Published on May 17th, 2019 | by Landon Buford0
The Gospelfest Touches Down In The Tri-State
NEWARK, NJ) — The 37th Annual McDonald’s Gospelfest returned to the Prudential Center on Saturday, May 11 for the gospel event of the year. This year’s event honored and celebrated the life and legacy of the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin with an All-Star cast along with her family members.
The 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm part of the evening featured rising stars competition for all ages and cultures in categories including Soloists, Choirs, Praise Dancers, Singing Groups, Gospel Comedians, Gospel Poets, and Gospel Rappers. The gospel concert started a little late around 7:15 with Fred Hammond opening the concert and got the audience on their feet right away. Stars including Yolanda Adams, renowned Bishop Hezekiah Walker, and The First Lady of Gospel Pastor Shirley Caesar all sang a few of their award-winning hits for the crowd. Newly added to the lineup Tamar Braxton sang “Be Grateful.” Tamar dedicated the performance to her late niece Lolo Braxton who recently passed.
McDonald’s New York Tri-State Area Owners tapped Emmy Award winner A. Curtis Farrow for the 19th consecutive year. “For 37 years, New York Tri-State Area McDonald’s has been giving back to the gospel community and we appreciate it.” Curtis Farrow said. “In my 19 years of producing this spectacular event, I must say I couldn’t be more excited about this year’s line-up. This is our 37th year featuring talent from all ages and backgrounds, and I’m so excited!”
Over thirty years later, it has become the nation’s preeminent Gospel celebration, bringing joy, inspiration, encouragement and hope to millions that attended the concert. It was a special night for Franklin’s family receiving several accommodations and citation on the evening. The Mayor of Newark, New Jersey Ras Baraka even cited the “Queen of Soul” for her longevity and contribution to the civil right movement.