(RNS) Religion played a prominent role at the Grammy Awards on Sunday(Feb. 13), with the late Ray Charles honored in the new gospel performancecategory and artist Kanye West winning in the top rap song category for"Jesus Walks." The show, which aired on CBS from Los Angeles, also included a gospelsegment featuring West, Mavis Staples, John Legend and the Blind Boys ofAlabama. West appeared on the set of a church with stained-glass windows andended the segment with the dramatic addition of white-feathered angel'swings on his back. Charles posthumously won five awards, including one for gospelperformance for "Heaven Help Us All," a track from the "Genius LovesCompany" album that featured him in a duet with Gladys Knight. West's winning single was featured on the album "The College Dropout."Last year that CD was pulled from consideration by the Stellar Gospel MusicAwards because a nominating committee determined its overall selections --which included lyrics containing profanity -- "were not in the best interestand spirit of gospel music." On the day before the ceremony, Staples accepted a Grammy LifetimeAchievement Award on behalf of the Staples Singers, a gospel and blues groupknown for "I'll Take You There." Other gospel category winners were: Best Rock Gospel Album: "Wire" by Third Day Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album: "All Things New" by Steve CurtisChapman Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album: "Worship & Faith" byRandy Travis Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album: "There Will Be a Light" by BenHarper and the Blind Boys of Alabama Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album: "Nothing Without You" by SmokieNorful Best Gospel Choir or Chorus Album: "Live ... This Is Your House" by theBrooklyn Tabernacle Choir.
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