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Archive for April, 2011

Visits from Third Day, Steven Curtis Chapman and Tim Tebow

Photos: Melissa Ruggieri

Photos: Melissa Ruggieri

When the Dove Awards air Sunday night on gmc (formerly the Gospel Music Channel), viewers will see Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, receive the Uplift Award for their work with their orphan care charity, Show Hope.

The couple, who came backstage with the guys from Third Day and Casting Crowns’ Mark Hall (we won’t tell you why, lest to ruin all the surprises), might be the most loving pair in marital history.

Steven Curtis always had his wife’s hand or slipped in a compliment while discussing his new album, “Re-Creation,” due Aug. 9.

The Chapman familysuffered a devastating loss in 2008 when one of their children, Maria, 5, was accidentally run over in their driveway by their son, Will Franklin.

Steven Curtis said that when he wrote the lyric, “to stand at a grave and know it’s not the end,” it was “like oxygen. All of a sudden these songs became more real.”

A quick question was tossed to Third Day frontman Mac Powell — what are the …

Continue reading Visits from Third Day, Steven Curtis Chapman and Tim Tebow »

Sandi Patty shows up 75 pounds lighter but with more awards

By Sheila M. Poole

Legend Sandi Patty, looking sleek in a black dress, picked up her 40th Dove Award .

She revealed that she’s lost 75 pounds. Patty said God had been working on her on the inside and she wanted to reflect that on the outside.

Patty said she had a number of things on her bucket list including doing “Hello Dolly” on Broadway. Until then, though, she plans to do with something with the orchestra in Indianapolis.

She also praised  Atlantan Francesca Battistelli as Female Vocalist of the Year. Battistelli and others performed a medley of Sandy’s songs. She said Battistelli may have had the least amount to sing but that she handed that with extreme grace.

Continue reading Sandi Patty shows up 75 pounds lighter but with more awards »

Francesca Battistelli wins, Kenny Rogers loves the Fox

Atlanta transplant Francesca Battistelli nabbed female vocalist of the year after performing a tribute to Sandi Patty with her fellow nominees.

Clad in a sparkly dress, her hair in a side bun, Battistelli accepted the award and said she really didn’t know what to say.

“Thank you to the Lord — he’s the reason we’re all here. Thank you guys for supporting Christian music,” then added with a smile and glance at her trophy, “Yay!”

Photo: Melissa Ruggieri

Photo: Melissa Ruggieri

About the same time Battitstelli was winning, Kenny Rogers, who performed with Point of Grace earlier in the show, came backstage and said he was thrilled that the Doves were being held in Atlanta, where he lives.

He’s also a huge fan of the Fox Theatre and praised its onstage acoustics.

“The parking kind of sucks, though,” he said with a grin.

Continue reading Francesca Battistelli wins, Kenny Rogers loves the Fox »

Male vocalist of the year winner

Chris August beat a field of seven including Martin Sapp, Brandon Heath and Atlanta’s Chris Tomlin — who opened the show — for male vocalist of the year.

“I’d like to thank Will Smith for doing the ‘Fresh Prince’ because without those pickup lines, I would have never written any love songs,” August joked.

After August’s win, comedian Chonda Pierce, a South Carolina native, joined host Sherri Shepherd on stage for some hilarious banter, with tasteful jokes about Christians and Spanx. Hope the segment makes the air Sunday.

Continue reading Male vocalist of the year winner »

Mandisa talks about inner beauty

A thoroughly stunning Mandisa said she thinks her current album, “What if We Were Real,” is her most honest to date

Photo: Melissa Ruggieri

Photo: Melissa Ruggieri

because the messages “aren’t all positive and roses.”

The one-time “American Idol” hopeful — she came in ninth during the show’s fifth season — said the songs are a little edgier than what fans might have expected from her, but that she had to be true to her feelings.

“When we take our masks off and let the Lord see our hearts, he does amazing things,” she said.

Now nearly 120 pounds lighter from her “Idol” days, the singer said, when asked what her message to women would be, that she didn’t lose the weight “because I felt I had to listen to the Simon Cowells of the worlds, but I wanted my body to be a temple.”

