NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Seven “Artist of the Year” nominees were announced Feb. 14 for the Gospel Music Association’s 39th annual Dove Awards.
The April 23 awards will be broadcast live, for the first time since 2002, in a new partnership with the Gospel Music Channel. The awards ceremony, from 8-10 p.m. Eastern, will originate from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn.
The seven nominees for the Doves’ top honor are Casting Crowns, The Clark Sisters, Natalie Grant, Point Of Grace, Skillet, tobyMac and Chris Tomlin.
The top nominee for the 2008 Doves is Mark Hall, lead vocalist and songwriter of Casting Crowns, with six nominations. In addition to Artist of the Year, Hall is nominated for Male Vocalist, Group and Song of the Year. Two-time Artist of the Year Chris Tomlin and rock/hip-hop artist tobyMac each received five nominations, including Artist of the Year. Progressive worship band David Crowder Band also received five nominations.
The Gospel Music Association’s board of directors this year expanded the top five artist categories -– Artist of the Year, New Artist, Group, Male and Female Vocalist — from five to seven nominees, GMA President/CEO John W. Styll said in a news release.
Styll noted that “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.”
Other nominations among the Dove’s 43 categories:
Male vocalist of the year — Jon Foreman, Mark Hall, Marvin Sapp, Mark Schultz, tobyMac, Chris Tomlin and Gerald Wolfe.
Female vocalist of the year — Amy Grant, Natalie Grant, Mandisa, Krystal Meyers, Christy Nockels, Sandi Patty and Darlene Zschech.
Group of the year — Casting Crowns, The Clark Sisters, David Crowder Band, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Hillsong United, Point Of Grace and Selah.
New artist of the year — 33 Miles, Austins Bridge, Group 1 Crew, Brandon Heath, Mandisa, Rush of Fools and DeWayne Woods.
Song of the year (song title; with the award to be presented to the writer and publisher): “Bring The Rain,” Bart Millard, James Bryson, Nathan Cochran, Barry Graul, Michael John Scheuchzer, Robin Shaffer, Simpleville Music, Wet As A Fish Music; “East To West,” Mark Hall, Bernie Herms; My Refuge Music, Club Zoo Music, SWECS Music, Sparrow Song, Word Music LLC, Banahana Tunes; “Give You Glory,” Jeremy Camp; Thirsty Moon River Publishing; “How You Live (Turn Up The Music),” Cindy Morgan, Lola Max Music, Word Music LLC; “I’m Not Who I Was,” Brandon Heath, Capilano Music, New Spring Publishing Inc.; “In Better Hands,” Catt Gravitt, Jim Daddario, Thom Hardwell, Two Girls and a Pen, Jim Daddario Music, Thom Hardwell Music; “Made To Love,” Toby McKeehan, Cary Barlowe, Jamie Moore, Aaron Rice, River Oaks Music, Emack Music, Achtober Songs; “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone),” Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio, Traditional, sixsteps music, worshiptogether.com Songs; “Tears Of The Saints,” Leeland Mooring, Jack Mooring, River Oaks Music Company, Meaux Mercy Publishing, Meaux Jeaux Music; “Undo,” William Davis, Kevin Huguley, Wes Willis, Midas Magic.
Recordings released from Nov. 1, 2006, through Oct. 31, 2007, are eligible for this year’s Doves and are voted on by the Gospel Music Association’s 4,000 members, encompassing artists, agents, church leaders, managers, promoters, radio personnel, record company executives, retailers and songwriters.
Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston. For the complete list of Dove nominations, go to www.doveawards.com.