Since 1970, the Gospel Music Association has hosted one of the most anticipated nights in Christian music and this year was no different, at the 46th Annual GMA Dove Awards! Returning once again to the Allen Center at Lipscomb University, some of the most well-respected and talented artists in the Christian music industry, made their way to Nashville Tennessee. While the Dove Awards is a night to celebrate and honor the achievements of Christian music of all genres, many of the artists who attend see it as one big happy “family reunion.” They not only have the opportunity to receive accolades, but reconnect with so many of the artists they admire and call friends.
If you wanted tickets to this year’s Dove Awards, you had to get them early, because they were sold out! Hosted this year by five-time Dove Award winner and Gospel songstress, Erica Campbell and Duck Dynasty princess and former Dancing With The Stars Contestant, Sadie Robertson; the awards were destined to shine. The theme for the Dove Awards this year was “Better Together,” focused on putting the message of the Gospel in the forefront, and uniting all genres of Christian music. Erica and Sadie played off this theme well, as they joked about making it through the show together- with the help of each other. Both ladies used the night to play dress up, changing into multiple outfits throughout the night, which made it fun to keep up with. Be the end of the evening, Erica not only changed into five different outfits, but her hairstyle changed just as many times too!
During the night, there was plenty of amazing performances to keep everyone on their feet, singing and clapping along. Kirk Franklin performed his new single, “Wanna Be Happy,” with the simplicity of just a keyboard, African drum and beautifully blended voices. Reach Records artists KB, had more of a political slant to his performance of “I Believe,” as he reminded the audience no matter what happens on earth, we will win in heaven as believers. Country Christian Band, The Isaacs, collaborated with Erica Campbell on her song, “A Little More Jesus,” and other performers were Big Daddy Weave, Casting Crowns, Crowder, Israel Houghton, NF, Building 429 and many more.
With 41 awards that are voted on, there were plenty of Dove Awards to give out for the night. New comer Lauren Daigle, left the arena with 3 Doves in hand for New Artists of the Year, Song of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year for her single “How Can It Be.” Hip-Hop artist, LeCrae also took home 3 awards for Rap/Hip-Hop Song and Album of the Year and also won the prestigious Artist of the Year award. Michael W. Smith collected his 45th, yes you read that right…45th Dove Award for Christmas Album of the Year; which even he was surprised about. While other winners included for KING & COUNTRY, Colton Dixon, Tasha Cobbs, Matt Maher, Israel & New Breed, Skillet, NEEDTOBREATH, Karen Peck & New River, Smokie Norful among others.
To end the night was a great performance by Israel & New Breed, which featured his daughter Mariah, as one of the soloist on stage. And let’s just say…the talent runs in the family! Other artists, from all genres, jumped on the stage to help them finish out their evening, as a grand finale. But don’t just take my word for it, you can catch the Pre-Show, Red Carpet high-lights and awards show when it airs October 18th, 2015 on TBN at 9:00 pm CST. Next year’s awards show is already set for October 11, 2016 and I can’t wait to see what the Gospel Music Association will think up next. Whatever it is, I’m sure it will be another sold out sensation, giving the Gospel as only the Dove Awards can!
Writer: Shani Lodge- ShaniSpeaksNow, LLC.