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Yolanda Adams and Michael W. Smith to Perform On “THE PASSION” Inspirational Television Event Airs LIVE From New Orleans on Palm Sunday, March 20, on FOX

buzzz worthy. . .



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PR -- Multiple Grammy- and Gospel Music Association Dove Award-winning musician Yolanda Adams and Grammy Award-winning contemporary Christian music star Michael W. Smith are set to appear in THE PASSION, the two-hour epic musical event airing LIVE from New Orleans on Palm Sunday, March 20 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. Adams will kick off the show with a special live performance and Smith has been tapped for a role as one of Jesus’ disciples. Adams and Smith join previously announced host and narrator Tyler Perry, and cast members Jencarlos Canela (Jesus Christ), Chris Daughtry (Judas), Prince Royce (the disciple Peter), Seal (Pontius Pilate) and Trisha Yearwood (Mary, the mother of Jesus).

THE PASSION, written by Peter Barsocchini (“High School Musical”), tells the 2000-year-old story of the last hours of Jesus Christ’s life on earth through passages from the Bible and a variety of contemporary popular music, sung by the cast, and arranged specifically for this event by executive producer and hit music producer Adam Anders (“Glee,” “Rock of Ages”). Set in modern day, the event will follow the dramatic and inspirational story of Jesus of Nazareth, as he presides over the Last Supper, and then is betrayed by Judas, put on trial by Pontius Pilate, convicted, crucified and resurrected.

The event will unfold live at some of New Orleans’ most iconic locations, while featuring a procession of a thousand people carrying a 20-foot, illuminated cross from outside the Mercedes Benz Superdome to the live stage at Woldenberg Park on the banks of the Mississippi River.

Yolanda Adams is truly the “first lady of modern gospel.” Ever since her late-1980s debut, “Just As I Am,” Adams has triumphantly carried the torch for contemporary gospel and inspirational music via 12 glorious albums. Blessed with one of the most powerful voices in any genre of music, this Houston native and one-time school teacher has been a stately beacon of light. She has earned numerous accolades for her shining efforts, including the first American Music Award for Contemporary Gospel Artist and four Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. One of the greatest highlights of her career was winning five National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Grammy Awards, which includes 1999’s Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album for “Mountain High…Valley Low,” featuring her crossover breakthrough hit, “Open My Heart,” and 2005’s Best Gospel Song, co-written by Adams herself, “Be Blessed.” Her pioneering blend of modern gospel with R&B, infused with a touch of jazz, continues to inspire her fans andtransform the musical landscape. “The Yolanda Adams Morning Show,” a program of her creation and ownership, (in conjunction with Radio One) can currently be heard on 42 radio stations across the country.

Michael W. Smith is an acclaimed contemporary Christian singer, songwriter and musician who has sold more than 15 million albums, achieved 32 No. 1 songs, received 2x RIAA multi- Platinum, six Platinum and 16 Gold certified albums, while earning three Grammy Awards, one American Music Award and 45 Dove Awards. Amassing an in-depth catalog of achievements, Smith was honored at ASCAP’s 100th Anniversary for his groundbreaking career and significant influence in music. Smith was appointed by the White House as Vice Chair for the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation and, most recently, was the featured performer at the 2015 USO Gala. In addition to the international impact he has had through multiple global tours, he has written and composed various scored film projects, authored 12 books and acted in assorted motion pictures.

THE PASSION is produced by dick clark productions, Eye2Eye Media and Anders Media. Allen Shapiro (CEO, dick clark productions), Mike Mahan (President, dick clark productions), Mark Bracco (Executive Vice President, Programming and Development, dick clark productions), Jacco Doornbos (CEO and Creative Director of Eye2Eye Media), Adam Anders (CEO, Anders Media Inc.) and David Grifhorst (“The Passion: Netherlands”) will serve as executive producers.

Follow the event on Twitter @FOXTV and @ThePassionLive, and join the discussion using #ThePassionLive. See photos and videos on Instagram @FOXTV/ and @ThePassionLive.