Thursday night the Gospel Music Association (GMA) continued a tradition started in 1969 with its 40th Dove Awards. Dubbed the “Biggest Night in Gospel Music,” the ceremony recognizing artists’ achievements in the Christian music industry was broadcast live on the Gospel Music Channel.
The top winners were Casting Crowns and Brandon Heath with a trio of Doves each. Heath received the Song of the Year with Jason Ingram for “Give Me Your Eyes,” along with two more awards for Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song and Male Vocalist. Casting Crowns was declared Group of the Year for the fifth time, and also won for Christmas Album and Short Form Music Video, while Natalie Grant was dubbed top Female Vocalist, her fourth consecutive win in the category.
For the first time, fans voted with GMA members to determine who should win as top artist and new artist. According to GMA more than 250,000 votes poured in for these categories. The Artist of the Year trophy went to Steven Curtis Chapman, who received a standing ovation after he performed “Cinderella.” Fans also helped Tenth Avenue North win as New Artist of the Year.
Among those who performed were new artist Francesca Battistelli, Grant with Group 1 Crew, Heath, Mary Mary, MercyMe, Chris Sligh, Tenth Avenue North, Third Day, Chris Tomlin and Blind Boys of Alabama with Mac Powell. The night also included a special tribute to Dottie Rambo, the Grammy and Dove Award-winning legend who died last May. Those who honored her were Sandi Patty, Larnelle Harris, Jason Crabb and Kim Hopper.
For more information on the Dove Awards visit doveawards.com.