michael Blanton and Dan Harrell were inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. The event also honored individuals and organizations that are impacting our culture both past and present. This year's honorees were Amy Grant for Helping Hands, Dr. Shirley Caesar for Shirley Caesar Outreach Ministries, Compassion International and Natalie Grant for Hope for Justice.
For the first time, the GMA inducted legacy artists who soared in national prominence in the 1930s, '40s and '50s into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame by proclamation. This year's inductees included Dorothy Love Coates & The Gospel Harmonettes, The Roberta Martin Singers and The Harmonizing Four.
The event featured memorable tributes and performances from Christian and Gospel music all-stars. Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith sang their hits "El Shaddai" and "Friends" in honor of inductees Michael Blanton and Dan Harrell. Cece Winans, Donnie McClurkin and Jekalyn Carr sang a medley of Yolanda Adam's most popular hits including "The Battle is The Lord's," "Open My Heart" and "That Name." Danny Gokey and Kierra Sheard ended the night with a stirring rendition of "Better Than I Found It" accompanied by the Lamar Campbell & Spirit of Praise and the Nashville Super Choir. Numerous other artists and special guests presented tributes to the honorees, including Bart Millard, Dr. Bobby Jones, Clarke Beasley, Dick Tunney, Fred Hammond, Jaci Velasquez, Larnelle Harris, Percy Bady, Travis Cottrell and Tye Tribbett.
GMA Honors will return next year on May 8, 2018.
"We all know that Gospel music changes lives. It’s a very powerful force...We always say ‘the pioneers get the most arrows’ and Amy Grant has truly been a pioneer. She has gone through battles, and she never wavered from who she loves and what she stands for." - John Huie introducing Amy Grant
"From the time that I was a little girl, I heard the voice of God telling me to do things, say things, write things. I had no idea that writing that would start me on the path to actually writing the songs of God’s heart. When I get the chance to talk about my amazing life, it starts with an amazing relationship with God." - Yolanda Adams
“Proverbs says ‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.’ That wasn’t a suggestion. It doesn’t say if it is convenient, speak up. If it feels good, speak up. If it makes sense, speak up. It just says speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves and I will continue to do that. I am so grateful for the Gospel Music Association for making room for an issue and a topic that is uncomfortable but must be spoken about." - Natalie Grant for Hope for Justice
Photo credit: Rick Diamond/GETTY Images