The Best of the Best: The 2013 Texas Gospel Music Excellence Awards

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Best of the Best: The 2013 Texas Gospel Music Excellence Awards was an event to remember! Here are some of the highlights from the awards show.


The 2013 Texas Gospel Music Excellence Awards were held on January 26, 2013 at the Marriott Hotel in Dallas, TX. The awards recognize the top talent in the Christian and Gospel music industry in the state of Texas. This year’s winners are listed below.

Best Artist: James Fortune & FIYA
Best Group: James Fortune & FIYA
Best New Artist: Tye Tribbett
Best Male Vocalist: James Fortune
Best Female Vocalist: Deitrick Haddon
Best Song of the Year: “I Believe” – James Fortune & FIYA
Best Album of the Year: Identity – James Fortune & FIYA


The prestigious TEXAS GOSPEL MUSIC EXCELLENCE AWARDS were created to recognize and honor individuals or groups who have made a significant contribution to the Texas Gospel music industry. The Awards are held annually in different cities throughout Texas.

Best New Artist

The criteria for this award are as follows: This artist must have released his/her first project within the past two years and can be from any genre of Gospel music.

The 2013 nominees for Best New Artist are:
-The Anointed Fulton Brothers
-Bryan Andrew & Truth
-Clinton Jones
-Darwin Hobbs
-Jason Nelson

Best Traditional Artist

The 2013 Texas Gospel Music Excellence Awards were held on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at the Jack Yates Senior High School Performing Arts Auditorium in Houston, Texas. This award show is one of the most prestigious events in the state of Texas that recognizes unsigned and independent artists in the genre of Gospel music. This year’s show was hosted by Minister Rodney Rice and his co-host Lisa Knowles-Smith. The line-up of artist who performed were some of the hottest artist in Gospel music today.

The nominees for Best Traditional Artist were:
-Bishop John M. Kinslow II & Greater New Birth Spiritual Aires
-Melvin Crispell III & New Vision
– Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
– great Independent Quartets of America
The winner of this category was Melvin Crispell III & New Vision.

Best Contemporary Artist

The nominees for Best Contemporary Artist are:
-Brian Courtney Wilson
-Jonathan McReynolds
-Kirk Franklin
-Tasha Cobbs
-Tye Tribbett

Best Male Artist

This year’s top male artists include:
-Jermaine Dolly
– James Fortune
– Jason Nelson
– Kirk Franklin

Best Female Artist

This year’s Best Female Artist is up-and-comer Lena Byrd-Lewis. Hailing from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Lena released her first album in 2012 and has been making a name for herself ever since. With a voice that is both soulful and powerful, she is quickly becoming one of the most promising young artists in the genre.

Best Group

This year’s nominees for Best Group are:
-The Fishermen
-The Anointed Voices of Praise
-The Gospel Soul Children
-Harmony in the Summit

Best Choir

The Lincoln HeightsFINE ARTS QUARTET Revival Choir out of Los Angeles took home the top prize in the Best Choir category. The 100-member+ group is directed by Dr. Dorsey and has toured internationally.

Best Song

The following are the nominees for best song:
“Call Jesus”, written by Donna Jackson and Roderick Vee and performed by the New Birth Spiritual Baptist Cathedral Mass Choir
“I Am That I Am”, written by Lisa Knowles and performed by the Brown Singers
“New Season”, written and performed by James Fortune & FIYA
“No Greater Love”, written by Smokie Norful and Tim Miner and performed by theNorful
“Yes You Can”, written by Charles Jenkins and performed by Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago


In closing, the 2013 Texas Gospel Music Excellence Awards was a grand event celebrating the best in gospel music. The artists who received awards are all extremely talented and deserving of the recognition. If you missed the event, be sure to check out the recordings or videos that are sure to be released in the near future. And, if you’re in Texas, make plans now to attend next year’s awards show!

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