NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – This year’s Homecoming Gospel Explosion at Tennessee State University will feature big name stars including TSU alum Dr. Bobby Jones, and gospel sensation Kirk Franklin. Jones will be honored at the Oct. 13 event with a Lifetime Achievement Award, presented in collaboration with the GMA Dove Awards.
Jones won a 1983 Dove Award for his “I’m So Glad I’m Standing Here.”
Franklin, who will make a guest appearance at the Gospel Explosion, will join in presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to his mentor and legendary gospel music innovator, along with the Nashville Super Choir, which Jones founded.
The Gospel Explosion, also featuring TSU’s New Direction Choir, will begin at 6 p.m. in Kean Hall on TSU’s main campus. It is free for students, faculty and staff with TSU ID. General admission is $10.
Other big name stars include JJ Hairston, renowned leader of Youthful Praise choir; Koryn Hawthorne, contemporary gospel singer and finalist in Season 8 of NBC’s singing competition The Voice; and James Fortune, gospel music recording artist, songwriter and producer.
“This is our biggest Gospel Explosion by far this year, with some of the biggest names,” said Frank Stevenson, TSU’s associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students. “To include our proud alumnus Dr. Bobby Jones, and one like Kirk Franklin is quite a milestone for our university. To have Dr. Jones back on campus, to celebrate him during our Homecoming and to honor him, I think it’s going to be a very pivotal moment in the life of Tennessee State University.”
Referred to as the “Ed Sullivan of Gospel Music” and a staunched supporter of TSU, Jones, a Nashville native, is an American gospel music legend, in a career spanning more than 40 years. For 36 years, Jones brought gospel music to a national TV audience with his legendary Sunday morning program “Bobby Jones Gospel.” He gave big breaks to rising stars like Yolanda Adams and Kirk Franklin.
Homecoming week runs from Sunday, Oct. 13, and culminates on Saturday, Oct. 19, with the parade along Jefferson Street, and the football game between TSU and Austin Peay at Nissan Stadium. For more information on Homecoming go to http://www.tnstate.edu/alumni/homecoming/
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Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees. TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee. With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.