GMA Dove Award: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is a part in a series on
Gospel music
Category  • Musicians
See also:
Christianity: Portal  • Category
Christian music: Portal  • Category

The Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Awards were created in 1969 by the Gospel Music Association to honor the outstanding achievements in Christian music. The awards, representing a wide variety of musical styles, including metal, pop, rock, rap & hip hop, country, gospel, and praise & worship, are presented annually in Nashville, Tennessee. From 2004-2006, they were officially called the GMA Music Awards, but have since returned to the better known title of Dove Awards. Each awards show features performances by a number of the industry's newest and most successful artists.



Until 1978, the GMA Dove Awards were held in September, during the National Quartet Convention. The Awards were not held in 1979 (except for the GMA Hall of Fame) as they were moved to April 1980, for Gospel Music Week, where it has been held annually (except in 1999, when they were moved to late March). The 38th Annual GMA Dove Awards were presented at the Grand Ole Opry House on April 25, 2007, hosted by Brian Littrell, Natalie Grant and Donnie McClurkin.

Issues and criticisms

Some critics argue that the GMA Dove Award voters tend to be musically conservative and biased in favor of traditional gospel and pop artists over other genres. Another common criticism is that most GMA Dove Awards tend to go to either well-established acts that receive heavy radio airplay, or those which fall into the aforementioned categories. Evidence for such claims includes the fact that Steven Curtis Chapman won the "Songwriter of the Year" award 9 out of 10 years and "Male Vocalist of the Year" 7 of 12 years, with some of those wins coming in years when he released no new material.

Since the voters are all GMA members and usually work in the industry, critics charge they would more than likely tend to vote for whichever bands have the most "buzz" at the moment or are associated with their area of the industry, as with most award voterships. Supporters of the GMA contend that this is likely less prevalent than in secular awards due to Christians placing a high value on ethical behavior. [1] However, once in a while the GMA would hand out an award that would suggest otherwise, such as the year Inspirational singer Carman won an award for Rap Song of the Year for a novelty song called "R.I.O.T"


The 1971 voting scandal

An indication that gospel music was fast approaching professionalism was a bona fide scandal over the 1971 GMA's Dove Awards. The incident involved one of gospel music's premier groups, the Blackwood Brothers, who had captured nine out of fourteen awards. They were accused of having conducted an extensive campaign to enlist new members to the GMA and to encourage members to vote for particular award nominees in the Dove Award balloting. Though no specific bylaw of the organization had been broken, the tactic created an industrywide concern over "voting irregularities and ethical ballot influence and solicitation." The GMA Board voted to nullify the entire process, thereby invalidating all the awards, except for the GMA Hall of Fame inductees, that had been presented at the October 8, 1971 banquet held in Nashville, in which the Gospel Music Association formed a committee to adjust the voting process with "safeguards to prevent any future irregularities in Dove Awards balloting." James Blackwood issued a statement in support of the organization's decision and strongly urged all other participants in the Dove Awards to subscribe and adhere to the code of ethics to be set forth by the Gospel Music Association.

The Michael English scandal

Shortly after the 1994 show, Male Vocalist winner Michael English admitted to an extramarital affair with Marabeth Jordon, a member of former Group winner First Call. Although English returned his awards to the GMA after news of his affair became public the week following the awards presentation, the GMA declined to reissue his awards to another winner. English's name remained on the winner's list against his stated wishes.

Definition of Gospel Music

In 1998, the GMA, concerned over some blatantly secular entries in their categories, enacted a new Definition of Gospel Music, intended to strengthen standards they felt too weak. Prior to the Definition of Gospel Music, 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 afterward, and many groups disqualified by the rulings in 1999 were winners in 2000.

The controversy grew in 2004 when Switchfoot and Stacie Orrico were major winners with music that was predominantly secular in nature. Switchfoot also drew criticism with an endorsement contract with Budweiser. Some considered the Budweiser deal inappropriate for artists nominated for a GMA Dove Award.

This controversy continued in 2006, as top pop artists who are not in the genre won major awards, as Carrie Underwood and Brian Littrell were major GMA Dove Award winners. Also, rumors were circulating about the possible nomination of Kanye West's rap track "Jesus Walks"; this song was not nominated due to the illicit content of the song and the record.

The 2004 television non-broadcast

In 2004, a major fiasco occurred with the GMA Music Awards (the first year with the name change), with a taped broadcast that never aired. The GMA contracted to screen the awards live in selected Regal Cinema multiplexes, with United Paramount Network to broadcast taped coverage five weeks later. However, when GMAMA co-host Deion Sanders announced on May 15, 2004 that he was leaving Viacom's The NFL Today, intending to join ESPN's NFL Countdown, UPN cancelled the broadcast of the awards.

The GMA Music Awards coverage did not air for eight months, finally broadcast in late December 2004 on Pax (now Ion Television).

Charles Humbard, the son of the late pastor Rex, and his Gospel Music Channel signed an agreement in 2008 to air the Dove Awards live, making it the first Dove Awards television broadcast in four years.[1] However, after two years, the awards were not broadcast in 2010, owing to changes in the channel's change to airing mostly television reruns.


The 2008 Awards included:

  • Song of the Year
  • Songwriter of the Year
  • Male Vocalist of the Year
  • Female Vocalist of the Year
  • Group of the Year
  • Artist of the Year
  • New Artist of the Year
  • Producer of the Year
  • Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year
  • Rock Recorded Song of the Year
  • Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year
  • Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year
  • Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year
  • Southern Gospel Recorded Song of the Year
  • Bluegrass Recorded Song of the Year
  • Country Recorded Song of the Year
  • Urban Recorded Song of the Year
  • Traditional Gospel Recorded Song of the Year
  • Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of the Year
  • Worship Song of the Year
  • Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year
  • Rock Album of the Year
  • Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year
  • Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year
  • Inspirational Album of the Year
  • Southern Gospel Album of the Year
  • Bluegrass Album of the Year
  • Country Album of the Year
  • Urban Album of the Year
  • Traditional Gospel Album of the Year
  • Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year
  • Instrumental Album of the Year
  • Children's Music Album of the Year
  • Spanish Language Album of the Year
  • Special Event Album of the Year
  • Christmas Album of the Year
  • Praise & Worship Album of the Year
  • Musical of the Year
  • Youth/Children's Musical of the Year
  • Choral Collection of the Year
  • Recorded Music Packaging of the Year
  • Short Form Music Video of the Year
  • Long Form Music Video of the Year

See also


External links


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address