Charlotte, NC — Twenty one-time Stellar Award winner, Pastor John P. Kee received the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award for his historical and significant contributions to gospel music at the 27th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards on Saturday, January 14 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, TN. Kirk Franklin presented the award to a tearful Pastor Kee.
Pastor Kee is the recipient of 21 Stellar Awards, 27 GMWA Excellence Awards, a Trailblazer Award from President Bill Clinton, one Soul Train Music Award, two Billboard Music Awards, a Gospel Music Hall of Fame Award, seven GRAMMY® Award nominations and numerous other honors. However, The James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award is especially meaningful to him. “This is by far one of the greatest honors I have received to date,” says Pastor Kee. “When you look at the true history of John P. Kee, this award signifies a circle of completion. It was the late Dr. James Cleveland who gave me my start in music, so to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in his name is priceless.”
During the Stellar Award Weekend, Pastor Kee also participated in the Hezekiah Walker Presents Choir Fest 2012, along with Ricky Dillard, JJ Hairston, Meachum L. Clarke, Kevin Lemons, and Darrel Petties, at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, the Antioch location in Nashville.
An icon in American music, Pastor Kee and the New Life Community Choir will release a new CD this spring. The new single, “Life And Favor (You Don’t Know My Story,)” will be released to gospel radio this month. The single features special guest artists, including LeJuene Thompson and James Fortune. “One of the greatest assets that we have as Christians is our testimony,” said Pastor Kee. “It is that testimony that reveals the true nature of our deliverance. God has graced me with the ability to share these trials and triumphs through melody. This single, ‘Life And Favor (You Don’t Know My Story,)’ has become a memorable melody in the lives of thousands. When you find yourself singing the vamp uncontrollably, we’ll know undoubtedly that you too have a story.”
In the late 1980s, Kee was crowned the Prince of Gospel, which is a title he laughs at because his middle name is Prince. Over the course of his professional career, which spans more than three decades, he has written music for Hallmark, Inc., Stephanie Mills, Jonny Lang, The Hawkins Family, Daryl Coley, Billy Preston, Dorinda Clark Cole, Joe Walsh, Rev. James Cleveland, the Florida Mass Choir, the Mississippi Mass Choir, and Vanessa Bell Armstrong, among others. His music has been featured in film and television commercials and even on Saturday Night Live. His music catalogue is said to be one of the largest in the world today by an individual publisher/writer.
Although he is one of gospel music’s greatest pioneers, his real passion is for clear, genuine, and aggressive street ministry. His heart’s desire is to show the love and power of the Lord to the world-but especially to the inner city communities of our nation.
Since its inception in 1995, Pastor Kee has been the full-time pastor of the New Life Fellowship Center. Through non-traditional outreach that transcends the four-walled structure, the church’s unique approach to ministry has resulted in a rapidly growing and thriving congregation. Pastor Kee’s ability to personally relate to the urban lifestyle allows him to reach those who would not typically attend church and those who are not welcomed by many assemblies.