Some of gospel music’s biggest stars and R&B heavy hitters joined uber comedian Steve Harvey for the 10th season of BET’s “Celebration of Gospel.:

“For 10 years we’ve been giving honor to God through song and awards,” Harvey said. “In 10 years we’ve experienced some great performances and tonight will be no exception.”

Harvey was right.


Highlights of the two-hour show included “American Idol” winner Fantasia Barrino and her mother, Diane Barrino-Barber, who kicked it old school with “He’s Done Enough.” Not only did Fantasia blow the audience away with her song, she rocked the stage in a black and silver-sequined sleeveless dress.

The mother-daughter duo proved that the family that prays together stays together.

James Fortune and Fiya’s beautiful “I Trust You” had the audience wiping away tears and standing in praise. The song was the No. 1 ASCAP song of 2009.

“Something About the Name Jesus” from the veteran Rance Allen Group was a simply elegant pledge to God’s majesty. This song from this group always seems to bring people to their feet, and drops many more to their knees, every time it is performed.

Tye Tribbet & RA picked up the pace with his “So Amazing.” He had girls dressed like 1960s carhops in black poodle skirts and pink sweaters.

Eleven-time Grammy Award winner Pastor Shirley Caesar was dressed like a princess in a long black chiffon skirt, black beaded tank and beaded jacket.

However, her voice was drowned out by the choir singing behind her.

Brother and sister duo BeBe and CeCe Winans showcased their love for God through their beautiful voices with “Close to You.”

Some of the others in the show were Yolanda Adams, Marvin Sapp, Fred Hammond, Kelly Price, Donald Lawrence and Bobby Jones. Kirk Franklin did not perform as he was in Africa, but did give thanks and praised the show for its contributions to gospel music, and him.

The night concluded with a tribute to Steve Harvey, who has hosted the celebration since its inception. Harvey was introduced by “The View’s” Sherri Shepard.

Others showing their appreciation to Harvey included Dr. Phil, Mo’Nique, Bishop T.D. Jakes, the cast of the “Today Show,” Barbara Walters and Franklin.

Pastor and singer Donnie McClurkin brought Harvey to tears when he told the comedian how he has changed people’s lives since hosting the show.

“I look back on this and 10 years ago I was coming off the Kings of Comedy tour and they asked me to host the Celebration of Gospel. I was surprised. Everyone was surprised. Ten years later I’m better. I ain’t the same,” Harvey said.

Just as Harvey is getting better, so is BET’s Celebration of Gospel.

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