The Album of the Year nominees in Gospel are:
- The Experience by Vanessa Bell Armstrong
- In Spite of Me by Michelle Bonilla
- Declare Your Name by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
- Get Ready by Forever Jones
- Triumphant by VaShawn Mitchell
- Aaron Sledge by Aaron Sledge
- Light up the Dark by The Washington Projects
Four nominations wowed the judges in the first round setting up a four way final round. The Experience was enjoyable, but lacked "pop" in certain places. Michelle Bonilla was a little bit R&B, a little bit Gospel, a little bit rock, but in spite of that, it just missed the cut. And not to hit it too hard, but Aaron Sledge also just missed being a contender. Of the four entries that remained, the early favorite seemed to be the always reliable Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, but debut artists Forever Jones and VaShawn Mitchell were making strong cases themselves. Would the vote get split, allowing dark horse The Washington Projects take the win?
And the Winner of the Best Gospel/R&B Album of the Year is:
Declare Your Name - Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
Sometimes there is no substitute for experience. Such is the case in Gospel this year. As I explained in previous posts, it all comes down to the wow. Two choirs made the second round of voting (though only one is officially credited). In the end, though VaShawn Mitchell made a strong his debut, his choir didn't. I think things will be looking up for him in the future. Plus VaShawn is also in consideration for Male Vocalist of The Year and New Artist of The Year. This was the last chance, however, for The Washington Projects, having already been shut out of the Dance Awards. The brother-sister duo is more R&B than Gospel among all the nominees. However, at the last they failed to make the grade. Je'kob Washington, one half of the group, is up for the 2011 Awards with his debut Minor Setbacks for Major Comeups, so I think it is a fair assumption that we shall see more from this duo in the future.
In the end it came down to The Choir versus the Family That Sounds like a choir, and maybe it wasn't so much experience as volume, as the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir simply blew the competition off the stage with the force of their sound. This is not the last we will hear from Forever Jones, for they are still up for Artist and New Artist of the Year in the General Field Awards. Regardless of how they do, rest assured, we will see a lot more from this family in the days and years ahead.
Four Categories have been awarded, and six more remain, and there is still the General Field. Up next is Alternative at the top of the next hour.