Changes Made to Dove Awards

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The Gospel Music Association (GMA) will make key changes to Dove Awards voting including the addition of a new Worship Song of the Year category, announced John W. Styll, president of the GMA.
“It’s important that the Dove Awards be an accurate representation of the music having the most influence in our genre. Worship music has become a major part of today’s musical landscape and it is appropriate that we honor its vital place in our genre with this new category,” Styll said.
The new Worship Song of the Year category will recognize songs that are having the greatest impact in the church. Because these types of songs are often recorded and/or performed by multiple artists, the Dove will be awarded to the songwriter and publisher of the song, not an individual artist. The new category will be placed in Division V of the voting, along with Musical of the Year, Children’s Musical of the Year and Choral Collection of the Year, all categories reflecting music impacting the church.
Additionally, changes will occur in the album and recorded song categories to better define music styles. The Pop/Contemporary category, which has always had the largest and most diverse number of eligible entries, will be divided into two categories for both album and song. There will now be a Pop/Contemporary and Rock/Contemporary category. Hard Music and Modern Rock/Alternative categories, which traditionally have fewer entries, will be combined in one Modern Rock category. Finally, dance will be dropped from the Rap/Hip Hop/Dance category and dance music will be considered under the appropriate pop category.
“Pop and rock have become the most prolific styles of Christian music, yet until now they have been combined in one category, often making the category an assortment of artists whose music was stylistically very different. It was certainly time to address that issue and give them each their own category and at the same time combine some categories which had been narrower in their definition,” Styll explained.
The changes to the Dove Awards categories were proposed by the GMA’s Awards and Criteria Committee and approved by the GMA Board of Directors. They will be in effect beginning with balloting for the 2004 Dove Awards.

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