By Grelan Muse Sr.
Inside The Pew
The musical celebration begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Lakefront Arena on the campus of the University of New Orleans, 6801 Franklin Ave. in New Orleans.
Slated to perform at the NFL-sanctioned event are some of the best gospel artists today, including Donnie McClurkin, Bishop Paul S. Morton, LeCrea, Pastor Marvin Winans, and Fantasia Barrino. Kirk Franklin will serve as host of the music portion, with “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd as MC for the event. Also, the audience will be treated to performances featuring the sixth annual NFL Players Choir. The 40-member ensemble includes current and former players and coaches. The choir allows NFL players who are Christians to share their love for Him in song. Past participants have included Donovan McNabb, Kurt Warner, Cris Carter, Darrell Green, Deion Sanders, John Elway, and Lovie Smith.
Melanie Few Harrison, creator and producer of the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration, announced Jan. 28 the celebration will feature a tribute to Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis as the second Lifetime of Inspirations award winner. Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy is the only other winner of the prestigious award, as he was present the award in 2009.
“His (Ray Lewis) accomplishments and triumphs have inspired football fans, teammates and colleagues – a true representation of what the essence of the convergence of faith and football is all about,” Harrison said. “As a big supporter of the event, Ray Lewis has attended many Super Bowl Gospel Celebrations and sang in the NFL Players Choir, so we are beyond thrilled to honor him in what is sure to be a memorable year.”