Local music minister treasures experience at Stellar Awards

Joey Matthews | 4/2/2015, 9:48 p.m.
James Johnson did not win any Stellar Awards in Las Vegas last Saturday night, but he said it was an ...
Mr. Johnson

James Johnson did not win any Stellar Awards in Las Vegas last Saturday night, but he said it was an experience he will forever treasure.

“I had an amazing time,” the minister of music at Cedar Street Baptist Church of God told the Free Press Monday after returning to Richmond. “The outpouring of phone calls, text messages and Facebook posts I received in support from everyone back home in Richmond made me feel like nothing less than a winner.”

“You Alone,” a song co-written by Mr. Johnson, 31, was nominated for six Stellar Awards, including Song of the Year.

Mr. Johnson wrote the verses and ending of the song, which was recorded by the Arkansas Gospel Mass Choir and co-produced by Mr. Johnson on the choir’s 2014 CD by the same name. The song reached No. 1 on Billboard’s chart for gospel songs.

The Stellar Awards recognize the top African-American gospel artists and television and film stars in the nation. The taped show is scheduled for back-to-back airings on TV One at 8 and 10 p.m. on Easter Sunday, April 5.

Mr. Johnson led the choir as it performed the song at a pre-awards show last Friday.

He was still in awe of the stirring performance he and others in the audience witnessed at the awards ceremony when iconic 1990s R&B group Destiny’s Child, including world pop icon Beyoncé, came together for a surprise reunion at the awards show.

As former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams opened the show performing her nominated song, “Say Yes,” Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland slowly turned to face the audience, drawing roars of approval. The trio performed the song together on the music video, which won the Stellar Award for Music Video of the Year.

“It was amazing,” Mr. Johnson said of the group’s performance. “The energy that Beyoncé brought to the stage was overwhelmingly phenomenal.”

Erica Campbell was the night’s big winner, earning six awards, including Artist of the Year, as well as Top Female Vocalist and CD of the Year for “Help.”

Tiffany Joy McGhee’s “Amazing” was named Song of the Year.