Gospel music is part of the foundation of America’s soundtrack. After a four year hiatus, BET’s gospel competition “Sunday Best” is heading back to the airwaves this summer with two new judges. Award winning gospel vocalists Erica Campbell and Jonathan McReynolds will join powerhouse Kelly Price as judges. Nine-time Grammy Award-winning superstar Kirk Franklin will return for what the network is referring to as “a new and improved Season 9.”Produced by Jesse Collins, Sunday Best will feature new staging and exciting themed challenges to make the season the toughest one yet, according to the network. For the new season, contestants were able to submit auditions online before live auditions take place in Dallas, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Detroit.

Past Winners

On season one,  Crystal Aikin was crowned the “Sunday Best” winner. She released an album in 2009 and was nominated for a Dove Award for New Artists in 2010. In 2015, Aikin released her sophomore album All I Need. She continues to work within the gospel industry and sing her praises to God.

Season two’s winner and Stellar Award winning artist Y’anna Crawley was a hit on the show. In 2010, she released her debut album The Promise. In 2018, she delivered a soulful tribute to the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin with “How I Got Over.”

Grammy Award winner Le’Andria Johnson took home the title on season three. She released  Awakening of Le’Andria Johnson in 2011 and months later came out with Christmas Best. In 2012 she won a Grammy Award for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance for Jesus. She has been nominated two more times for Grammys, once in 2011, and again in 2017.

Season four winner Amber Bullock has released two albums, So In Love and Thank You.

Season five winner, Joshua Rogers, was the first male winner of the series and released his debut album Well Done in 2012. He has since released, Unconditional and Returning.

Stellar Award winner Tasha Page-Lockhart was crowned the season 6 winner. Her album Here Right Now topped the Billboard charts and she earned several nominations at the Stellar Awards. She also released The Beautiful Project and continues racking up Stellar Award nominations.

Season seven winner, Geoffrey Golden, released his album Kingdom…Live.

Dathan Thigpen was the winner of season eight and went on to appear in Madea: Neighbors from Hell.

“Sunday Best”  returns to BET on June 30.