Often awards shows are filled with debauchery and highly sexual, secular messages with only a mention of Gospel artists or their positive messages, but that was not the case with last weekend’s BET Experience and Awards weekend.
African American people are spiritual by nature and this is reflected in all aspects of our music and culture. BET respects this fact and welcomed Gospel artist Kirk Franklin and his show ‘Sunday Best’ to LA Live and Club Nokia.
‘Sunday Best’ featured unknown and unsigned Gospel artists from around the country who displayed their abilities in front of BET’s international audience. Gospel is the type of music that allows the normal folks to shine, as demonstrated by local artist Danielle ‘Dani B.’ Burton who stepped up at Franklin’s request and blew the crowd away with her powerful rendition of "Encourage Yourself" by Donald Laurence.
“Kirk made me feel really comfortable,” said Burton. “He joked around for a couple of minutes, then he asked me what I would like to sing.” Then, Franklin went back behind an electronic keyboard and accompanied Burton to the delight of the crowd.
Winners from past seasons graced the stage with expressive selections. Among the past show winners were Season 4 winner Amber Bollock, the youngest winner Joshua Rogers and Season 3 winner Le'Andria Johnson. Established artists also performed such as Karen Clark-Sheard along with daughter, Kierra Sheard of BET’s ‘The Sheards,’ who sang ‘Indescribable.’
New York Minister Donnie McClurkin gave a rousing, off the script, sermon about being religious and being spiritual. “This God is not that,” he said, “This God is greater than we portray Him to be. He’s greater than the segregation on every Sunday. We don’t know God separated. We have falsely advertised the building as the church.”
McClurkin went on to explain how religious separation has distorted the true idea of what God is, and therefore, changed the course of what the ‘church’ has become as an institution.
In essence, the BET Experience weekend was capped off by the praise and worship of ‘Sunday Best,’ asking for blessings for the 13th Annual BET Awards taping, and its red carpet ceremonies that began immediately following the show’s ending.
For more information on ‘Sunday Best,’ go to http://www.bet.com/shows/bet-awards/bet-experience/stages/gospel-stage.html.