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Making strides in gospel: Don Jackson, founder of the Stellar Awards, to announce ‘Stellar TV cable network’ 

Jonathan Slocumb, Yolanda Adams, Tramaine Hawkins, Marvin Sapp and Don Jackson at 2016 Stellar Gospel Music Awards – Backstage, Audience and Winners on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, at The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo Courtesy FrontPageCommunications/Central City Productions)Article By Chris Harper // EEW Magazine Gospel News

Share Thousands of gospel music lovers have headed to Las Vegas for this year’s Stellar Awards weekend March 24-25 where the genre’s finest will be awarded for their stellar artistry. But that’s not all fans can look forward to.

According to Don Jackson, founder of the Stellar Awards and chairman of Central City Productions, he will be sharing some extra special news.

“I am especially excited about the announcement we will be making at this year’s show of our Stellar TV cable network,” he told Billboard. The channel is projected to launch later this year and will be dedicated to broadcasting gospel music entertainment, and faith-based programming.

This is a big step forward and one that couldn't come at a better time.

Alhough the Stellar Awards ceremony has come a long way since 1970 and is now known as “The Grammys of Gospel,” Jackson admits he still has difficulty convincing major broadcast stations to air the show.

But that hasn’t stopped him from finding smart ways to attract more people.

“This year, we are purposely airing [the awards] over Easter weekend, the biggest faith-based holiday in the country to attract an even larger audience,” the visionary leader and entrepreneur said.

Adding a new channel could be the most innovative way to give arists another useful outlet to promote their music and share inspiration with a broader audience base.

GRAMMY® and multiple Stellar Award-winning “Take Me To The King” singer Tamela Mann for one appreciates Jackson’s relentless efforts to expose gospel music to the masses despite the challenges.

“His love for gospel music has helped us expand in the industry like no one else has,” she told Billboard. “We are able to come and celebrate each other’s accomplishments as well as give God the glory. The Stellar Awards have grown, and it gives us something to look forward to every year. It’s like an adult prom!”

The 32nd annual awards show will take place March 25 at the Las Vegas Orleans Arena and will April 9 at 6 p.m. ET on TV One.

RELATED: Anthony Brown sweeps the Stellar Awards with 10 wins

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