Hang On Nabs BMI Award For Derrick Starks
The 33rd Annual Stellar Awards weekend will go down as historic for Karew Records recording artists the Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ Choirs. Their Billboard Top 5 debut project GEI Live was nominated in two categories, Contemporary Choir of the Year as well as Song of the Year. Producers J Drew Sheard III and Derrick Starks were all smiles on Friday as Broadcast Music, Incorporated (BMI) Vice Presidents Catherine Brewton and Wardell Malloy celebrated the choir for its number one radio hit, Hang On, receiving BMI’s prestigious Most Performed Song of the Year Award during the annual BMI Luncheon. Hang On was the 5th most played song on the radio during the year 2017. Other top songs included “#YDIA” written by Lucius B. Hoskins; “Better” written by Jason Clayborn; “Father Jesus Spirit” written and performed by Fred Hammond with co-writer Shelton Summons; “God Provides” written by Kirk Franklin; “God’s Grace” written and performed by Luther Barnes; “Never Have to Be Alone” written by Alvin Love III; “Victory Belongs to Jesus” written and performed by Todd Dulaney; “You” written and performed by Jeremy Boyd with co-writer Jermaine Dolly and “You Deserve It” written by David Bloom.
“We didn’t set out to win awards or even to break out at radio, we just wanted to glorify God through our music. The rest was God putting icing and strawberries on the cake”, says Derrick Starks who serves as minister of music for the Detroit based megachurch pastored by Bishop J. Drew Sheard and home of the world-famous Clark Sisters. Starks adds, “I am grateful to God for another opportunity to present music that touches the hearts of people everywhere and gives them hope to hang on for another day. From the ideation stage of the album, we could see the Lord’s hand, leading and directing. This is simply an extension of the music ministry we get every Sunday. Yes, the Clark Sisters are in church every Sunday as their schedule permits, lifting their voices to give God all the glory He is due. The concept video just blew our minds as it has been viewed 5 million times. Hang On is inspired by the preaching and teachings of the greatest spiritual leader I know, Bishop J. Drew Sheard, and he always admonishes us wherever we find ourselves in life to Hang On In There.” Hang On is also a featured track on the Billboard chart-topping WOW Gospel 2018 Compilation series.
Starks shared his joy and congratulated Bishop Paul S. Morton’s Stellar win as his composition, Angels Watching Over Me served as the lead single for the Legacy Live disc. Stellar weekend also afforded radio programmers and personalities a chance to hear new music from his hugely anticipated Derrick Starks Family and Friends Choir project scheduled to be released this Summer. Starks is working now as he prepares a city-wide choir to participate in Detroit’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination with a special event at the Wright Museum of African American History in April.