BET’s Celebration of Gospel 2013 leads into new series “The Sheards”

It’s an especially spiritual Sunday on BET on April 7 as the network airs the annual Celebration of Gospel 2013, followed by the premiere of the new docu-series The Sheards, which follows the lives of the popular Detroit-based family of gospel singers.

Celebration of Gospel 2013
The evening of April 7 kicks off at 8pm ET/PT with Celebration of Gospel 2013, hosted by Steve Harvey and taped March 16, 2013, at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles. Musical director Ray Chew and his 24-piece orchestra are on hand as this annual tribute to the rich history of gospel music features musical performances and spoken-word segments by both mainstream and gospel personalities.

Celebration of Gospel 2013 performances include:

* Actor Tyrese Gibson and Sunday Best title-holder and Grammy winner Le’Andria Johnson performing a gospel rendition of the Donny Hathaway ballad “A Song for You” (pictured)
* Tamar Braxton singing the Walter Hawkins-penned classic “Be Grateful”
* Anita Baker joining Donnie McClurkin to perform Baker’s 1987 hit “Ain’t No Need to Worry,” originally performed with The Winans
* Smokie Norful performing his new song, “Say So,” with help from his 9-year-old son Ashton
* Kurt Carr and the Kurt Carr Singers leading a tribute to the Rev. James Cleveland performing “Lord Help Me to Hold Out,” followed by the original James Cleveland singers performing “Lord Do It” and “No Ways Tired”
* Sunday Best winner Joshua Rogers singing “Peace Be Still”
* Donnie McClurkin singing “God Is”
*Actress Viola Davis delivering a spoken-word selection

Other performances at Celebration of Gospel 2013 include Pastor Shirley Caesar, Yolanda Adams, Tye Tribbett, Tamela Mann, Karen Clark Sheard and Kierra Sheard, Dorinda Clark Cole, Israel Houghton with Jason Nelson, Jonathan Butler & New Breed, Anthony Brown & Group Therapy and Charles Jenkins and Fellowship Chicago featuring Jessica Reedy, Isaac Carree, Da T.R.U.T.H. and Canton Jones.

Celebration of Gospel 2013 premieres April 7 at 8pm ET/PT on BET.

The Sheards
Following Celebration of Gospel 2013 on April 7, at 10pm ET/PT on BET, is the debut of the new reality series The Sheards. The Sheards profiles the Detroit-based family of gospel superstars: gospel icon Karen Clark Sheard, part of the legendary Clark Sisters; her husband Bishop J. Drew, a mega-church pastor in Detroit; and their children, Stellar Award winner and Grammy-nominated gospel singer Kierra Sheard and producer J. Drew Sheard star in the hourlong series. Told through the eyes of Kierra Sheard and J. Drew Sheard, The Sheards follows the group as they navigate family, friends and faith in a secular world.

The first season of The Sheards looks at 24-year-old Kierra Sheard as she begins to break out of her family’s shadow to find more mainstream success with her own unique voice. J. Drew Sheard, 22, is focused on being the next big hit-making secular producer, which goes directly against his family’s wishes. Karen Clark Sheard is balancing being a preacher’s wife, gospel star and doting mother, while Bishop J. Drew is preparing to run for a higher office within his International Church of God in Christ denomination.

The Sheards premieres April 7 at 10pm ET/PT on BET. Starting April 14, the series airs Sundays at 8pm ET/PT.


Celebration of Gospel 2013: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET

The Sheards: Courtesy of BET