NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)-Contemporary Christian singers Michael W. Smith and Fred Hammond headline a list of diverse musical artists nominated for the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards.
Word Record’s Point of Grace joined GMA President Frank Breeden and R.A. Clark of dick clark productions at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., to announce the nominations Jan. 26.
Breeden said he is excited about the opportunities to move the Dove Awards into the mainstream of American music.
“The best story in Christian music in 2000 was the unprecedented success our industry saw in breaking new talent,” Breeden said. “The nominations for this year’s new artist of the year category reflect artists who achieved the highest sales for a class of debut album in our industry’s history. Our industry’s maturity is also displayed as these accomplishments occurred across a wide spectrum of musical styles.”
Third Day lead singer Mac Powell leads the field of nominees with nine total nominations, sharing seven of those with his band. Fred Hammond follows with eight nominations for his work as the principal of Fred Hammond & Radical for Christ and his songwriting and production efforts. P.O.D., Mary Mary and Smith earned seven nominations.
Steven Curtis Chapman and Mark Schultz have six nods each.
Artist of the Year nominations went to Chapman, P.O.D., Smith, Third Day and Jaci Velasquez.
Nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year are Yolanda Adams, Rachael Lampa, Nicole C. Mullen, Nichole Nordeman and Velasquez.
Male Vocalist nominees are Chapman, Fernando Ortega, Powell, Schultz and Smith.
Nominated as Group of the Year are P.O.D., a hard-core rock band; Point of Grace, an adult contemporary pop group; vocal group Avalon; David Foster’s new boy band, Plus One; and rockers Third Day.
The five new artist nominees are Rachael Lampa, Mary Mary, Stacie Orrico, Plus One and Mark Schultz.
Dove Awards nominations go to recordings released from Oct. 1, 1999, through Sept. 30, 2000, and are voted on by the 5,000-member Gospel Music Association.
The 32nd annual Dove Awards will be produced by dick clark productions and will be held April 26 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.
Clark, the son of Dick Clark, told Baptist Press his production company will maintain the spiritual integrity of the Dove Awards while trying to reach a much broader audience.
“We are about to get this show recognized in a bigger way,” he said. “We believe that the Dove Awards are a force to be reckoned with. We will rely on the Gospel Music Association to provide the product and we will bring it to the mainstream. We pride ourselves on the fact that we reflect the sensibilities of the Dove Awards.”
Breeden, too, stressed that the message in the music will remain unchanged.
“We don’t plan on producing a national television show that will proselytize,” Breeden told Baptist Press. “We don’t want the audience to flip the dial. But we also won’t move away from who we are, and the message remains the same in the music.”
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: ANNOUNCING THE NOMINEES, REACHING A LARGER AUDIENCE and SCHULTZ EARNS NOMINATIONS.