The Gospel Music Association announced its nominees for the 36th Annual Dove Awards, honoring a mix of both industry veterans and newcomers. Word Records Artist and American Idol finalist George Huff, leading nominee Integrity Musics Israel Houghton and Curb Records Artist and Female Vocalist of the Year nominee Natalie Grant announced the nominations Monday at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville, site of the GMA Week Convention, to be held April 9-13, 2005. The Doves will be handed out on April 13 at the Grand Ole Opry House.
Contemporary Christian pioneer Michael W. Smith leads the Dove nominations with eight individual nominations including the prestigious Song of the Year and Artist of the Year categories. Casting Crowns follows with seven nominations and lead singer/songwriter Mark Hall adds six individual nominations of his own. The Crabb Family also nabbed six nominations while the groups patriarch, Gerald Crabb, earned six nominations for his prolific songwriting.
Switchfoots nominations totaled five and frontman Jonathan Foreman added another three of his own; and in the reverse, Israel Houghton earned five Dove nominations with his group Israel & New Breed receiving two nominations. MercyMe and Matthew West round out the leading nominee list with five each. Artists with four nominations include Steven Curtis Chapman, BarlowGirl, Selah, Jeremy Camp, Martha Munizzi, Martin Smith, Joe Pace, Sanctus Real, J Moss and Matt Redman.
The five artists nominated by GMA members for Artist of the Year are Casting Crowns, MercyMe, Selah, Michael W. Smith and Switchfoot. Male Vocalist of the Year nominees are Jeremy Camp, Jason Crabb, Mark Hall, Israel Houghton and Fernando Ortega. Bethany Dillon, Natalie Grant, Nicole C. Mullen, Christy Nockels and Joy Williams are nominated in the Female Vocalist of the Year Category. Artists up for Group of the Year are Casting Crowns, The Crabb Family, MercyMe, Selah and Switchfoot. The New Artist of the Year nominees BarlowGirl, Building 429, Day of Fire, Bethany Dillon and Matthew West all prove to be strong contenders with multiple nominations in other categories.
This years slate of Dove nominees once again demonstrates that gospel knows no musical boundaries, said John W. Styll, president of the Gospel Music Association (GMA). The nominees share a common faith, while their music is expressed in many diverse ways. Its great to see Southern Gospel, Urban, Rock, Pop and Worship artists all earning recognition through the nominations and it will make the GMA Music Awards show one amazing night of music.
Awards will be handed out in 44 categories. The Songwriter of the Year nominees and winner are announced during the GMA Music Awards. Dove Awards nominations go to recordings released during the eligibility year November 1, 2003 through October 31, 2004 and voted on by the members of the GMA. In categories where nominations go to the artist and songwriter and/or producer, the artist may receive two nominations for that category if they are the artist and songwriter and/or producer for that category.