Ben Tankard lived up to his title as the godfather of gospel jazz when he won his 14th Stellar Award for Best Instrumental CD of the Year on February 20 during the awards ceremony in Las Vegas' Orleans Arena. But just because the Thicker Than Water patriarch has been through this many times before doesn't mean it ever gets old. "This is the No.14 Stellar but isn't the 'youngest' baby always the cutest?" Ben joked to The Daily Dish via email. "I don't think this will ever get old to me. I still get nervous chills when I'm at the Grammys, Stellars, or Soul Train Awards and the announcer says, 'And the winner is......'"
Ben took home the trophy for his most recent album Full Tank 2.0, which was released last year. After more than 15 albums during his nearly 30-year career, Ben said he continues to be thankful that he's able to make the kind of music that he loves. "I am humbled and grateful to still be at the top of my field after 27 years in the business!" he said. "So many people are 'one-hit wonders,' but through the grace of God we have sustained long-term success."
Unfortunately, the whole Tankard clan wasn't able to attend the awards show honoring the best in gospel music of the year, but Ben's wife Jewel Tankard was by his side for the winning moment. "The Juveniles are all on their spring break tours and on national events but the lovely Jewel was there, as always, showing her undying support and also slayed the red carpet!" Ben gushed.
It sounds like Ben and Jewel are going to have to get used to that. Ben teased that the thing that's going to surprise us the most about the upcoming third season of Thicker Than Water is "how independent the children are becoming and what a full-time job it is having an empty nest, trying to keep everyone connected and happy with one another while at the same time providing the emotional tools and space for them to grow and develop their own 'Full Tank Life.'"
Ben is referring here to his forthcoming self-help book The Full Tank Life: Fuel Your Dreams, Ignite Your Destiny, and we'll see him hard at work on the summer release this season of Thicker Than Water.
He also already has his eye on that 15th Stellar Award, currently working on new music for his next album CanTANKerous due out in 2017. "I'm staying true to my roots but also musically, performing some radical stretching into new ground with song contributions from Jay Z, Diddy, and R. Kelly," Ben said.
But Ben still knows that he needn't look any further than his own home to find his next great project. "Needless to say I believe family will keep me full of enough memories, experiences, content, and inspiration for many music CDs and books to come!" he said.
Thicker Than Water returns for Season 3 on Sunday, March 27 at 10/9c. Get ready for all of the Tankards' shenanigans with this sneak peek, below.