Award-winning Christian music artists Natalie Grant and Bart Millard are set to host the 2010 GMA Dove Awards, where the Christian music industry's highest honor will be bestowed for the 41st year.
The Gospel Music Association (GMA) officially announced its initial hosts, appearances and plans for the annual awards show Wednesday – one month after revealing its 2010 calendar of events.
The 41st annual Dove Awards, to be held at Nashville's famed Grand Ole Opry House on April 24, will be televised live on the Gospel Music Channel (GMC) television network for the third straight time after years being syndicated and shown later on tape.
"Hosting the GMA Dove Awards is a real honor," commented Grant, who won the Female Artist of the Year honor at this past year's Dove Awards. "I have always been a fan of Christian music so I consider it a tremendous privilege to help shine a brighter spotlight on the message of this life-changing music, and the artists who create it.
"I love that it's not a night of competition, but an evening of giving honor and celebrating one another," she added. "It's really more like a family gathering that I look forward to every year."
Sometimes referred to as the Christian Grammys, the GMA Dove Awards brings together artists from every style of gospel music for a night of music and celebration. While the awards will be a highlight of the show, music performances will take center stage at this year's GMA Dove Awards, which will showcase some of gospel music's top-selling and most diverse artists. Artists scheduled to appear include Casting Crowns, TobyMac, Natalie Grant, Donald Lawrence, Jason Crabb, and MercyMe, among others.
"The GMA Dove Awards is our opportunity to come together as a community to worship God and support each other as we celebrate the Gospel through music," commented Ed Leonard, chairman of the GMA's board of directors. "Along with this summer's Immerse conference, it is a cornerstone of what we are doing in 2010 as an association. Coming together like this makes us stronger as a community, plus it's a lot of fun!"
Tickets to the 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards will go on sale first to GMA Members on Jan. 4 and then to the public on Jan. 19.
Final nominees for next year's honors, meanwhile, will be announced on Feb. 18, 2010.
Awards are voted upon by members of the Gospel Music Association.