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Mary Mary was named this year’s Best Gospel Artist at the 2009 BET Awards ceremony held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday, June 28, airing on BET. Mary Mary’s soulful performance of the group’s “God in Me,” with guest artist Queen Latifah, was one of the highpoints of an emotional BET ceremony.
The groundbreaking contemporary gospel duo had racked up seven BET Award nominations in years past, beginning with a Best Female Group nod in 2001, culminating in 2007 with noms in both the Best Gospel Artist and Best Group categories.
Mary Mary also won 2009’s Best Gospel Performance Grammy while taking home this year’s NAACP Image Award — for Best Gospel Artist (Traditional or Contemporary) — and the Urban Recorded Song of the Year Dove Award for “Get Up,” one of the key tracks on the group’s #1 Gospel chart-topping album, The Sound.
Heralded as “Praiseworthy” by People magazine, Mary Mary’s latest album The Sound peaked at #1 on a variety of Billboard Christian and Gospel albums charts shortly after its release in October 2008. The Sound entered the Billboard Top 200 at #7, giving Mary Mary their highest charting — and second Top 10 — album on that chart (2005’s Mary Mary peaked at #8 on the Top 200). Mary Mary and The Sound achieved one of the highest chart debuts on the Top 200 of any gospel album released in 2008. A bona fide crossover smash, The Sound made a “Hot Shot” debut on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart at #2.
“Get Up,” the Grammy-winning lead single from The Sound, garnered massive crossover radio play on Urban, Urban Adult Contemporary, Rhythm Gospel and Dance radio formats while charting in a number of formats. “That song embodies what the whole album is about,” says Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell. “It asks people, ‘Why are you waiting? Why do you care what other people think?’ It reminds us that your beginning can be whenever you want it to be.”