A little over a week before the Metro FM Music Awards, it turns out that gospel outfit Joyous Celebration won’t be taking part.

At a star-studded event last month, the popular group was named as one of the usual nominees for the Best Top Urban Gospel Album accolade at the 16th instalment of the awards. Now, in an unexpected twist, Joyous Celebration are withdrawing their nomination.

A statement seen by Drum offered the following explanation.
“The move comes following the erroneous entry of Joyous Celebration into MMA16 by the artist’s record company, Sony Music Entertainment Africa, who has acknowledged that during the process of compiling and submitting artists from their roster into the Metro FM Awards, they mistakenly included Joyous Celebration as an entrant,” the statement read.

“The label has been supportive of Joyous Celebration’s philosophy of no longer entering awards to allow room for new talent to occupy the space, for several years now, but on this occasion human error resulted in Joyous Celebration unknowingly becoming a nominee until the announcement was made public.”
Lindelani Mkhize, one of the architects of Joyous Celebration was quoted as saying,

“We are so grateful to Metro FM for the years of support, not only to our choir, but to the Gospel fraternity at large.”

Joyous Celebration were nominated alongside hotshots such as Dr Tumi, Lebo Sekgobela, We Will Worship and Khaya Mthethwa. The 16th Metro FM Music Awards will be held on Saturday 25 February 2017 at the Inkosi Luthuli Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal and will be broadcast live on SABC 1.

The SABC could not be reached for comment.