The J. Hardy Agency is proud to announce its year in review of their entire roster of clients this year. This year set the bar for the agency with top-grossing motion picture films to chart-topping albums and singles.
Boo! A Madea Halloween – A 2016 American comedy horror film produced by Lionsgate Films and directed, written, starring and co-produced by Tyler Perry in partnership with marketing firm D3 Entertainment. The idea for the film originated from a fictitious Madea Halloween movie that was mentioned in Chris Rock’s 2014 film, Top Five. It is the eighth in the Madea series, and it is the second Madea film (the first being Madea’s Witness Protection) to not be adapted from a stage play. The film was released on October 21, 2016 finishing first at the box office and ranking as the fourth-best debut for a Perry film. To date the film has grossed over $73 million worldwide. Hardy provided publicity contributions to the film as the lead publicist for the African American market (AAM).
Ben-Hur – A 2016 American epic historical action drama film directed by Timur Bekmambetovand written by Keith Clarke and John Ridley. It is
the fifth film adaptation of the 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace following the 1907 silent film, the 1925 silent film, the Academy Award-winning 1959 film and the 2003 animated film of the same name. It has been termed a “re-adaptation”, “reimagining”, and “new interpretation” of the novel.The film stars Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell, Nazanin Boniadi, Haluk Bilginer and Rodrigo Santoro.The film was theatrically released by Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on August 19, 2016 in the United States in 2D, 3D, RealD 3D, Digital 3D, and IMAX 3D.The film was successful internationally grossing over 94 million. Grammy winning sister duo Mary Mary recorded the song “Back to You” for the films soundtrack. Hardy executed a public relations plan to premiere the music video of the song via BET.com with over 65 million viewers to date. Marketing efforts powered by D3 Entertainment with Hardy providing publicity contributions to the film as the lead publicist for the African American market (AAM).
No stranger to the stage or hosting duties, Tye Tribbett has had months of rehearsal time after he recently landed a new gig as host of BET’s new Inspirational morning show “Joyful Noise,” which premiered this October. Tribbett also hosted the Dove awards for the first time. Tribbett premiered his brand new Top 30 single “Work It Out” at the award show.
The Orlando pastor (LIVE church) is coming off of a hiatus, after setting Gospel music fans on fire in 2013, with what many call his best project to date, GREATER THAN. The critically acclaimed project spawned two massive hits “If He Did It Before” (#3 Gospel Airplay) and “He Turned It (#13 Gospel Airplay).” As one of the most sought after and well liked Gospel artists today, Tribbett has sold over 1.2 million albums to date worldwide, won 2 GRAMMY’s, a Soul Train Music Award, four Stellar Awards and two Dove awards, and a host of other accolades, in addition to landing on the pages of Rolling Stone magazine, the Huffington Post, The New York Times newspaper, USA Today newspaper and one of the most historic sketch comedy shows still on TV today, “Saturday Night Live,” just to name a few.
Gospel’s newest and brightest singing sensation, Jekalyn Carr, is enjoying several monumental milestones in her rising career with her single “You’re Bigger” which hit #1 on the Billboard Gospel Airplay chart on September 14. The single spent four non-consecutive weeks at #1 and twenty-three weeks in the Top 2. Carr’s album THE LIFE PROJECT, also debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart and has remained in the Top 20 position since its debut. In addition, “You’re Bigger” hit #1 on the Billboard Digital Songs chart four non-consecutive weeks. Carr’s song also climbed the Adult R&B Radio Airplay charts peaking at #31 with a #1 “New & Active” bullet. Most recently Carr performed her single on BET”s new inspirational show “Joyful Noise” hosted by Tye Tribbett, TV One’s Triumph Awards, the Black Music Honors tributing the legendary Shirley Caesar and made an appearance on “News One Now with Roland Martin”. Jekalyn is nominated in the final round of the Stellar Awards with seven nominations. She is nominated for Artist of the Year, Song of the Year for “Bigger”, Female Vocalist of the Year, Producer of the Year, Traditional Female of the Year, Recorded Music Packaging of the Year and Praise & Worship CD of the Year. Additionally, Carr received her first GRAMMY® for “Best Gospel Performance/Song” for “You’re Bigger”.
J.J. Hairston began his year as the correspondent for McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign for BET’s Celebration of Gospel music special. His choir Youthful Praise won their first-ever Stellar Gospel Music Award for Contemporary Choir of the Year for their chart-topping seventh album I SEE VICTORY (Light Records/eOne Music) that spawned three Top 15 radio hits with “Bless Me” featuring Donnie McClurkin (#3 peak), “It Pushed Me” (#13 peak) and “You’re Mighty” (#3 peak). Hairston also was was featured on BET”s “Joyful Noise,” and the Rickey Smiley morning show. Hairston and his wife Trina also launched the Amazing Love campaign speaking to broken marriages across the country. Hairston’s current single “You Deserve” is in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart. JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise are also nominated in the final round of the Stellar Awards in the categories of Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Producer of the Year and Urban/Inspirational Performance of the Year.
