Editorial: What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas, Stellar Awards 2016 Edition

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I know they say what happens in Vegas is supposed to stay there, but this isn’t something I can hold in. I attended the Stellar Awards this year for the first time ever, and I must say, it was unforgettable. It was an honor to be surrounded by so many people on fire for Jesus. Aside from that, gospel’s newcomers are brewing up something crazy and bold, and I’m just excited to be able to witness and share it as it happens. Let’s start from the top…

stellar awards 2016 orleans arena

There were about a million (ok, maybe not a million, but a lot of) events leading up to the big show and I had a few one-on-one interviews lined up in between. Todd Dulaney, Carrington Gaines…

I arranged to meet/interview Carrington Gaines, a singer out of Buffalo NY, prior to arriving to Las Vegas for the 2016 Stellar Awards weekend. I was going to catch a cab to his show that Friday but he offered to come scoop me up. In real life. So that was dope. What’s more dope? The pick up turned into an all-day excursion with him and his homie Charles who plays the bass and drums. They call themselves “The Brevs” – I’m not going to tell, but can you guess what it stands for? We hit their showcase, an outlet mall, a suspect buffet, a fashion show featuring new clothing lines from Lonnie Hunter and Dorinda Clark-Cole, and a late night worship experience called “The Chicago Love Project” featuring Jonathan McReynolds, Leon Timbo, Corey Barksdale and more – none of which was planned. We were literally just going with the flow. Round two came Saturday night after the big award show. And mind you, we didn’t even do the interview.

carrington gaines - gospel goodies

This was a solo trip, so on Saturday at the award show, Albert from Alby Entertainment was kind enough to host the red carpet for GospelGoodies.com as I filmed. I normally don’t have these, but I think I had a fan moment when Bobby Jones and Tim Bowman Jr. stopped by. Nothing crazy, just a break where I had to stop and say “you inspire me,” you know? I’ve been watching Bobby Jones ever since I could remember and I just appreciated Tim Bowman’s non-compromising strength when it came to abstinence. Plus, “I’m Good” is the jam! Ran into a few familiar faces like Tiff Joy, uncle Kirk, Janice Gaines, Charles Jenkins and Jonathan McReynolds as well.

Stellar Awards 2016 Red Carpet - gospel goodies

After a quick change, I met back up with the Brevs and we walked the Las Vegas Strip. It was everything you probably think it is, but we were good. Promise.

las vegas strip

I met up with Todd Dulaney on Sunday morning to talk about his upcoming album, A Worshipper’s Heart, and I swear, he’s one of the most outgoing, transparent and humble artists I’ve ever met. Great spirit and so down to earth. Wait til you see the little bit of church we had.

todd dulaney - gospel goodies

Met back up with Carrington and Charles in the afternoon and they had guests: Sunday Best season 7 finalist William Demps and comedian Tim Shrop. I finally got around to sitting down with Carrington – even though by that third day I already knew the answers to most of the questions I asked him – and I talked with Will and Tim as well. We hit one more event where Carrington was performing before calling it another late night.

stellar awards 2016 weekend

Until next time,

AF

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