In December 2010, the nominees for the 2011 GRAMMY Awards were announced. The GRAMMY Awards were handed out on February 13, 2011, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and was broadcast live on CBS at 8 P.M ET/PT. And of course our favorite gospel and Christian contemporary artist were also present at the event

We didn’t get TV time again as usual but it was all good and fab. It was interesting to see a couple of fresh CCM (christian contemporary music) artist nominated this year at the Grammys such as the amazing Gospel family band ‘Forever Jones’ ( who got a nomination with their hit track ‘ He wants it all) and new comer Aaron sledge.

Below are the winners, nominees and of also my opinion in each category.

Best Gospel Performance
“Grace” – BeBe & CeCe Winans – Track from: Still – WINNER

“He Wants It All” – Forever Jones – Track from: Get Ready

“You Hold My World” – Israel Houghton – Track from: Love God. Love People.

“Nobody Greater” – Vashawn Mitchell – Track from: Triumphant

“He’s Been Just That Good” – Kirk Whalum & Lalah Hathaway – Track from: The Gospel According To Jazz Chapter III

Okay, Cece and Bebe can have this since it’s in the gospel genre but still I’m looking for Donnie McClurkin’s ‘Purple’ on this list. If I were to choose, I think Forever Jone’s ‘He wants it all’ is such a deep song. My point of view!

Best Gospel Song
“It’s What I Do” – Jerry Peters & Kirk Whalum, songwriters – WINNER
Performed by Kirk Whalum & Lalah Hathaway. Track from: The Gospel According To Jazz Chapter III

“Beautiful Things” – Lisa Gungor & Michael Gungor, songwriters
Performed by Gungor. Track from: Beautiful Things

“Better Than A Hallelujah” – Sarah Hart & Chapin Hartford, songwriters
Performed by Amy Grant. Track from: Somewhere Down The Road

“Our God” – Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Jesse Reeves & Chris Tomlin, songwriters
Performed by Chris Tomlin. Track from: Passion: Awakening

“Return To Sender” – Gordon Kennedy, songwriter
Performed by Ricky Skaggs. Track from: Mosaic

I was rooting for Amy’s ‘Better than a Hallelujah’ but oops she didn’t get it.

Best Rock Or Rap Gospel Album

Hello Hurricane by Switchfoot – WINNER

Church Music by David Crowder Band

For Those Who Wait by Fireflight

Beautiful Things by Gungor

Rehab by Lecrae

Why do they always have to do this. Combine rock and rap? Hello hurricane was a good one but Lecrae shouldn’t have been in this group in the first place and he deserves a win too.

Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album

Love God. Love People. by Israel Houghton – WINNER

Beauty Will Rise by Steven Curtis Chapman

Pieces Of A Real Heart by Sanctus Real

Mosaic by Ricky Skaggs

Tonight by tobyMac

I didnt hear any thing pop on Israel’s new Abbey road recording ( LGLP) and it’s not what I would call a new sound either it’s the usual Israel and new breed style. I wouldn’t have chosen any of these albums. Toby Mac’s Tonight was just too repetitive in sound and music style and Sanctus Real and Steven Curtis’ latest offerings lean more to the soft rock side. It would have been a better competition if artist like Natalie Grant, Britt Nicole and Brandon Heath where nominated in the category.

Best Southern, Country, Or Bluegrass Gospel Album

The Reason by Diamond Rio – WINNER –

Times Like These by Austins Bridge

Expecting Good Things by Jeff & Sheri Easter

Journey On by Ty Herndon

Live At Oak Tree: Karen Peck & New River by Karen Peck & New River

Why isn’t Jonny Lang’s Live at the Ryman not nominated in this category?

Best Traditional Gospel Album

Downtown Church by Patty Griffin – WINNER

The Experience by Vanessa Bell Armstrong

A City Called Heaven by Shirley Caesar

Here I Am by Marvin Sapp

All In One by Karen Clark Sheard

ALL IN ONE baby! That album was so sick! Karen should have gotten this.

Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album

Still by BeBe & CeCe Winans – WINNER

Get Ready by Forever Jones

Love Unstoppable by Fred Hammond

Triumphant by VaShawn Mitchell

Aaron Sledge by Aaron Sledge

I think Bebe and Cece have a reputation which worked for them in this year’s awards. ‘Still’ was a good album no doubt with hard work written over it. In fact it’s first single ‘Close to You’ was on the billboard charts for quite a while but it just sounded strained in my ears. The album struggles with too much genres that just didn’t fit the Bebe and Cece vintage style. That said, I would have chosen Aaron Sledge. His album sounded more contemporary and R&B.

Christian contemporary artists lately have really been doing a good job producing refined and good music in all genres.
My opinion: if the music academy (which puts together the Grammys) is after the expression of the real artist and giving them the platform to express themselves with their music then why are these folks (CCM artists) kept in a box of pre  proper awards and not giver a chance like the rest such as Rihanna, Miranda Lambert, Arcade Fire, Lady Antebullum and Lady Gaga. This is their own expression. Why should they be boxed up? Dear Grammy, I look forward to an award ceremony where Sanctus Real is competing in a category  head- on with Muse, Ambassador with Drake, and Beckah Shae having a life performance with Toby Mac. Dear Grammy, in all fairness I can’t wait.


by Ayomide Akinkugbe

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