Except for TobyMac winning Artist of the Year honors there were no real surprises at the 39th Annual Dove Awards which were held in Nashville recently. Accepting his award TobyMac was quoted as saying "Are you kidding? This is crazy, man. I thought I was Mr. Pre-Televised awards," joked TobyMac, whose real name is Toby McKeehan. "God has been faithful time and again to surround me with people that sharpen me and that make me better."
12 years ago TobyMac won the same honor while a member of the band DCTalk. His CD, Portable Sounds debuted at No. 10 on the billboard Top 200 and continues to spin out hits such as "Made to Love" and "I'm For You" which has earned him R&R's Christian CHR Artist of the Year honors.
Besides artist of the year, he took home Dove Awards for rock/contemporary album for "Portable Sounds" and short-form video for his hit "Boomin."
Yes my readers called this one right on the money when Casting Crowns picked up three of the statues and lead singer Mark Hall, who was the night's leading nominee with six, won song of the year and pop/contemporary recorded song of the year for "East to West." Again another great night for the Atlanta based group, who rounded out the wins with a Best Pop/Contemporary Album of the year for "The Altar and the Door" CD.
In a statement to the press Hall said, "I'm so thankful just to get to be part of the songs."
For the third consecutive year Chris Tomlin won male vocalist of the year and Natalie Grant was awarded female vocalist. Again no surprises there since Chris Tomlin was voted Artist of the Year by Bellaonline readers and Natalie is a steady Bellaonline favorite.
"This is quite amazing. Thank God for letting me sing and give a voice to people around the world to worship him," Tomlin said in a recent press release. "This is unbelievable that God would continue to use us all like this, and I'm very, very grateful."
Grant, who performed "Bring It All Together" with country star Wynonna Judd, said she was thankful for the freedom to express her passion for Jesus Christ.
Brandon Heath won new artist of the year. Heath's "I'm Not Who I Was," a song about forgiveness that he says was inspired by an old photograph of someone he hadn't seen in a while, was nominated for song of the year.
The live telecast, which was broadcast on XM Satellite Radio and The Gospel Music Channel, featured great performances from the Clark Sisters, The David Crowder Band, Marvin Sapp, and Point of Grace.
Closing with a salute to the Grand Ole Opry stage, where the show was held, Charlie Daniels led the house through a rousing version of the hymn "I'll Fly Away."
The Dove Awards in the overall categories went to:
Artist of the Year: TobyMac
Female Vocalist of the Year: Natalie Grant
Male Vocalist of the Year: Chris Tomlin
Group of the Year: Casting Crowns
New Artist of the Year: Brandon Heath
Songwriter of the Year: Cindy Morgan
Song of the Year: “East to West,” written by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms
Producer of the Year: Ian Eskelin
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Dove Awards: http://www.gospelmusic.org