“This has been a long time coming,” says Bryan Andrew Wilson who was 14 years old when he was first nominated for a Stellar Award in1996 for his debut solo album “Bryan’s Songs” (Malaco) which was produced by gospel heavyweights John P. Kee, Walter Hawkins and a very young Kirk Franklin. “It was a big deal, I dressed up in a tuxedo and got to perform on the TV show. It was a lot of fun.”

Last week, Wilson’s Billboard No. 1 song “Overflow” which features the dynamic group, Roderick Giles & Grace, earned him his first Stellar Award nominations in two decades, one for Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year and another for Best Duo or Group of the Year.

Back in the 1990s, Wilson made a splash leading “His Eye is on the Sparrow” with the Mississippi Children’s Choir. His dazzling high notes made him a vocal sensation. The choir’s album sold 100,000 units and the YouTube video now has millions of views. He shared stages with M.C. Hammer, Montell Jordan and Tia & Tamera Mowry. There was talk of a “Sparrow” mashup with Lauryn Hill and he even auditioned for Penny Marshall when she was directing the film, “The Preacher’s Wife,” starring Whitney Houston. “She grabbed my face and said, `look at those cheeks,” Wilson laughs. Then, his voice changed, “And I thought my life was over because I couldn’t hit the high notes anymore. Audiences would boo me.  I developed acne and people called me ugly. It was a rough time.”

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