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Avidity Awards to spotlight independent artists, record labels

The accomplishments of independent artists and record labels will be highlighted during the 7th Annual Avidity Awards at the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts and Education on October 13-15.

Social media influencers Aldren McClullar of “The Aldren Brand” and Marquis Jelks of “Church Stuff” were tapped to host the Gospel music event.

“There’s very little doubt that Gospel music has been tremendously influenced and enhanced by the creative genius of independent artists,” said Derrick Huggins, founder and CEO of The Elite Gospel Music & Ministry Academy (TEGMMA) and Avidity TV.

Derrick Huggins, founder/CEO, The Elite Gospel Music & Ministry Academy (TEGMMA) and Avidity TV.

“The Avidity Awards will continue to amplify the Gospel through musical expressions emanating from our outstanding community of independent artists.” 

Hasan James, CEO of Pennsylvania-based Root Magazine, will host the official Pre-Show Indie Artist Showcase, along with Gospel artists Michelle Prather and Dr. James Mable Jr.  

An array of independent Gospel music artists, groups and spiritual leaders were assembled for the main show. Scheduled performers include L. Spenser Smith, Gia Wyre, Half Mile Home, Semaje, Maurice Griffin, Chris Wesley and Undignified Praise, and Marshetta Parker.

Zak Williams (& 1AKORD) of Philadelphia leads this year’s nominations with five. Singer Kim Person received four nominations. For the complete list of the 2022 nominees, visit https://bit.ly/3T36M7G.

The Avidity Awards also recognize top Gospel music executives, professionals, and ministry leaders.

Industry Vanguard Awards will be presented to Debra “Snoopy” Hanna, Eboni Funderburk, Benita Bellamy Kelley, Damon Stewart, Patrick Noble Allen, Carlos Hale, and Ron Briggs.

Radio Vanguard honorees include Anna Johnson (WFLT 1420AM Radio – Flint), Tracy Bethea (Hallelujah 95.7FM – Memphis), Tracy Morgan (Rejoice Musical Soulfood), Dr. Sctonda Kelly-Gordon (WNRR Gospel – Augusta), Cedric Bailey (Rejoice Musical Soulfood), Robyn McCullum (Reach Gospel Radio/Black Gospel Radio), and Sherry Mackey (Hallelujah 100.3FM – Mobile).

4 The Culture Honors will be presented to Jay Williams (Indie One Network) and radio and label executives Those Baxters.

Ministry Vanguard honorees are Bishop Linwood Dillard, Jr. (Citadel of Deliverance), and Dr. Bartholomew Orr (Brown Missionary Baptist Church).

Darrel Petties and Billy Rivers will receive the Music Vanguard honors, and the Leading Lady in Business honor will go to Telisa Franklin.

Artists and aspiring music professionals will have an opportunity to learn more about the music business during the multi-day event.

On Saturday (Oct. 15) at 10 a.m., the Indie Artist Helpdesk will take place in partnership with the Memphis Collective of Music & Arts, an affiliate of The Gospel Industry Network (The G.I.N.). Topics include grant writing for artists, gospel radio and promotions, and the fundamentals of music.

For a complete schedule and tickets, visit TheAvidityAwards.com.


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