Dove Awards logo
|Awarded for||Outstanding achievements in the Christian music industry|
|Presented by||Gospel Music Association|
A Dove Award is an accolade by the Gospel Music Association (GMA) of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the Christian music industry. The awards are presented annually. Formerly held in Nashville, Tennessee, the Dove Awards took place in Atlanta, Georgia during 2011 and 2012, but has since moved back to Nashville. The ceremonies feature live musical performances and are broadcast on TBN.
The Gospel Music Association (GMA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1964 for the purpose of supporting and promoting the development of all forms of Gospel music. There are currently about 4,000 members worldwide. The GMA provides a network in which artists, industry leaders, retail stores, radio stations, concert promoters and local churches can coordinate their efforts for the purpose of benefiting the Christian music industry.
Christian music is music that has been written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life and faith. Common themes of Christian music include praise, worship, penitence, and lament, and its forms vary widely across the world.
Nashville is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Tennessee. The city is the county seat of Davidson County and is located on the Cumberland River. The city's population ranks 24th in the U.S. According to 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the total consolidated city-county population stood at 691,243. The "balance" population, which excludes semi-independent municipalities within Davidson County, was 667,560 in 2017.
The awards were established in 1969, and represent a variety of musical styles, including rock, pop, hip hop, country, and urban.
Christian rock is a form of rock music that features lyrics focusing on matters of Christian faith, often with an emphasis on Jesus, typically performed by self-proclaimed Christian individuals. The extent to which their lyrics are explicitly Christian varies between bands. Many bands who perform Christian rock have ties to the contemporary Christian music labels, media outlets, and festivals, while other bands are independent.
Contemporary Christian music is a genre of modern popular music which is lyrically focused on matters concerned with the Christian faith. It formed as those affected by the 1960s Jesus movement revival began to express themselves in a more contemporary style of music than the hymns, Gospel and Southern gospel music that was prevalent in the church at the time. Today, the term is typically used to refer to pop, rock, or praise & worship styles.
Christian hip hop is a subgenre of hip hop music characterized by a Christian worldview, with the general purposes of evangelization, edifying some members of the church and/or simply entertaining. Christian hip hop music emerged from urban communities in the United States in the 1980s, when it existed almost exclusively in small underground scenes, with minimal formal industry promotion and little mainstream attention. It emphasizes the use of positive and uplifting messages to promote faith and belief.
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The Dove Awards were originally conceptualized by Gospel singer and songwriter Bill Gaither, at a Gospel Music Association board meeting in 1968. The idea of the award being represented by a dove is credited to Gaither and design for the award itself is credited to gospel singer Les Beasley. The first GMA Dove Awards were held at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee in October 1969. In 1971, the awards moved to Nashville.
Gospel music is a genre of Christian music. The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of gospel music varies according to culture and social context. Gospel music is composed and performed for many purposes, including aesthetic pleasure, religious or ceremonial purposes, and as an entertainment product for the marketplace. Gospel music usually has dominant vocals with Christian lyrics. Gospel music can be traced to the early 17th century, with roots in the black oral tradition. Hymns and sacred songs were often repeated in a call and response fashion. Most of the churches relied on hand clapping and foot stomping as rhythmic accompaniment. Most of the singing was done a cappella. The first published use of the term "gospel song" probably appeared in 1874. The original gospel songs were written and composed by authors such as George F. Root, Philip Bliss, Charles H. Gabriel, William Howard Doane, and Fanny Crosby. Gospel music publishing houses emerged. The advent of radio in the 1920s greatly increased the audience for gospel music. Following World War II, gospel music moved into major auditoriums, and gospel music concerts became quite elaborate.
William James Gaither is an American singer and songwriter of Southern gospel and Contemporary Christian music. He has written numerous popular Christian songs with his wife Gloria; he is also known for performing as part of the Bill Gaither Trio and the Gaither Vocal Band (GVB). In the 1990s, his career gained a resurgence, as popularity grew for the Gaither Homecoming series.
Les Beasley was an American Southern Gospel musician. From 1953-2007 he was the lead singer, bass guitarist, and manager for the Florida Boys. He was considered to be one of the pioneers of Gospel Music TV.
