Tue | Nov 29, 2022

Sterling Gospel Music Awards returns to the physical stage

Published:Saturday | September 24, 2022 | 12:08 AM
Basillia Barnaby-Cuff, director of the Sterling Gospel Music Awards, welcomed attendees to the 2019 staging.
Basillia Barnaby-Cuff, director of the Sterling Gospel Music Awards, welcomed attendees to the 2019 staging.
Sterling Awards organiser Basillia Barnaby-Cuff (fifth right) is flanked by the 2019 winners and legend honourees (from left) Robert Green from The Anointed Musicianz and Singers; two representatives from Image Jamaica; The Martin’s Heritage sisters; Jim
Sterling Awards organiser Basillia Barnaby-Cuff (fifth right) is flanked by the 2019 winners and legend honourees (from left) Robert Green from The Anointed Musicianz and Singers; two representatives from Image Jamaica; The Martin’s Heritage sisters; Jim Radical; Rhoda Isabella; Rondell Positive; Stitchie; Ava Gay Blair; Tommy Cowan and Carlene Davis.
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Back with a bang after two years of being virtual, the annual Sterling Gospel Music Awards (SGMA) showcase, takes the centrestage, live on the physical stage at a new location in Kingston, come October 8. The Ambassadors on Hagley Park Road has been named the new home of Sterling.

In keeping with national COVID-19 protocols, the annual gospel awards show was forced to pivot its ‘Grammy-style’ red-carpet event to television and radio in 2020 and 2021, with a record of over one million people tuning in each year.

Founder and organiser of the event, Basillia Barnaby-Cuff, expressed her enthusiasm regarding the show’s return to the physical stage and shared what the show truly means to her.

“The Sterling Awards is not only an event for me, but a passion that drives my pursuit of ensuring that excellence encapsulates every aspect of our execution each year. From a little church hall in Mandeville in 2017 to recording over 1.2 million people tuning into our TV and radio broadcasts in the height of the pandemic, Sterling continues to showcase unmatched excellence. As we gear up for year six, it is my vision to make Sterling a globally recognised brand and household name, an event people can look forward to each year. This year, we are just so happy to see everyone in person and come October 8, they can expect a wonderful night of excellence as usual, in terms of production and soul-stirring music.”

The show, dubbed the ‘Caribbean’s premier awards ceremony for the gospel community”, continues to support creativity and reward exceptional contributions to the gospel music industry in Jamaica. This year’s sixth staging is no different and will also incorporate Jamaica”s 60th Diamond Jubilee celebrations by focusing on excellence in the industry over the past six decades.

A segment of the programme will honour veterans, outstanding contributors to the industry, with a special award for demonstrating excellence in musicianship.

The series of events leading up to the SGMA included the oficial media launch on September 15 and will also include an All-White Nominee Lyme on Friday, October 7, and finally the long-awaited Red Carpet Awards Ceremony on Saturday, October 8, preceding the live ceremony on the same night.

The event organisers have also made special arrangements to accommodate ticket holders from its 2020 staging, who unfortunately had to resort to the virtual platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a public service announcement issued via their social media outlets, the SGMA planning team stated, “We are grateful that in 2020, right before the pandemic hit, you had all intentions of celebrating with us for that year’s staging. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, and we are thankful for your understanding over the past two years, as we excitedly anticipated the return of a physical staging. For our 2022 staging, your ticket remains valid, and we would love to have you in attendance.”