GRAMMY®, Dove and Stellar Award nominated sister group Virtue’s (Ebony Holland, Karima Kibble and Heather Martin) returned to the industry after an eight year hiatus with there critically acclaimed seventh studio album FEARLESS (Mixed Bag). The album debuted at #3 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart and maintained a positon for the second consecutive week making it their highest charting and sales debut in the 20 year career. The group made plenty high profile appearances including The Essence Festival, SXSW, BET’s “Joyful Noise”, TV One’s “News One Now with Roland Martin” and Gospel Superfest, BET’s “Lift Every Voice”, The Stellar Awards, The Dove Awards, The Word Network among many more. They released three singles from their album including “You Are” which peaked at #17 on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart, The Clark Sisters rendition of “Miracle” which peaked in the Top 30 for consecutive weeks and “Walk It Out”. They are also nominated in the final round of the Stellar Awards in the categories of Group/Duo of the Year, Contemporary Group/Duo of the Year and Contemporary CD of the Year for “Fearless”.
Washington, D.C. based contemporary gospel recording group Charles Butler & Trinitycelebrated a phenomenal year as they released their sophomore project MAKE IT. The title track single peaked in the Top 30 on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart for 18 consecutive weeks. The album debuted at #2 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart and maintained a Top 15 position on the chart for six consecutive weeks. The group is nominated in the final round of the Stellar Awards in the categories of Choir of the Year, Contemporary Choir of the Year and Recorded Music Packaging of the Year.
17 year old Kelontae Gavinmade waves when his Youtube video performance of “I Won’t Complain” went viral, garnering over a half of million views. Marquis Boone , themastermind behind the success of Casey Jand social media sensation Bri Babineaux received a clip of his performance and immediately began to make inroads to sign him.
“It was a long process getting Kelontae to become part of MBE because of his age but after many emails, phone calls and conversations with his parents we are thrilled and ecstatic to be trusted with such an awesome talent and we at MBE are ready to position him to be a new breakout artist,” says Marquis Boone. MBE released his EP in November and will release an LP in 2017. Gavin was also featured in The New York Times newspaper this year and made his national television debut on BET’s “Joyful Noise” hosted by Tye Tribbett.
Former college football star, turned Billboard chart-topping Gospel vocalist, Trinity Dawson, still continues to build his reputation as a mainstay in the world of Gospel, his impressive debut proved people were definitely paying attention. Dawson’s debut album WITH ALL I AM debuted at #4 on Billboard Top Gospel Albums and the album’s second official single “Not That Easy” peaked at #32 on the Gospel Airplay chart. Dawson was also invited to perform at BET’s invitation only, Celebration of Gospel prayer breakfast, which allowed major mainstream media outlets to take notice affording Dawson the opportunity to be featured on ESSENCE magazine’s “One to Watch list”, P. Diddy’sREVOLT TV 16 “New faces in Gospel” , ASCAP’s “Freshman Class List,” Root Magazine’s “Leaders of the New School” list, TV One’s “News One Now with Roland Martin and CBN to name a few. And at the top of this year, Trinity was fortunate enough to have his very first music video “Not That Easy” exclusively premiered on Yahoo! Music and is nominated in the final round of the Stellar Awards for Music Video of the Year.
Motown Gospel’s wildcard artist, Royce Lovett, recently blazed the stage for the first time with a performance of his single “That’s Dat Jesus” at the Dove Awards which garnered rave reviews – that will explain why his fan base continues to expand bigger and bigger everyday. Lovett, a devoted husband and father of two, released his first national project WRITE IT ON THE WALLin October of 2015, that debuted in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Album charts. So with a buzz worthy debut release, Royce went right back to the studio and released his sophomore project LOVE WINS on September 16th, 2016. Royce just completed a 23 city tour with Grammy nominated and gold-selling, Christian/Pop artist, Jeremy Camp. Royce is also nominated in the final round of the Stellar Awards for Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year.
New holiday film release, BELIEVE, written, directed and produced by Billy Dickson, ASC (“One Tree Hill,” “Ally McBeal”), opened in theatres nationwide Dec. 2, 2016 through Smith Global Media and Power of 3 Entertainment, and is the debut theatrical release under the joint venture. BELIEVE is a story about family, loyalty and love. The small town of Grundy, Va. has relied on the Peyton family to provide the highlight of the year—the annual Christmas pageant. When Matthew Peyton (Ryan O’Quinn) inherits the family business, the responsibility of the Christmas pageant also falls on his shoulders. But as financial hardships fall on the town, Matthew finds himself overwhelmed. As his business profits plummet and his workers begin to strike, Matthew is forced to make a decision between selling the family business and cancelling the beloved pageant or sticking out hardships despite his rapidly declining popularity in the community.
20 year industry vet, GRAMMY award winning, 8x time Dove award nominated artist, Joe Pace, will also present during the pre telecast this year. Joe is currently on the road celebrating the release of his momentous 15th release, JOE PACE PRESENTS H.B. CHARLES, JR. AND THE SHILOH CHURCH CHOIR. The album debuted at #2 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart and remained there for a consecutive week. The choir released their first radio single the upbeat hymnal “It is Well”which is currently in the Top 40 on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart. An ordained minister & former leader/director of Colorado Mass Choir /CEO of The Pace Group, Pace currently serves as pastor of Worship of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church. Joe’s songs have been performed by the likes of Fred Hammond, Erica Campbell (from Mary Mary), Daryl Coley, Rance Allen, LaShun Pace, Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Clint Brown, Isaac Carree, and many others. Joe is most notably known for his amazing work with the award winning Colorado Mass Choir.