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CCM Artists Honored at 41st Dove Awards

From Gospel Music Association – NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards, Gospel/Christian music's biggest event, was held last week at the legendary Grand Ole Opry House. It was an evening of celebration as an incredible 43 Dove Awards were handed out and 15 collaborative performances were showcased. The 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards was televised nationwide on gmc Sunday, April 25th.

The Dove Awards in the overall categories went to:

  • Artist of the Year: Casting Crowns
  • Female Vocalist of the Year: Francesca Battistelli
  • Male Vocalist of the Year: Brandon Heath
  • Group of the Year: NEEDTOBREATHE
  • New Artist of the Year: Sidewalk Prophets
  • Songwriter of the Year: Jennie Lee Riddle
  • Song of the Year: By Your Side, Mike Donehey, Phillip LaRue, and Jason Ingram, as performed by Tenth Avenue North
  • Producer of the Year: Jason Ingram, Rusty Varenkamp

On behalf of the membership of the Gospel Music Association, we are fortunate to have such immense creative talent sharing the Gospel through music, says Ed Leonard, Gospel Music Associations Chairman of the Board. We are proud to present this year's Dove winners, and congratulate them and all the nominees on their achievements.

Tenth Avenue Norths By Your Side was awarded Song of the Year. Written by Tenth Avenue Norths Mike Donehey, along with Phillip LaRue and Jason Ingram, the band also performed the hit single, which ranked an impressive No. 3 on Billboards overall decade ranking of Christian songs, this evening.

Ingram additionally collected trophies for publisher for Song of the Year and co-writer on the Inspirational Song of the Year, "The Only Hope." He was also named Producer of the Year along with Rusty Varenkamp.

Another of the night's multiple award winners is rock band NEEDTOBREATHE who walked away with statuettes for Group of the Year, Rock/Contemporary Album for The Outsiders, and Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song, Lay Em Down. NEEDTOBREATHE'S Bear Rinehart also picked up an award for participating in the Special Event Album, Glory Revealed II: The Word of God In Worship.

Artist of the year was awarded for the first time to platinum-selling Casting Crowns. The Atlanta-based band of youth workers continues to be one of the nations top-selling artists across all genres, with its recent album Until the Whole World Hears debuting at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart, surpassing the first-week sales of rapper 50 Cent.One of the best-selling new artists of 2009, Sidewalk Prophets, received the New Artist of the Year award. This is Sidewalk Prophetss first Dove Award.

For the second year in a row, the Artist and New Artist of the Year categories were voted on by both the Gospel/Christian music industry as well as its fans in a campaign coordinated by gmc. Almost 100,000 votes were cast on gmc's Web site and via text messaging to help determine the winners.

It was also a big night for Francesca Battistelli as she walked away with two Dove Awards, winning for Female Vocalist of the Year and for Short Form Music Video for "Free To Be Me." Battistelli also took to the center stage performing her song Beautiful, Beautiful from her debut project, My Paper Heart.    

In other top overall categories, for the second year in a row Brandon Heath took home the Male Vocalist of the Year trophy. He also received a Dove Award for his participation in the Special Event Album category. Heath also performed last evening, partnering with winners Jars of Clay on its single Two Hands. Jars of Clay was awarded two Dove Awards, one for the Pop/Contemporary Album win The Long Fall Back To Earth, as well as for the albums Recorded Music Packaging, designed in partnership with Tim Parker.

Another double winner was Jennie Lee Riddle. Riddle was recognized as the Songwriter of the Year, as well as for her No. 1 penned single, Revelation Song, named Worship Song of the Year. Recorded by Phillips, Craig & Dean, as well as by Kari Jobe.

Even more performances and unique collaborations took place, as almost 100 artists joined throughout the night to showcase the plethora of Christian music genres. Natalie Grant, who co-hosted the evening along with MercyMes Bart Millard, joined with Jordin Sparks to open the main show with Human, while MercyMe and David Crowder combined as one to perform the medley All of Creation"/How He Loves.   

Other stellar collaborations were shared with the packed Grand Ole Opry House audience, such as Rock Album of the Year winners Red taking the stage with Brian Head Welch, former lead guitarist of multi-platinum metal band Korn to perform the medley Fight Inside/Death Of Me. Introduced by Tenley Molzhan, a runner-up from the 14th season of ABCs The Bachelor, bluegrass icon Ricky Skaggs performed Someday Soon with Gordon Kennedy, while Stellar Award-winning artist and producer Donald Lawrence teamed up with Jason Crabb, showcasing their talents for the audience during their collaboration of  My Tribute. 

The evening was also highlighted by a tribute honoring 100 years of Southern Gospel. The tribute featured the Blackwood Brothers, The Perrys, The Booth Brothers, Mosie Lister, and The Crabb Family.

Other unforgettable performances of the evening included Amy Grant performing Better Than A Hallelujah, tobyMac & Diverse City with Funky Jesus Music, and Bebe & Cece Winans shared the stage with a 23-piece choir to perform Grace. Another highlight this evening was from Casting Crowns, last years Group of the Year, who performed Until the Whole World Hears" sharing the stage with a mass children's choir.

Come Together Now, the Haiti relief tribute helmed by Michael W. Smith and written by Smith, David Mullen and Cindy Morgan, closed the celebratory evening. Introduced by evangelist Franklin Graham, nearly 30 artists united on stage for the poignant finale to illustrate Nashvilles distinct and authentic community of musicianship, and most of all to help remind people of the need to help those in Haiti. A few of the artists who participated in the powerhouse collaboration were Wynonna, Lee Greenwood, Matt Maher, Melinda Doolittle, Jeremy Camp, Nicole C. Mullen, Mark Hall and many more.

The 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards Opening Ceremonies featured the presentation of 37 of the evenings 43 Dove Awards, as well as remarkable performances by Voices of Glory, Karen Peck & New River, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Collin Raye, and The Nelons with Karen Peck.

Bob Gordon was the producer of the 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards. Stephen Hubbard produced the evenings Opening Ceremonies. 
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Casting Crowns win Artist of the Year

related links

Complete list of Dove Award winners

photos from 41st dove awards

TobyMac with Diverse City
(Photo by Kurt Heinecke/Aaron Crisler Photography/Gospel Music Association)


Natalie Grant and Bart Millard

Natalie Grant and Bart Millard
(Photo by Kurt Heinecke/Aaron Crisler Photography/Gospel Music Association)


Casting Crowns

Casting Crowns
(Photo by Kurt Heinecke/Aaron Crisler Photography/Gospel Music Association)


Jordin Sparks and Natalie Grant

Jordin Sparks and Natalie Grant
(Photo by Kurt Heinecke/Aaron Crisler Photography/Gospel Music Association)