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Historic OBE for Premier's Muyiwa

by Chantalle Edmunds

Premier's very own Muyiwa Olarewaju has been given an award in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

The much loved station director of Premier Gospel, presenter and award winning Gospel singer picks up an OBE.

In doing so, he becomes the first Gospel artist and the first Christian artist of African descent to receive the honour.

Speaking to Premier about the accolade, he expressed his delight:

"It was a shock to my system and coming to terms with the fact that I'm the first Gospel artist ever to be awarded an OBE, first Christian artist of African descent to awarded an OBE is special, it means a great deal."

The vibrant performer is also known to television audiences as a star of Songs of Praise's Gospel Choir of the Year. In addition, he is host of the TV show Turning Point.

He has been hugely instrumental in popularising the gospel music genre on a global scale and mixes traditional gospel music with elements from Africa, the Caribbean and Asia, with soul, R&B and pop. 

Muyiwa has come from very humble beginnings to present flagship programmes Gospel Tonight and Worship Tonight.

He has also won numerous awards, including Best Presenter Oasis Awards, Best Radio Show and Best Contribution to Gospel Music at the Gospel Music Awards and toured with legends such as Stevie Wonder and Mariah Carey.

A number of other Christians feature prominently in the list, including David Suchet who's received a knighthood for services to drama and charity.

Karen Gibson founder and conductor of The Kingdom Choir and worship leader recevied an MBE for services to music.

The Kingdom Choir achieved international acclaim when invited to perform 'Stand by Me' at the Royal Wedding of  Prince Harry to Meghan Markle.

From that point, the gospel choir has gone from strength to strength, performing concerts all over the world including sold out shows at the Hollywood Bowl, Royal Albert Hall and the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Sydney. 

Marcia Dixon, who's a Christian writer, columnist and runs a PR Company was awarded an MBE for interfaith relations.

Meanwhile Covid-19 heroes dominated the Queen's Birthday Honours, from famous faces such as Marcus Rashford and Joe Wicks to hundreds of key workers who have helped with Britain's fight against coronavirus.

Rev. Canon David Paul Hoey was recgonised for services to the community in Eglington, Londonderry during Covid-19 and also Reverend Matthew James Price, for services to the community in Gorleston, Norfolk during the  pandemic.

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