Inspiration & Music Conference Pulls In Gospel Industry Heavy Hitters




From (l to rt) Elroy Smith, Cory Condrey, J Moss, Brian Courtney Wilson, Fred Hammond, The Belle and Jeff Roberson


By TBR — Philadelphia, PA – It was a busy weekend for Philadelphia Radio Station, Praise 103.9FM as it played host to some of the top names from the Gospel Industry including Artists and Music Executives.  The 2013 Inspiration & Music Conference along with Elroy Smith, Inspiration Format Director, were truly the drawing cards as Music Heavy Hitters flocked to the city of Brotherly Love for two days of Panel Discussions, Singing Auditions, Music Showcases and serious networking.


The two day conference kicked off on Friday, March 22 at the Yesha Fellowship Hall in South Philadelphia, where 47 acts competed for twelve slots that would be judged on the following night for the final top prize, including a $5,000 cash prized, sponsored by Mr. Kerry Douglas, an all expense paid trip on the upcoming Radio One, One Love Cruise and a song written and produced by James Fortune.


James Fortune, The Belle and Kerry Douglas and the 1200 plus guests who came out to the FREE concert on Friday night


The judges for the Best Inspirational Singer in America were James Fortune, Sheilah Belle ‘The Belle’ and Kerry Douglas.


In the end Angie White from Philadelphia, PA was named the winner.


On Friday night it was the new artist showcase, which was also sprinkled heavily with some of the top names in the Gospel industry. Hosted by Daisy from Praise 103.9, this became a night that many will long remember with performances by Anthony Brown and Group Therapy, who NEVER disappointed, as well as Cheneta Jones, Javen, Gerald Scott, Breeze, Ebony Baskin, Kevin Vassar, Bryon Pound, Jonathan Nelson, Jason Nelson, Vonnie Lopez,  Ethan Kent, David Edwards, Danielle Bryant,  James Ziegler,  Anaysha Figuero, Tamika Patton, Jakalyn Carr, who turned her time on stage into an unforgettable Mini Praise Service, Tarsha McMillian, Livre, Veronica P, Jerri McGhee, Monica Lisa Stevenson, Monique Purcell, Bishop Paul S. Morton, Lexi and J Moss.



J Moss and Vick Mack, The Belle, Anthony Hamilton and his wife who also performed on the new artist Showcas


Also giving a flawless and rare performance without his guitar was Jonathan Butler , as well as Israel Houghton, James Fortune and Jason Nelson, as they performed It’s Not Over.  This was simply Breathtaking! (Go to to see the entire performance)


Wrapping up the night was UT aka the United Tenors with Fred Hammond, Brian Courtney Wilson, Dave Hollister and Jeff Roberson. Brian Courtney Wilson performed one of his top charting songs, before he introduced “His Brothers” who joined him on stage singing their new released.


Truly from the time, Fred Hammond arrived, while also sporting a lighter frame, to the Music Hall and made his way down the center aisle, almost like Moses parting the Red Sea, this is all everyone could talk about until Hammond and his crew would performed.


Brian Courtney Wilson, Dave Hollister, Fred Hammond and Eric Roberson


Needless to say but the 1200 or so who filled Yesha Fellowship Hall stayed until the very end of this Free concert to catch every last note.


Some of the music industry heavy hitters and executives taking up residence in Philly for the weekend included April Washington, Vickie Mack Lataillade, Anthony Hamilton, Jeff Hargrove, Kerry Douglas, Dominique Stroman, Raymel, Tracy Artist, Clyde Duffie, Sheilah Belle ‘The Belle’, Ray Bady, B Jeffrey Grant, Da Truth, D.A. Johnson, Patrick Noble Allen, Uncle G, Marcos, Walter Kerney, Veda Brown and Jason Hardy, just to name a few.


The final day of the conference included morning panel discussions with topics ranging from “All You Need to Know About the Music Business” to being “Single and Saved”.  Panelist included Byron Cage, Kerry Douglas, Jeff Robinson, Dr. Laverne Adams, James Fortune, Kurt Carr and Fred Hammond just to name a few.


The weekend concluded with another heavy hitting headliner concert with Evg. Shirley Caesar, Isaac Carree, William McDowell, VaShawn Mitchell, James Fortune, Martha Munizzi, Pastor Charles Jenkins, Byron Cage, J.J. Hairston, Tamela Mann, the United Tenors and Marvin Sapp.


Truly, this was a great weekend for Gospel Music lovers and Industry heavy hitters to simply get together and do what they do!


Job well done, Elroy Smith and to your entire Praise 103.9 crew!

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