BET's 12th Annual "CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL" Ushers in the Easter Season With a Roof Raising Praise Party Led by Gospel Greats and Secular Superstars on Sunday, April 1 at 8:00 pm*

Mar 06, 2012
By ViacomCBS Staff

BET invites viewers to "Rise Up! Renew! Rejoice!" on Palm Sunday, April 1st at 8 p.m.* for the 12th annual CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL. The highly anticipated music special airs for the first time in its 12 year history during the Easter Season, further enriching the power, meaning and significance of the "Celebration of Gospel." The two-hour special, taped Friday, March 16th at 8 p.m. PT at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, brings together gospel superstars and R&B legends to share the stage in not often seen dynamic and exclusive performances. The #1 Gospel/Religious telecast since its inception** is hosted by best-selling author, veteran comedian and media mogul Steve Harvey.

This year's stellar line-up includes the very best that gospel and secular music has to offer with performances by Gospel greats Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp, The Rance Allen Group, James Fortune & FIYA, 2012 Grammy-award winner Le'Andria Johnson, Jessica Reedy, Earnest Pugh, Isaac Carree, Moses Tyson Jr. Ricky Dillard & New G, Zacardi Cortez and Maurette Brown-Clark plus a special appearance by BET Music Matters artist Mali Music as well as secular artists Grammy and Tony Award-winner Jennifer Holliday, as well R&B sensations Faith Evans, Johnny Gill, Ledisi and Kelly Price. In addition to musical performances, Dr. Bobby Jones, of BET's long-running gospel show BOBBY JONES GOSPEL and actress Wendy Raquel Robinson of the ratings juggernaut THE GAME will deliver moving spoken word selections.

Additionally, two moving tributes are planned in recognition of the life and legacy of the "Mother of Gospel Music," four-time Grammy-award winner, civil rights activist, and vocal powerhouse Mahalia Jackson and to honor the memory of legendary entertainer, Whitney Houston, whose singing gift was anchored in her gospel roots.

Tickets to attend the taping are free to the public on a first-come, first-service basis by submitting a request via betrsvp@bet.net.

CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL is a BET Networks production. Stephen Hill, BET's President of Music Programming and Specials, Lynne Harris Taylor, Vice President of Specials and Music Production and Executive Producer Geovanni Brewer will oversee production. Conductor Ray Chew ("American Idol") returns as the show's musical director.

For up-to-the-minute and archival press information including releases and photographs, visit BET's press-only website at www.betpressroom.com; members of the press can also follow us on Twitter @BET_PR. All red carpet media credential requests should be sent via email to mediacredentials@bet.net.

For additional information on BET's CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL, go to BET.com/celebrationofgospel. Join the conversation on social media by logging on to BET's multiple social media platforms:

On Facebook by liking the fan page at facebook.com/BET

On Twitter by using hashtag: #BET and following us @BETGospel

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*All times are ET/PT.

**Source: The Nielsen Company

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks - BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.

Zabrina Horton
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Keesha Wallace
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