2006 Dove Awards Hosts Announced

Gospel music’s highest honor, the Dove Awards, will be handed out on Wednesday, April 5, 2006 in Nashville when two of gospel music’s brightest personalities, Kirk Franklin and Rebecca St. James, host the 37th Annual GMA Music Awards, announced John W. Styll, president of the Gospel Music Association (GMA) and executive producer of the awards show.

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Styll also announced that tickets to the GMA Music Awards show are now on sale online at http://www.GMAMusicAwards.com. The awards show will be held at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House at 8:00 p.m. CT and will provide the only live opportunity to see Dove Awards presented before the GMA Music Awards is televised in national syndication in April and May.
“Few in gospel music have both the gifts of music and speaking that Kirk and Rebecca possess, making them a perfect pair for hosting the GMA Music Awards next April. Their musical styles and journeys are different, but they share a common charisma that has gained them admiration and respect worldwide. They will be joined by a line-up of artist performers and award presenters that will showcase the best in gospel music, making it not only a night of honors, but an exceedingly entertaining and diverse evening.”
With seven RIAA-certified Gold, Platinum and Multi-Platinum selling releases, nine Dove, 33 Stellar and three Grammy Awards to date, Kirk Franklin is one of the biggest selling gospel artists in the history of SoundScan. In October 2005, Franklin released HERO, his sixth CD and the first release on his new Fo Yo Soul Entertainment label (a joint venture with Zomba Gospel/Jive Records). Franklin, whose 1993 debut album Kirk Franklin and the Family was the first gospel album to sell more than a million units, has long been celebrated for weaving seemingly disparate musical influences – R&B, modern rock, hip-hop, pop, jazz, gospel – into a seamless fabric, creating his own singular style and sound that truly transcends any and all boundaries of genre, race, denomination or social background. Most recently, Franklin has joined forces with the Children’s Defense Fund and will serve as an Ambassador for the children’s advocacy organization, helping to raise funds and serving as a spokesperson to bring attention to and assist in carrying out their mission of “Leave No Child Behind.”
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Both a multiple Dove and a Grammy Award winner, Australian-born Rebecca St. James has been a defining voice in contemporary Christian music for more than a decade, selling millions of records internationally, becoming the author of two #1 books, and most recently a celebrated speaker. Along the way, she made a successful acting debut in the Dove Award-winning rock opera musical “!Hero,” and became the first artist to enter the world of VeggieTales as a voice character. The twenty-something St. James has, in fact, become known as the “voice of a generation,” in speaking out articulately and passionately in support of Christian values. Her highly anticipated new studio album If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something releases (EMI CMG) on November 22. Her song “Lion” is currently featured on the official album inspired by Disney/Walden Entertainment’s forthcoming movie (releasing in December) The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. St. James will headline a major U.S. concert series in February in support of her latest album.
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The broadcast taping of the GMA Music Awards will begin at 8 p.m. and feature artist performances and the presentation of a number of key Dove Awards. The opening ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. and will include the announcement of most of the 44 categories of Dove Awards. Tickets to the show include seating at both events.
The GMA Music Awards will be televised in national syndication starting on Easter weekend April 15 through May 21. Central City Productions of Chicago, Ill., is handling first run syndication through network affiliates and independent stations nationwide, with an expected audience reach of at least 75 percent of U.S. television households. Steve Gilreath Television will produce the awards show.
Founded in 1964, the 4,500-member Gospel Music Association (http://www.gospelmusic.org) is dedicated to exposing, promoting and celebrating the gospel through music. The GMA represents all styles of gospel music including contemporary pop, rock, urban gospel, praise & worship, Southern gospel, country and children’s gospel music. The GMA produces the GMA Music Awards™, which recognizes achievement in all genres of gospel music and are voted on by members of the GMA.

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