The city of Chicago can make its boast in that it is the birthplace of Gospel Music and the host city of the largest free outdoor Gospel Music festival in the world. Chicago was the starting point for many Gospel Greats including Rev. James Cleveland, Albertina Walker, Inez Andrews and Reverend Milton Brunson’s Thompson Community Singers. Today, Ricky Dillard, Smokie Norful, Donald Lawrence, Jonathan McReynolds and Anita Wilson all call Chicago home. The Gospel Community will honor its very own on Friday, July 13th with the first annual Chicago Gospel Music Awards. The event will honor local Chicago gospel artists as well as pay tribute to legends Reverend Clay Evans, the late Dr. Charles G. Hayes and The Barrett Sisters.