Photo by Kathryn E. Darden for ChristianActivities.com
Casting Crowns, The Clark Sisters, Natalie Grant, Point Of Grace, Skillet, TobyMac and Chris Tomlin are among the diverse and gifted artists nominated for gospel/Christian music’s highest honor – the Dove Award.
Those seven were announced as the nominees for Artist of the Year for the 39th Annual GMA Dove Awards at a press conference today in Nashville, hosted by Dove and GRAMMY winner Michael W. Smith (who received three Dove nominations of his own) and Elle Duncan, host of Gospel Music Channel’s weekly “Kitchen Sink.” The GMA Dove Awards, gospel music’s biggest night of the year featuring artists from every style of gospel/Christian music coming together for a night of music and celebration, will be produced in high definition and broadcast live on the Gospel Music Channel from 8 – 10 p.m. (ET/PT) on Wednesday, April 23, 2008.
The top nominee for 2008 GMA Dove Awards is Mark Hall, lead vocalist and songwriter of Casting Crowns, with six nominations including Male Vocalist and Song of the Year. His band, whose Altar and the Door CD debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart when it released last August, added four nominations including Artist and Group of the Year nods. Reigning two-time Dove Award Artist of the Year and one of the world’s most prolific worship artists Chris Tomlin is also among the top nominees announced today. His five nominations include Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year. Also garnering nominations in those same categories and a total of five was rock/hip-hop artist TobyMac. Progressive worship band David Crowder*Band’s five nominations included Group of the Year.
Four nominations each went to black gospel’s legendary sister act The Clark Sisters, singer-songwriter Jeremy Camp; southern gospel favorites Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs, and the all ladies pop quartet Point Of Grace. Producers and songwriters also enjoyed nomination success this year with songwriter/producer/arranger Bernie Herms and versatile producer Wayne Haun each receiving five nods while the urban producing team of PAJAM was nominated four times.
“Gospel and Christian music artists share an expressed intent to honor God through music and the freedom to create their art without stylistic boundaries. This year’s Dove nominations are a testament to that,” said Gospel Music Association (GMA) President/CEO John W. Styll, who also noted that the GMA Board of Directors this year expanded the five artist categories - Artist, New Artist, Group, Male Vocalist and Female Vocalist of the Year- from five to seven nominees. “The GMA Board of Directors decided to increase the number of nominees in these categories because it has been a challenge in the past for the artist categories to fairly represent and celebrate the breadth and depth of our music’s diversity. We believe our goal was accomplished with this year’s nominations.”
Gospel Music Channel, the nation’s first and only 24/7 all-gospel/Christian music television network, becomes the exclusive television home for the GMA Dove Awards thanks to a multi-year agreement revealed today by Styll and Charles Humbard, founder and president, Gospel Music Channel (GMC).
The 39th Annual GMA Dove Awards will be handed out at Nashville’s famed Grand Ole Opry House. While the awards are the purpose of the show, music performances will definitely share center stage at the Dove Awards, showcasing some of gospel music’s hottest and most diverse artists. In addition to the live broadcast, GMC will present back-to-back encore broadcasts that night and additional re-airings following.
“Gospel Music Channel is the perfect partner for GMA and the Doves. We share a similar approach to presenting gospel music to the world and the Dove Awards is GMA’s primary vehicle in that endeavor,” said Styll. “With their ever-increasing distribution, we are excited to grow the profile of the Dove Awards as the channel grows.”
“Gospel/Christian music’s biggest night now has a dedicated home on gospel/Christian Music fans’ favorite television network,” commented Humbard. “Our relationship with the GMA dates back to the launch of Gospel Music Channel, including our licensing of the Doves library from which we produce our popular Best of The Doves series, and this is a natural next step. The Dove Awards live telecast will be a centerpiece of GMC’s schedule for years to come and we’ll build programming, marketing and PR events around it to elevate it even further.”
The Doves had been airing in national syndication and not had a live broadcast since 2002. Gospel Music Channel also announced that The American Bible Society (www.bibles.com) will be the presenting sponsor of the 2008 telecast, with an option to remain through the length of the agreement. They are also the designated charity for the 39th Annual GMA Dove Awards.
Dove Awards will be handed out in 43 categories. The Songwriter of the Year nominees were not announced today, but will be revealed prior to the GMA Dove Awards. Dove Awards nominations go to recordings released during the eligibility year November 1, 2006 through October 31, 2007 and voted on by the members of the GMA.
Founded in 1964, the Gospel Music Association serves as the face and voice for the gospel/Christian music community and is dedicated to exposing, promoting and celebrating the gospel through music of all styles including pop, rock, praise & worship, black gospel, R&B, hip hop, southern gospel, country, and more. The GMA community consists of 4,000 members including agents, artists, church leaders, managers, promoters, radio personnel, record company executives, retailers, songwriters and other industry visionaries. The GMA produces the GMA Dove Awards, GMA Music Week, GMA Music in the Rockies, and the GMA Academy. For more information, please visit www.gospelmusic.org.
Click here for the List of Nominees.
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