Tonight Christian music’s version of the Grammys – the Dove Awards – will take place in Nashville.
The show will be hosted by two of Christian music’s most well-known performers, MercyMe frontman Bart Millard and singer-songwriter Natalie Grant.
Grant is going for an unheard of fifth straight Female Vocalist of the Year award in her own right. When interviewing Grant for a story last year, I was struck with how down to Earth she was and grounded in her commitment to her family and her faith. Without naming names, let’s just say it’s safe to remark that there have been plenty of other people I’ve come across in professional sports and entertainment of whom I wasn’t left with the same impression.
Grant’s streak aside, the nominee list for the 41st edition of the show reads as it ordinarily does as a who’s who of Christian music.
Up for Artist of the Year and serious challenger to Grant in the Female Vocalist category is Francesca Battistelli, who has become a staple on Christian radio with her smooth melodies. American Idol alum Mandisa is nominated in the Female Vocalist Category as well.
Also up for Artist of the Year are three veteran acts well known to Christian music fans in Jars of Clay, Casting Crowns and TobyMac.
As for the Male Vocalist of the Year two men who have gone past being rising stars to being more firmly entrenched in terms of name recognition are Brandon Heath and Jeremy Camp.
The awards will air Saturday at 8 EDT on Gospel Music Channel.