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Performers and Honorees Announced For 7th Annual AVIDITY AWARDS

The 7th Annual Avidity Awards is coming to Memphis, Tennessee, October 13-15, 2022, at the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts and Education. Social media influencers Aldren McClullar of “The Aldren Brand” and Marquis Jelks of “Church Stuff” are on tap to host one of the biggest nights in Gospel music, celebrating the accomplishments of independent artists and record labels.

Derrick Huggins, Founder and CEO of The Elite Gospel Music & Ministry Academy (TEGMMA) and Avidity TV announces the collaboration with Root Magazine and the launch of their all-new Root Indie Magazine. Root Indie Magazine has been named the official magazine of the Avidity Awards. CEO and Founder of Root Magazine, Hasan James will host the official Pre-Show Indie Artist Showcase along with Gospel artists Michelle Prather and Dr. James Mable, Jr.

The Avidity Awards has assembled an array of independent Gospel music artists, groups, and spiritual leaders for an explosive evening of great performances and excitement! L. Spenser Smith, Gia Wyre, Half Mile Home, Semaje, Maurice Griffin, Chris Wesley and Undignified Praise, and Marshetta Parker have been added to the dynamic list of show performers. Leading nominations this year is award-winning choirmaster Zak Williams (& 1AKORD) of Philadelphia, PA, with five nominations, and singer Kim Person with four nominations. For the complete list of the 2022 nominees, click here.

The Avidity Awards not only honors artists and record labels but also recognizes the nation’s 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 powerhouse 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.

In addition to the awards show, The Avidity Awards offers artists and aspiring music professionals an opportunity to learn more about the music business. The Indie Artist Helpdesk will take place on Saturday, October 15, at 10AM. The Indie Artist Helpdesk is in partnership with the Memphis Collective of Music & Arts, an affiliate of The Gospel Industry Network (The G.I.N.). In this session, attendees will engage in topics including Grant Writing For Artists, Gospel Radio and Promotions, The Fundamentals of Music, and more.

For a complete schedule and tickets, visit

Sarah Hearn
the authorSarah Hearn is a music news magazine that is quickly becoming the premier destination and trusted source for gospel music, news and information. The site covers all genres of gospel and inspirational music, including Contemporary Christian and Christian rap/hip-hop. The mission is to provide news and information on a positive note. Sarah Hearn CEO and Editor in Chief Sarah Hearn is founder/Editor-in-Chief of She is a dedicated journalist, who believes her audience deserves more original reporting than repetitive content, Sarah founded to provide readers with the latest music news, concerts, reviews, and interviews with top ranking Christian/Gospel artists and emerging artists. Widely known for her on-the-scene reporting, her coverage includes the GMA Dove Awards, the Stellar Awards, Grammys on the Hill, Gospel Music Heritage Month Celebration Concert, McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour, St. Jude Celebration of Hope, Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference and many more. Sarah participates in weekly White House Faith and Community Engagement calls where she gathers information relevant for dissemination to the Gospel and faith community. She recently launched the podcast, “On A Positive Note with Sarah Hearn” available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other platforms. For more than five years, Sarah served as the DC Gospel Music Examiner at where the site garnered more than 150,000 readers in the US and around the world. Sarah was named one of the Top Ten Heroes in Gospel Music in the Washington, DC area in 2012 for her extensive coverage, support and commitment to artists within the D.C. metro region. In 2016 she was named Person of the Month by IndiMogul Magazine. The site was recently named among Feedspot’s Top Gospel and Christian Music Websites. Sarah is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Gospel Music Association. Sarah resides in a suburb of Washington, D.C. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @PositiveGospel and readywriter on Instagram For coverage of your next event or to submit a press release for posting consideration, contact Sarah.
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