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Christian rock band Third Day big winner at 32nd Dove Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Christian rock band Third Day emerged victorious in five categories — including artist and group of the year — at the Gospel Music Association’s 32nd annual Dove Awards, held April 26 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn.

“We’ve had success here at the Doves in the past,” said Third Day lead singer Mac Powell, whose band won four Doves before this year. “But now I feel like people think of us as more than just that rock band that they aren’t afraid to take their kids to see.”

“This was an amazing night for gospel music,” said Frank Breeden, president of the Gospel Music Association and executive producer of the Dove Awards. “I can’t remember a more exciting show with so many standout performances, and with so many different artists being honored with Dove trophies. We’ve always been proud of our diversity; tonight we truly celebrated it.”

Nashville-based Nicole C. Mullen, whose “On My Knees” won a Dove for song of the year in 1998, triumphed in that category again this year with “Redeemer.” Mullen won in three other categories, including songwriter of the year, making her the second most-awarded act at the Christian music industry’s annual celebration.

The awards show, which had Michael W. Smith as host, showcased the diverse nature of the Christian industry, whose performers are often connected more by lyrical content than by musical style. Modern rock, teen-oriented pop, rhythm and blues, old-style southern gospel, adult contemporary and other forms took turns in the spotlight.

The two-hour show was not broadcast live, but it will air on WGN cable May 4 at 8 p.m. PAX TV also will offer the broadcast to major markets including New York, Dallas, Chicago and Atlanta. A full listing of television times can be found at www.doveawards.com.

R&B-tinged pop vocal quartet Point Of Grace opened the show with their debut of a new single, “Begin With Me.” Other performers included Jaci Velasquez, Aaron Neville with Avalon, Yolanda Adams, the boy band Plus One, the O.C. Supertones, the Gaither Vocal Band, Donnie McClurkin and Mary Mary with Kirk Franklin. The show ended with Mullen’s Redeemer.

All-time Dove Award winner Steven Curtis Chapman notched his 45th Dove victory with the male vocalist prize. Female vocalist of the year was won by singer-songwriter Nichole Nordeman, whose “This Mystery” employed soundscapes reminiscent of adult contemporary star Sarah McLachlan. Plus One won the coveted new artist award, capping a year that included a successful tour of southeast Asia.

“I think the numbers have been staggering,” said Plus One producer David Foster, pointing to Plus One’s four No. 1 songs on the contemporary Christian charts, as well as debut album sales that have exceeded 600,000. “And these kids are living the life. These are great kids and they make me want to be a better person.”

But the night belonged to Third Day, a band that has sold or shipped more than 500,000 copies of its “Offerings: A Worship Album.” That album took the praise and worship album prize, won best rock recorded song for “Sky Falls Down” and was among many acts that shared a special event album honor for the Steve Hindalong-produced “City On A Hill.”

This year’s Dove Awards were not without controversy. Raze’s victories in the rap/hip-hop album and song categories were marred by group member Ja’Marc Davis’ recent trouble. In March, Davis was arrested in Oklahoma on 11 counts of sexual conduct involving a minor. The case is pending.

Greg Hamm, president of Forefront Records, accepted the awards for Raze.

“It’s been a difficult eight weeks,” he said in accepting. “I ask that you would continue to pray for everyone involved in the situation.”
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: PLUS ONE CELEBRATES WIN and 2001 DOVE AWARD WINNERS.

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  • Todd Starnes