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TBR – Richmond, VA – If you like Gospel Music, then Premiere Festivals’ Joyfest 2014 was the place to be Saturday. Just over twenty miles north of Richmond, VA, thousands turned out to hear some of Gospel music’s most exciting artists and entertainers in the business.

Once again hosted by Comedian Bone Hampton, the concert kicked off with a Birthday sing along to the VA Gospel Announcers Guild President, Ed Stephens Jr., who is also known for helping with promoting the festival for years. However after recently suffering from three Strokes, now challenged with mobility and now gets around by a Wheelchair, this year, Stephens, was simply happy to be there.

Up first to perform was Chris House, followed by Gospel Rapper Humble Tip who truly poured out his heart.

Bringing some of the crowd to their feet was the Youth Pastor and Outreach Coordinator of New Hope Church in Fayetteville GA was Gospel recording artist Canton Jones. He rocked the house, joked with the crowd and got them on their feet with raised hands. The presence of the Lord was truly present as Jones also gets ready for the official release date of his new CD, God City USA on Tuesday, July 29, 2014.

Power House Tamela Mann was up next with husband David Mann only a few feet away. “When you see me, you see her and when you see her, you see me, that’s how much we love each other,” said Mann to The Belle Report.

Anyone who ever sees these two also know that, what they sing about and talk about, is what they live and who they are!

From the first note to roll out of her mouth, from her upbeat, church tunes to her chart topping hit, “Take Me to the King” Tamela delivered one of her best performances to date!

Up next was Compassion who delivered a powerful mini sermonette that touched many in the crowd.

The View talk show Co-host, Sherri Shepherd took the stage next with a hilarious fifty minute set of funny. With humor ranging from happenings going on at Kings Dominion, being mistaken as other Gospel artists to her personal life including stories about her son, Shepherd once again proved her range of talent from serious to funny.

After a set change, it was time for the man of the hour, Kirk Franklin. Once again bringing an over the top performance, along with five back up singers including Issac Carree, the energy was non-stop as he performed back to back hits and even a little bit of rap as he jokingly said, “You will never see yo boy on Preachers of L.A.” The crowd responded like a deer in heads lights, while others stood in disbelief with a little chuckle.

However, Franklin kept it moving with more incredible moves, hopping over the fence into the crowd, and a few surprised guests joining him on stage, including David Mann and Tamela Mann.

It was really a lot of fun as the evening was simply NOT long enough!

Also coming through for the evening was Jawn Murray and Gospel Announcers Cheryl Jackson, Gerard Bonner, Peggy Perkins Smith, Rosa Turner, Randy Johnson, Chucky Hayes and The Belle.

Thanks again Richard Young and Premier Festivals for bringing Joyfest back to Kings Dominion.

(Photos by LaBelle & Associates)

Joyfest 2014 Delivers Powerful Performances with Kirk Franklin, Tamela Mann, Canton Jones and Others  was originally published on