|Chris Tomlin again leads Dove nominees|
|Written by Eric Tiansay|
|Monday, 23 February 2009 03:06 PM America/New_York|
For the third year in a row, reigning three-time Male Vocalist of the Year Chris Tomlin leads all nominees for the 40th Annual Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Awards with seven nominations-including Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)."
Other leading nominees named Friday for gospel music's best in 2008 were Natalie Grant, newcomer Francesca Battistelli and Casting Crowns with five nods each. Four nominations each went to Brandon Heath, Mary Mary, Laura Story and Michael W. Smith.
Closing out GMA Music Week, this year's awards will be held April 23 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, and broadcast live on the Gospel Music Channel at 8 p.m. EST.
For the first time, fans will be allowed to vote via www.gospelmusicchannel.com and www.doveawards.com for the winner of Artist of the Year and New Artist of the Year. Fan voting will open today, the same day online voting opens for GMA members. The cumulative fan vote, which will continue through the Dove Awards broadcast, will account for one-third of the total vote in the two categories, GMA officials said.
The nominations for Tomlin included Male Vocalist of the Year, Praise & Worship Album for Hello Love (sixstepsrecords/EMI CMG Distribution) and Worship Song of the Year for "Jesus Messiah" from that CD. Tomlin also received a nod in the Special Event Album category for his participation on Passion: God of This City compilation album (sixstepsrecords/EMI CMG) and in the Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song category for LaRue Howard's recording of Tomlin's "How Great Is Our God," which was the 2006 Song of the Year recipient.
The reigning three-time Female Vocalist of the Year, Grant again received a nod in that category as well as Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for Relentless (Curb Records/Word Distribution), Song of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year for "I Will Not Be Moved," and Worship Song of the Year for "Breathe on Me."
Battistelli's nominations were for Song of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year for "I'm Letting Go," Female Vocalist of the Year, New Artist of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for My Paper Heart (Fervent Records/Word).
Four-time Group of the Year winners, Casting Crowns again received a nomination in that category as well as Artist of the Year, Christmas Album of the Year, Short Form Music Video for "Slow Fade" and for Long Form Music Video for The Altar and the Door Live (Beach Street Records/Provident-Integrity Distribution).
Besides Battistelli, the New Artist of the Year nominees were Addison Road, Fee, Jonathan Nelson, Remedy Drive, Chris Sligh and Tenth Avenue North.
Click here for a full list of Dove Award nominees in 43 categories, announced Feb. 23 at a press conference in Nashville.