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Dove Awards nominees announced at the Fox

Photo credit: Melissa Ruggieri

Photo credit: Melissa Ruggieri

For the first time in its 42-year history, the Dove Awards will take place outside of Tennessee – specifically, at the Fox Theatre  on April 20.

So why Atlanta?

“We were looking for a place that was a true representation of all forms of gospel and Christian music,” said Ed Leonard, chairman of the board for the Gospel Music Association. “You’ve got Third Day, Casting Crowns, Karen Peck and New River, Chris Tomlin…I don’t know if there is another city other than Nashville that represents Christian music in its entirety than [Atlanta].”

Leonard commented on the move shortly after a press conference this morning in the Fox’s Egyptian Ballroom to announce nominees in 18 of the Dove Awards’ 43 categories.

Tomlin and TobyMac lead the nominations with six each, followed by Jason Crabb with five and Francesca Battistelli with four.

Battistelli was on hand to reveal some of the noms, as were members of Third Day (nominated for the song “Lift Up Your Face” and for rock/contemporary album for “Move”); Christian hip-hop artist LeCrae (nominated for the song “Background”); former “American Idol” finalist and multiple Dove winner Mandisa; and the trio of Kim Lord, Heather Day and Valerie Ruppe, who comprise the group Sisters.

The members of Third Day, which has won more than 20 Doves throughout its career, said they hope to be presenters or performers on the show. Those artists are expected to be announced within the next two weeks.

“We’re very proud of being from Georgia and there is such a great community of Christian artists here,” said Third Day’s Tai Anderson, adding that he and the band were surprised – pleasantly – when they heard the Doves were moving to Atlanta.

Though there is no long-term plan for the location of the show, Leonard said he’s pleased with ticket sales so far and is “open to keeping the Doves in Atlanta.”

“We’re looking forward to a show as beautiful and inspiring as this venue,” Leonard said.

Tickets for the Dove Awards, which will be hosted by Sherri Shepherd, are on sale now through all Ticketmaster outlets, and the Fox box office for $25-$200.

The ceremony will air at 7 p.m. April 24 (Easter Sunday) on GMC.

14 comments Add your comment


February 16th, 2011
12:44 pm


February 16th, 2011
12:45 pm

There are some outstanding musicians in Christian Rock! Makes me wish I still lived in Atlanta! Check out the CD by Third Day “Move”. It’s awesome! Good move Atlanta for bringing the Doves to this city.


February 16th, 2011
12:49 pm

My boy Lecrae got nominated. By the way AJC, he too is living in Atlanta now


February 16th, 2011
1:01 pm

If there is a singer/songwriter award the winner hands down should be Andrew Peterson. One of the best artist of our time! He also has a lot of stuff on youtube.


February 16th, 2011
1:06 pm

In addition, Atlanta has Chris Tomlin, Christy Nockels, Louie & Shelly Giglio at Six Step Records, and many others.


February 16th, 2011
1:19 pm

Our friends from New Zealand, Rapture Ruckus have been nominated fot Hip Hop/ Rap Album of the Year!!! Whoooopeee! Congratulations!

warren estes

February 16th, 2011
1:38 pm

Check out Mike Farris. He is now in God’s corner after fronting the Wheelies!!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Roger Anthony Mapes , Apostle Gammage and Don Wilson, Julian Batchelor. Julian Batchelor said: Dove Awards nominees announced at the Fox: “We were looking for a place that was a true representation of all fo… [...]


February 16th, 2011
1:51 pm

I have gotten into Christian music BIG TIME for the messages and talented musicians that are creative. Main stream music has gotten to be overproduced techno generated rubbish with little or no redeeming value (sorry). I hope Steve Fee is at least nominated for his work.


February 16th, 2011
2:15 pm

Francesca is also living in ATL – this is the epicenter of wholesome, inspirational, God-worshiping music that also happens to be good. No need to explain what all the double entendre or outright trashy lyrics mean to my kids, we gave the boot to secular music years ago. Toby or Third Day for next year’s Super Bowl halftime show!! Beautiful venue + amazing artists = one great show!

allan in texas

February 16th, 2011
2:24 pm

Congrats to LeCrae! Love his music!


February 16th, 2011
2:53 pm

this is awesome news! I hope I can get tickets!


February 16th, 2011
3:04 pm


Or even Casting Crowns & 10th Avenue North for the halftime show. Now that would be a great halftime show with any of these bands that have been mentioned.

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