Although it’s been several days, the DMV is still abuzz about the night of celebration that ten-time Stellar Award winner Anthony Brown held in the DMV this past weekend. The lines literally wrapped around inside the sanctuary at First Baptist Church of Glenarden. Once the seats were filled, attendees were sent to the overflow room.
Many came expecting to celebrate Anthony Brown & group therAPy on their ten wins, but they got more than that. Dubbed, ‘Celebrating Hometown Heroes,” Brown turned the tables and instead of taking accolades himself, he humbly gave back by honoring those who are making a difference in the DMV and making their mark musically.
The Stellar Service Award was given to several very surprised artists, including James Murphy, Andre ‘Dre’ Jones, Buddy Lakins. Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church was recognized for 30 years of service. FBCG’s Linda Plater was recognized with a Stellar Service Award for her gift of administration. The Who’s Next Award went to Charles Butler & Trinity, Brittney Wright, Jarmel Evans, Jeremiah Hicks and Whitney Jackson. Radio One was honored and Program Director Ron Thompson accepting the award.
The night was filled with top artists in the DMV area including Maurette Brown Clark, JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise and VaShawn Mitchell. Rising artists Tim Bowman Jr., Charles Butler & Trinity, Brittney Wright, Jarmel Evans, Jeremiah Hicks and Whitney Jackson all took to the stage during the night that was filled with celebration.
One of the most touching parts of the evening was the tribute to gospel great Richard Smallwood who was given the Living Legend Award and a musical tribute by his ensemble Vision.
When all was said and done, Brown and group therAPy took to the stage singing many of their hits, including “Testimony” and “Worth.” He gave an altar call at the end and many came forward.
In a backstage interview with the DC Gospel Music Examiner, Brown talked about why he feels it’s important to be a servant:
“Everybody’s pathway is different. For me, I just really believe in servitude that God made me come through the doors of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden where I could work and serve and learn some very valuable important lessons. I’m so grateful because sometimes you think you are ready for something but god has a great follow the yellow brick road type of plan for your life you will end up at the Emerald City, but you’ve got to follow the path. I think it’s important to serve because that’s what we’re called to do. We’re not called to be artists. That’s not even in the Bible. He has called us to be servants; he called us to be worshippers; that’s why it’s important to me. He said to always make that the main focus and all this other stuff, He said he’ll add to you. You know the Bible says ‘if you just seek me first, everything else, I’m just going to add it to you.’ So it’s all an add-on but the main thing is servitude.”
During intermission, the video for the group’s latest song, “Miss You” was played. Brown shared how the song came to be:
“The song is really close to my heart. It’s all in my business; it basically just talks about not forgetting the gift-giver for sake of the gift. Not being so distracted by what’s going on around you that you forget about Him. In my head I saw a huge service and Jesus just sitting on the side, just waiting for someone to give him some shine. That’s what my visual was for the song. He’s the point of it all. That’s the mission.”
It definitely appears that Brown is not missing God as he showed his servant’s heart in a big way. When asked how Brown has changed musically over the years, his mentor, Maurette Brown Clark said this about the singer, “The world is playing catchup to what I heard years ago from what they were singing years ago one they’re singing it today. I’m like oh yeah, they’ve been singinglike that for years and now you all are just hearing it. I don’t think he’s changed; I just think now the world has its ears open to hear him.”
“Stellabration” will go down as one of the most significant nights in DMV music history. By the way, Brown has already announced plans for another “Stellarbration” next year!
We will all be anxiously waiting.