The nominees for the 40th annual Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Awards were announced today at a press conference in Nashville.
Chris Tomlin leads the way with seven total nominations, including Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year for "Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)." His latest CD "Hello Love" was nominated for Praise & Worship Album, while "Jesus Messiah" from that project earned a nomination for Worship Song of the Year. Tomlin was also included in the Special Event Album category for his participation on the "Passion: God of This City" compilation album and in the Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song category for gospel artist LaRue Howard’s recording of Tomlin’s "How Great Is Our God."
Current three-time Female Vocalist winner Natalie Grant is nominated in that category again and has a total of five nominations, including Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for "Relentless," while the No. 1 radio hit from that record, "I Will Not Be Moved" was nominated for Song of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year. The Grant-penned "Breathe on Me" in the Worship Song category rounds out her five nominations.
Newcomer Francesca Battistelli also received five nominations. She joins Grant in the Female Vocalist category and her song "I'm Letting Go" is also up against Grant in the Song of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year categories. Battistelli's debut CD "My Paper Heart" is also nominated for Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year and her fifth nom comes in the New Artist category.
Also going for five awards is reining Group of the Year Casting Crowns. They're up for the award again this year, as well as Artist of the Year and Christmas Album of the Year for "Peace on Earth." Casting Crowns also earned noms for Short Form Video for "Slow Fade" and for Long Form Video for "The Altar and the Door Live."
Brandon Heath, Mary Mary, Laura Story, Michael W. Smith and Fireflight are all nominated for four Dove Awards.
For the first time, fans will be able to vote for the winner of Artist of the Year along with New Artist of the Year. Fan voting, which will be conducted through the Gospel Music Channel and Dove Awards websites , will open on February 26, the same day online voting opens for GMA members. The cumulative fan vote, which will continue through the live Dove Awards broadcast, will account for one-third of the total vote in those two categories.
The 40th Annual GMA Dove Awards will be handed out at Nashville’s famed Grand Ole Opry House on Thursday April 23.
See a complete list of Dove Award nominees.