Spotlight on 36th Annual GMA Music Awards Hosts

Steven Curtis Chapman

No one knows Doves like Steven Curtis Chapman.  The reigning Dove “king,” Chapman has earned a staggering 47 Dove Awards in his 18-year recording career.  Add to that this list of accomplishments: five Grammy Awards, an American Music Award, two certified platinum and seven gold albums, nine million total albums sold and 42 #1 radio hits and you’ve got a career any artist would be glad to rest his laurels on, but not Chapman, whose current recording, All Things New, is one of his most critically acclaimed and the title of his current 70-city tour.  Chapman’s also taken on the role of producer and record label founder, helping to launch the career of 2004’s third best-selling artist Casting Crowns.  (
CeCe Winans

CeCe Winans, currently recording for her own PureSprings Gospel label in conjunction with Epic/INO Records, has earned 18 Dove Awards and a slew of other industry accolades.  Blessed with one of music’s greatest voices, Winans has crossed all stylistic, social and age barriers, making her one of gospel music’s most powerful ambassadors.  Her latest recording, The Throne Room, is the first time Winans has recorded a worship album, and it has paid off with gold-selling sales.  This August she will release her first pop project on Puresprings/Epic/INO.   ( Winans 
Rebecca St. James

Rebecca St. James has established herself as one of the most popular female vocalists in gospel music in the past decade.  Her signature blend of modern pop/rock sensibilities and bold lyrics have made her an outspoken voice for her generation and garnered St. James national media attention.  Australian born, she is a multiple Dove winner as well as a Grammy Award recipient.  2005 also finds Rebecca emerging as a best-selling author—with her new book SHE (Tyndale) following solidly in the success of her previous #1 book on CBA charts Wait For Me.   Her forthcoming album project for EMI-ForeFront Records is one of 2005’s highly anticipated new releases. (
Smokie Norful
EMI Gospel’s Smokie Norful burst on the scene two years ago as one of the fastest rising young black gospel artists in history.  Nothing better illustrates his impact than his 2004 chart success when Norful’s three recordings, I Need You Now, Nothing Without You and Limited Edition landed among the top 100 best sellers on the Billboard’s 2004 Overall Contemporary Christian Chart.  That feat earned him notice as Billboard’s Top Gospel Artist in 2004, the second straight year he received that recognition.   His second album, Nothing Without You, will vie for two Dove Awards this year.  Norful also is preparing for the release of his first DVD on June 21.  Filmed in Hi-Definition with Surround Sound, the Nothing Without You DVD features live concert performances and in-depth interviews.  (
Darlene Zschech
Australian worship leader Darlene Zschech made an indelible mark on America nearly 10 years ago, when Hillsong Music released a worship record from Zschech’s Hillsong Church in the U.S. through Integrity Records.  Zschech’s song, “Shout to the Lord” was on that record and it quickly became one of the most sung worship song in churches across the country.  In the past 10 years, the song has never been out of the top 10 of the CCLI (Christian Copyright and Licensing International), chart of the most used songs in U.S. churches.  In addition to her music with Hillsong Church, Zschech’s also manages a successful solo artist career with INO Records, releasing her 2nd project in August of this year. (
Israel Houghton
Israel Houghton is another of today’s breed of young artists who started and/or continue as music worship leaders in their local churches before launching recording careers that have gained them nationwide fans.  Israel serves as a worship leader at the Joel Osteen-pastored Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas.  With his group, Israel and New Breed, Houghton has grown a fan base far beyond the 25,000 members of Lakewood, and the group’s current release Live from another Level has already won numerous awards and is up for several Doves this year.  Houghton, in fact, is one of the most nominated artists for the 36th Annual GMA Music Awards.  (


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