Battistelli, LeCrae to Perform at the Dove Awards

Francesca Battistelli, Jason Crabb, Natalie Grant, Mary Mary, Comedienne Chonda Pierce, Marvin Sapp and Chris Tomlin will be performing at the upcoming 42nd Annual GMA Dove Awards.

These top Christian music artists will also be joined by legendary Kenny Rogers, multi-award-winning Point of Grace and first-time nominee LeCrae, among others.

This year's notable artists are Battistelli and LeCrae.

With four nominations at the Dove Awards, Battistelli is the most nominated female artist of the year.

Recently, her sophomore album, Hundred More Years, landed the No. 1 spot on the Christian SoundScan Album Chart and No. 16 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, making it her highest charting debut album.

She has received positive reviews from secular and Christian media alike. USA Today says her album is filled with "eloquent long-range views on family and love" with a 3.5 star review.

In response to her recent success, Battistelli said, "I do what I do every day in the hopes that my music will inspire and bring light to my fans. And to know that you're on the right path is an incredible feeling!"

Another artist to keep an eye on is LeCrae with his upbeat Southern style hip-hop. The Atlanta-based rapper has also been noticed by both secular and Christian media. Late last year, he was invited to the Grammy awards for the nomination of Best Gospel Rock/Rap album.

His recent album, Rehab: The Overdose, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Christian and Gospel charts, No. 5 on the Rap charts and No. 15 on the Top 200. The album remained on the Billboard Top 100 for over 18 consecutive weeks – a first for a Christian hip-hop album.

Besides his success, what's even more notable is his testimony and his passion to bring a message of hope to those who are lost as he was once. During his youth, he began to rap while getting involved in the gang culture and "living a lifestyle of excessive sin."

When he was invited to a Christian conference, he went only out of interest in meeting girls. However, it was then when he decided to say "You know what Lord, this is real and I'm not playing with fire. Here is my life, you can have it."

While he was rapping as a volunteer at a juvenile detention center he felt the call to make an album and in 2005 he released his debut Real Talk which landed at No. 29 in the Gospel and Rap Billboard chart. He had recorded four albums since.

As we get closer to the Dove Awards, which will be televised on GMC Easter Sunday, April 24, the public can only anticipate more from both artists.

The GMA Dove Awards is the longest running and most prestigious televised awards ceremony recognizing achievement in all genres of Christian and Gospel music. This year's ceremony will be held at Atlanta's Fox Theatre.

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