BET network’s “Celebration of Gospel” still has the power to touch lives after 14 years, which is evident by the record-breaking ratings that recently surfaced.
Nielsen Company reports that “Celebration of Gospel” was viewed by an average of 2.6 million total viewers last Sunday, making the 14th annual show the biggest in franchise history. While the show continues to be the no. 1 gospel telecast on television for 14 consecutive years, it has been named the number one Sunday Special on cable television among adults ages 18-49 this year.
Despite the fact that loyal viewers witnessed a new host this year in actress Taraji P. Henson, they tuned in to make the 14th annual “Celebration of Gospel” the most watched in history. Henson was confident in fulfilling her duties as the show’s host, telling The Christian Post that she was not trying to fill previous host Steve Harvey’s shoes.
“Anybody that follows me, that knows me– knows that I love the Lord and I’m not afraid to say it. I’m not afraid to tweet it, I’m not afraid to talk about it in the interviews. So it just made sense,” Henson said. “I wasn’t trying to fill Steve Harvey’s shoes, they’re too big. I like my shoes. I just was myself.”
The show’s annual gospel celebration included powerful performances from singers Charlie Wilson, Erica Campbell, Yolanda Adams, Tasha Cobs, India.Arie, Tamela Mann, Kem, SWV and Candice Glover among others. Henson was happy with the way some of the secular artists could fit in with some of the greatest voices in gospel music to worship God.
“What I particularly love about this show is they combine secular artists with gospel artists and the fact that most of the secular artist grew up in the church,” Henson said. “They know all of the songs, they have the soulful voices, just like the gospel singers in church had.”
“Celebration of Gospel” will re-air Thursday, April 10 at 8 p.m. ET.