The 3rd GMA Dove Awards of 1971 were deemed invalid due to apparent ballot stuffing by the southern gospel group the Blackwood Brothers, and that year is still not considered an official awards year by the Gospel Music Association. There were no awards held in 1979, due to a decision by the Gospel Music Association to move the awards from autumn to spring. Every ceremony since has been held in the spring. The first televised ceremony was the 15th GMA Dove Awards of 1984, which aired on the Christian Broadcasting Network.
The 3rd Annual GMA Dove Awards moved to Nashville, TN was held October 9, 1971, at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium after two years in Memphis. As a result of the voting irregularities controversy, most awards were nullified.
Southern gospel music is a genre of Christian music. Its name comes from its origins in the Southeastern United States whose lyrics are written to express either personal or a communal faith regarding biblical teachings and Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music. Sometimes known as "quartet music" for its traditional "four men and a piano" set up, southern gospel has evolved over the years into a popular form of music across the United States and overseas, especially among baby boomers and those living in the Southern United States. Like other forms of music the creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of southern gospel varies according to culture and social context. It is composed and performed for many purposes, ranging from aesthetic pleasure, religious or ceremonial purposes, or as an entertainment product for the marketplace.
The Blackwood Brothers are an American southern gospel quartet. Pioneers of the Christian music industry, they are 8-time Grammy Award winners in addition to winning 7 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. They are also members of the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame.
The awards were held in Nashville until 2011 before being presented at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia in 2012.They returned to Nashville in 2013, and have been held at the Allen Arena on the campus of Lipscomb University since.
Allen Arena is an indoor arena at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. The arena was named in honor of James C. and Linda Allen, the facility's primary benefactors. James Allen is a member of the board of trustees for the university and worked for the university at one time. The arena is primarily used for basketball and volleyball athletic events and is also used for daily chapel services and occasional concerts.
Lipscomb University is a private Christian liberal arts university in Nashville, Tennessee. It is affiliated with the Churches of Christ. The campus is located in the Green Hills neighborhood of Nashville, between Belmont Boulevard to the west and Granny White Pike on the east. Student enrollment for the fall 2016 semester was 4,632, which included 2,986 undergraduate students and 1,646 graduate students.
Because of the large number of award categories (42 in 2012), and the desire to feature several performances by various artists, only the ones with the most popular interest are presented directly at the televised version of the award ceremony.
The "General Field" includes seven awards which are not restricted by genre:
Other awards are given for performances in specific genres, as well as for other contributions such as artwork and video. As of the 43rd Dove Awards, these include:
In 1998 the GMA published a new definition of gospel music. According to the definition, to be considered eligible for the Dove Awards, gospel music must have lyrics that are:
Prior to the definition, the only qualified music was that sold in Christian Booksellers Association affiliated stores. The new standards resulted in complaints by some fans and artists after thirteen entries were disqualified as being too secular in the 1999 Dove Awards. The rules were rescinded afterwards, and many groups disqualified by the rulings in 1999 were winners in 2000.
Michael Whitaker Smith is an American musician, who has charted in both contemporary Christian and mainstream charts. His biggest success in mainstream music was in 1991 when "Place in this World" hit No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Over the course of his career, he has sold more than 18 million albums.
The fourth Gospel Music Association (GMA) Music Awards were held in 1972 for accomplishments of musicians for the year 1972.
The 33rd Annual GMA Dove Awards were held on April 25, 2002 recognizing accomplishments of musicians for the year 2001. The show was held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee. Recipients are listed below, see also full list of nominees.
Michael English is an American Christian singer and record producer. Initially, he was a member of his family's singing group, and later a member of The Gaither Vocal Band. During his solo career, he recorded eight studio albums. English's highest-charting solo single was "Your Love Amazes Me", which reached No. 10 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1996.
Matthew Guion Maher is a Canadian contemporary Christian music (CCM) artist, songwriter, and worship leader from Newfoundland, Canada, who lives in the United States. He has written and produced nine solo albums to date. Three of his albums have reached the Top 25 Christian Albums Billboard chart and four of his singles have reached the Top 25 Christian Songs chart. He is a practicing Catholic. Maher has been nominated for nine Grammy Awards in his career and was awarded the Songwriter of the Year for an artist, at the 2015 GMA Dove Awards.
