By: Star Connor-Yolanda Adams Morning Show Producer
It was a night that paid tribute to gospel music’s veterans and recognized the industry’s emerging talents as the 42nd Annual Gospel Music Association Dove Awards entertained a sold-out crowd at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre. Hosted by the View’s TV Show Host- Sherri Shepherd, the show broadcast Sunday night on gmc at 7 p.m. et.
Francesca Battistelli was the evening’s top winner. She was named Artist of the Year and collected her second consecutive Female Vocalist award. Her hit “Beautiful, Beautiful” was named Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year.
Singer/songwriter Chris August collected three Doves, winning in the Male Vocalist and New Artist of the Year categories as well as Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for his Word Records debut No Far Away.
Jason Crabb won two Dove Awards, and “Sometimes I Cry,” penned by his father Gerald Crabb was named Song of the Year.
Other Awards included Marvin Sapp, Tamela Mann, Israel Houghton (Gospel Album of the Year), Lola Godheld (Urban Recorded Song of the Year) and TobyMac (Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year).
There were several artist collaborations during the night. Point of Grace teamed with Kenny Rogers on “Standing On the Rock of Your Love,” a song from his first ever gospel album, For the Love of God, which is available at Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores. One of the most touching collaborations was Steven Curtis Chapman and Casting Crowns’ Mark Hall joining Third Day on their powerful anthem “Children of God” from Third Day’s current album Move. During the song, all of Third Day’s children along with Mark and Steven’s kids joined their parents on stage to sing. Third Day frontman Mac Powell and his wife, Aimee; Casting Crowns Mark and his wife Melanie and Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman have all adopted children.
The evening was filled with memorable performances, including Tenth Avenue North’s riveting “You Are More,” Mary Mary’s soulful “Wave My Flag,” Jason Crabb’s stirring “Sometimes I Cry,” Battistelli’s “This Is the Stuff” and Kirk Franklin who closed the show with his uplifting hit “Smile.” Throughout the evening, in between acts and during set changes, comedian Chonda Pierce kept the crowd thoroughly entertained with her rapier wit and no-holds-barred comedic jabs at both herself and a few of her brethren.
A never-seen-before performance titled “The Singing Pastors” was a memorable highlight. In an unforgettable move, Bishop Paul S. Morton and pastors Marvin Sapp, Smokie Norful, Dietrick Haddon and Donald Lawrence took over the stage together.