GMC will roll out a host of new on-air and digital contents as part of its celebration of Gospel Music Heritage Month in September.
Gospel Music Heritage Month, commemorating gospel music's valuable, long-standing contributions to American culture, was first designated by Congress in 2008 as a result of a push spearheaded by GMC, the Gospel Music Association and The Recording Academy.
Throughout the month, GMC will run themed interstitials in all dayparts with more than three dozen artists, including Amy Grant, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melinda Watts, Byron Cage, Mary Mary, Tye Tribbett, Hezekiah Walker, Toby Mac, J Moss and George Huff, sharing stories describing the role gospel music has played in their lives, as well as the music's broader influence on American culture and the importance of its recognition by Congress.
The network will debut music videos from Casting Crowns, which have won 23 Dove Awards and a Grammy and recorded eight chart-topping category singles, prior to the feature film, Facing the Giants, on Sept. 3 at 8 pm (ET).
The network will premiere concert special, The Gospel Live. Anthony Anderson hosts the event, with appearances from Deitrick Haddon, CeCe Winans, Keith Wilson's Choir, Mary Mary, Martha Munizzi, Hezekah Walker, Kelly Rice, Kierra "Kiki" Sheard and Michah Stampley.
There will also be new episodes of Superfest Sundays at 9 p.m. DeLeon Sheffield, gospel star, Grammy Award nominee and wife of baseball star Gary Sheffield, will host the series. Founded in 2000, the program has become one of the leading TV properties in faith-based inspirational entertainment and the live recording event is a must-stop on the annual gospel events calendar for such notables as Richard Smallwood, J. Moss, Karen Clark Sheard, Hezekiah Walker, Kiki Sheard, Regina Belle, Trin-i-tee 5:7, The Whispers, Mary Mary, Shirley Murdock, Byron Cage, Dorinda Clarke Cole and many more.
Meanwhile, dedicated Web site, http://www.gospelmusicheritage.com, will showcase special Web exclusive performances; programming and videos; interviews with legendary artists who have been instrumental in keeping gospel heritage alive; current and up-and-coming artists discussing their musical influences; and gospel facts, figures and historical nuggets.
During the month, visitors will also find calendars of local gospel concerts and events, as well as Web banners and other materials that can be used to spread information on Gospel Music Heritage Month.
"We are incredibly proud and pleased that Gospel Music Heritage Month has established itself as an annual event to recognize the tremendous impact gospel music has had -- and is still having -- on the music scene in this country," said GMC president Charley Humbard in a statement. "As the home for all things gospel, GMC will once again be in the forefront of the month-long celebration."