Mandisa said being on “Idol” taught her to ignore outside sources concerned only with the superficial and “not give in to the magazine covers and music videos that tell me I’m not …

Continue reading Mandisa talks about inner beauty »

Sherri Shepherd: “I love the Lord”

Photo: Melissa Ruggieri

Photo: Melissa Ruggieri

By Sheila M. Poole

Sherri Shepherd took the press room by storm at the 42nd annual Dove Awards, twirling in her purple floor-length gown.

Shepherd said she was beyond thrilled  to host the Dove Awards for the first time. Her favorite artists include TobyMac, Mary Mary and Kirk Franklin, whom she credits with keeping her celibate. She held up her sparkling diamond engagement ring and joked that “I fasted for this one.”

She also movingly talked about how Natalie Grant’s music inspired her when her son was born early. She said her music held her as she went through the journey with her son.

Shepherd said she hoped others would be inspired by her walk. “I love the Lord. I truly, truly love the Lord and I love following Him.”

She joked that she hoped she would be invited back to the Doves. Perhaps even as a performer. “I’m taking singing lessons now. I’m going to make an album too.”  No idea whether she was joking, because Shepherd is a superwoman as a …

Continue reading Sherri Shepherd: “I love the Lord” »

Casting Crowns score Dove for concert video

Photo: Melissa Ruggieri

Photo: Melissa Ruggieri

Casting Crowns, the seven-piece group of youth ministers from Stockbridge, scored a Dove for long form music video for ”Until the Whole World Hears…Live.”

Backstage, the affable group, fronted by Mark Hall, said the band appreciated only having to travel about an hour to attend since the show has always been held in Tennessee.

“It’s always exciting to get nominated,” Hall said. ”I’m of the thought that everyone needs a Dove Awards, especially in youth ministry…If someone is walking with Jesus because of something we did…the Doves are not just about the statue, but a way bigger picture.”

Hall said the group is currently in the studio and tracking the final songs for “Come to the Well,” which he said were “birthed out of our ministry.”

Continue reading Casting Crowns score Dove for concert video »

Christmas Album of the Year and Toby Mac visits

Shelia M. Poole

Looking a lot like the holidays for Point of Grace; Nathan Chapman and Stephanie Chapman. They won Christmas Album of the Year for “Home for the Holidays.”

Also a win for “Passion: Awakening” w Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, Dave Crowder Band etc.

 

Photo: Melissa Ruggieri

Photo: Melissa Ruggieri

TobyMac wins his 12th Dove with Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year. TobyMac said he’s written two songs for next CD project. Spending lot of time helping Jamie Grace, an artist he’s working  with on her  music project. He saw her first on YouTube,

His take on the Doves moving to Atlanta? “I love Atlanta,” he said. He said he also loves performing in the Fox Theatre.

He also gives a shout out to Atlanta -based LeCrae.  ”I just think that he’s legit…He not only has the skills but he has the heart. It’s hard to be humble and a dope rapper.”

Continue reading Christmas Album of the Year and Toby Mac visits »

Karen Peck talks about role in Queen Latifah movie

Karen Peck, a presenter on tonight’s show, just came back to the press room to talk about her small role in the Queen Latifah/Dolly Parton movie “Joyful Noise” that has been shooting in the area.

Peck, decked out in the gold heels she wears in the movie, said she plays the host of a choir and sings lead on one song. The producers also gave her a few lines.

“I got to say y’all!” she said.

Peck and New River have a new album, “Reach Out,” coming in July.

Continue reading Karen Peck talks about role in Queen Latifah movie »

More Dove Award winners

Point of Grace just picked up its 11th career win for country album of the year with “No Changin’ Us,” while Casting Crowns, from Stockbridge, lost to Chris August’s “No FarAway” for pop/contemporary album of the year.

Casting Crowns is still eligbile for two more Doves tonight.

And we’re still waiting for any of the artists to come backstage and chat about their wins. Stay tuned.

Continue reading More Dove Award winners »