We’re just days away from one of the biggest nights in gospel music—the 29th Annual Stellar Awards. Hosted by funnyman Rickey Smiley and comedienne Sherri Shepherd, the Stellar Awards will featured powerhouse performances from some of gospel music’s finest, including Kirk Franklin, Erica Campbell, Hezekiah Walker, Tasha Cobbs and Jonathan McReynolds.

Before the Stellar Awards is broadcast live on UP from Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium on Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 7pm ET, we figured we’d throw out our top picks and best predictions on how the awards might shape up in some of the biggest categories of the evening.

First UP……

The Award:  Artist of the Year
The Nominees:  Bishop Paul Morton, Tamela Mann, Tasha Cobbs, Tye Tribbett
The Likely Winner:  Tamela Mann. Her unstoppable hit single, ‘Take Me to the King,’ has served up arguably the most successful run of her career. It’s yielded countless coveted performance spots, lead her to the top of the charts at both radio and retail, and solidified Tamela Mann’s standing as one of gospel music’s most popular female vocalists.
A Strong Contender:  Tye Tribbett. He consistently pushes boundaries and establishes new standards in gospel music, which he did again with his latest, Greater Than. From his high-energy, infectious live performances to his uber-catchy songwriting, Tye Tribbett unleashes his ‘it factor’ whenever he pleases, and everyone has got to pay attention.

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