Dove Awards nominees present strong field

The nominees for Christian music’s version of the Grammys – the Dove Awards – were announced Thursday showing a wide depth and breadth of talent.

Steven Curtis Chapman, who named Artist of the Year in 2009, is not up for the award when it will be presented at the awards show April 21st in Nashville. This year’s field features veterans Casting Crowns, tobyMac and Jars of Clay. Also included are crossover star Mary Mary and relative newcomer Francesca Battistelli.

Brandon Heath was nominated to potentially defend his standing as Male Vocalist of the Year, as was the case for Natalie Grant in the Female Vocalist of the Year category. Grant has won the award the four previous years. Also up for the top female vocalist spot is former American Idol finalist Mandisa.

Among New Artist of the Year nominees are Revive, an Australian group I’ve seen in person which has potential for long-term success with its pop/rock melodies.

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