The 37th Annual GMA Dove Awards, also called the 37th Annual GMA Music Awards, were held on April 5, 2006 recognizing accomplishments of Christian musicians for the year 2005. The show was held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, and was hosted by Rebecca St. James and Kirk Franklin. This was the last year in which the awards were called the "GMA Music Awards", since they will change their names to "GMA Dove Awards".
The 38th Annual GMA Dove Awards were held on April 25, 2007 recognizing accomplishments of musicians for the year 2006. The show was held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, and was hosted by Brian Littrell, Natalie Grant, and Donnie McClurkin. This was the first year in which the awards were called the "GMA Dove Awards" since the 2006 edition was called the "GMA Music Awards".
Meredith Frances Sooter is a contemporary Christian music artist, songwriter, and worship leader. She has won two Dove Awards.
The 40th Annual 'GMA Dove Awards presentation was held on April 23, 2009 recognizing accomplishments of musicians for the year 2008. The show was held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, and was hosted by Rebecca St. James, Matthew West, and Lisa Kimmey.
The 29th Annual GMA Dove Awards were held on April 23, 1998, recognizing accomplishments of musicians for the year 1997. The show was held in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Bridgestone Arena. Live coverage on The Nashville Network was hosted by John Tesh and Naomi Judd, with a one-hour pre-show hosted by Clarence Gilyard and Kathy Troccoli.
The 24th Annual GMA Dove Awards were held on April 1, 1993, recognizing accomplishments of musicians for the year 1992. The show was held in Nashville, Tennessee, and was hosted by Barbara Mandrell.
The 25th Annual GMA Dove Awards were held on April 28, 1994, recognizing accomplishments of musicians for the year 1993. The show was held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, and was hosted by Amy Grant.
The 26th Annual GMA Dove Awards were held on April 27, 1995 to recognizing accomplishments of musicians for the year 1994. The show was held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, and was hosted by Gary Chapman, Steven Curtis Chapman, Twila Paris and CeCe Winans.
The 42nd Annual GMA Dove Awards presentation was held on April 20, 2011, at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. The show was broadcast on GMC on April 24, 2011, hosted by Sherri Shepherd from The Newlywed Game.
The 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards presentation was held on April 21, 2010 recognizing accomplishments of musicians for the year 2009. The show was held at The Opry Entertainment Complex in Nashville, Tennessee, and was hosted by Bart Millard.
The 16th Annual GMA Dove Awards were held on 1985 recognizing accomplishments of musicians for the year 1984. The show was held in Nashville, Tennessee.
The 43rd Annual GMA Dove Awards presentation ceremony was held on Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 7:30 P.M. EST at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. The ceremony recognized the accomplishments of musicians and other figures within the Christian music industry for the year 2011. The ceremony was produced by the Gospel Music Association and was hosted by actor David Mann and comedian Chonda Pierce. The awards show was broadcast on the Gospel Music Channel on April 24, 2012.
The 44th Annual GMA Dove Awards presentation ceremony was held on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at the Allen Arena. It returned to Nashville, Tennessee after being away for two years. The ceremony recognized the accomplishments of musicians and other figures within the Christian music industry since the previous ceremony in April 2012. The ceremony was produced by the Gospel Music Association and was hosted by singers Kirk Franklin and Amy Grant. The awards show was broadcast on the UP television network on October 21, 2013.
The 47th Annual GMA Dove Awards presentation ceremony was held on October 11, 2016 at the Allen Arena located in Nashville, Tennessee on the campus of Lipscomb University. The ceremony recognized the accomplishments of musicians and other figures within the Christian music industry for the year 2015/2016. The ceremony was produced by the Trinity Broadcasting Network and was hosted by musicians For King & Country and Tye Tribbett. The awards show was broadcast on the Trinity Broadcasting Network on Sunday October 16, 2016.
The 48th Annual GMA Dove Awards presentation ceremony was held on Sunday, October 17, 2017 at the Allen Arena located in Nashville, Tennessee. The ceremony recognized the accomplishments of musicians and other figures within the Christian music industry for the year 2017. The ceremony was produced by the Trinity Broadcasting Network and was hosted by female singers Kari Jobe and Tasha Cobbs Leonard. The awards show was broadcast on the Trinity Broadcasting Network on October 22, 2017.