Gospel singer Marvin Sapp and R&B singer MAJOR. were among a star-studded lineup of singers who performed at this year’s 2020 Black Music Honors on Nov. 21 in Chicago.
The BMH celebrates artists and musicians who have influenced and made significant contributions to American music. This year’s honorees included Grammy-nominated R&B legends En Vogue, Grammy winner, actress and Broadway star Deborah Cox, and gospel legend Fred Hammond.
Marvin Sapp, an 11-time Grammy nominee, was selected to pay tribute to Fred Hammond. During a virtual press conference on Nov. 16, Sapp spoke about how Hammond discovered him.
“I met Fred [Hammond] when I was 15,” said Sapp. “Commissioned, the group he founded, did their first concert ever at my home church. I actually opened up for Commissioned. Six years later, Fred discovered me and brought me into that group Commissioned. I spent six years learning from him,” added Sapp.
Singer-songwriter MAJOR., best known for his 2016 hit single “Why I Love You,” also performed at this year’s celebration. During the news conference the singer revealed that his single “Why I Love You” started out as a song about a chicken salad sandwich.
“I was on set … they were asking us what we wanted to eat for lunch and they didn’t have no money and all they could afford were sandwiches,” said MAJOR. “So I sang, ‘Chicken salad sandwich. I want a chicken salad sandwich because I’m hungry.’”
MAJOR. said he posted the jingle, and after it went viral on Instagram his producer made him pull it down. “My producer Harmony was like, ‘Yo, take that down, that’s a hit.’ I took it down, and the producer said, ‘We are gonna write a love song to that.’”
He said Stevie Wonder heard the song and said it was going to be the “love song of the century.” “I believe he [Stevie Wonder] has some type of agreement with heaven, because that song has changed my life,” said MAJOR.
The Black Music Honors airs in national broadcast syndication on various TV stations through Dec. 13, 2020.