- (Photo: The Christian Post)
The 43rd Annual GMA Dove Awards has recognized today's top Christian artists as they came together in celebration of gospel music on Thursday night.
The biggest event of the year in Christian/Gospel music took place in Atlanta's landmark Fox Theatre April 19, and included a pre-show as well as red carpet entrances by top names such as Kirk Franklin and Natalie Grant.
Comedian Chonda Pierce and actor David Mann from Tyler Perry's sitcom "Meet the Browns" served as hosts for the awards ceremony.
One of the most prestigious awards of the night went to Jason Crabb for Male Vocalist of the year, who also earned Artist of the year.
Crabb told The Christian Post that he was thrilled to take part in Thursday's awards ceremony.
"I'm so excited to be here, said the "Sometimes I Cry" singer.
"It just blows my mind," he added of his big win.
Christian hip-hop singer Lecrae garnered two Dove Awards during the ceremony. He was recently named by Jeremy Lin as his favorite rapper and is one of today's rising stars. The Grammy-nominated rapper received Dove Awards for Rap/Hip Hop Song of the Year with "Hallelujah," and Rap/Hip Hop Album of the year with "The Overdose."
Number one selling Gospel artist of all-time, Kirk Franklin, earned his 15th and 16th Dove Awards Thursday. The singer took home awards for Contemporary Gospel Album and Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of the Year.
The 43rd annual Dove Awards saw several performances by both old and new artists. Jamie-Grace, who earned the Dove Award for New Artist of the Year, performed her hit song "Hold Me," while R&B soul singer Angie Stone shared the stage with gospel singers Yolanda Adams, Crystal Lewis, and Karen Peck in a tribute to Whitney Houston.
Natalie Grant's performance of her hit song "Alive" earned the singer a standing ovation on the night. Additionally, she garnered her fifth Dove Award for Female Vocalist of the Year.
For a full list of nominees and Dove Awards winners visit DoveAwards.com.
The GMA Dove Awards will be nationally televised on GMC TV on April 24 at 8 p.m. EST and 10 p.m. EST.
Stay tuned to The Christian Post for video interviews with the artists who attended the Dove Awards.