Powell, Hammond Lead Dove Awards Nominees

During the past year the Christian music community has seen the breakthough of several gifted new acts at radio and retail. Those talents were again affirmed as the nominees were announced for the 32n

During the past year the Christian music community has seen the breakthough of several gifted new acts at radio and retail. Those talents were again affirmed as the nominees were announced for the 32nd annual Dove Awards, slated for April 26 at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House. Newcomers such as Plus One, Rachael Lampa, P.O.., Mark Schultz, and Stacie Orrico garnered nods in key categories, alongside perennial favorites such as Steven Curtis Chapman, Point Of Grace, and Michael W. Smith.

Third Day lead vocalist Mac Powell leads the pack with nine nominations (including wor as an individual and with Third Day), among them nods in the categories of group, male vocalist, and pop/contemporary recorded song for "God Of Wonders." Fred Hammond received eight nominations, as an individual and with Fred Hammond & Disciples Of Chris. Smith, P.O.D., Third Day, and Mary Mary scored seven nominations each, with Schultz and Chapman each garnering six nominations.

The group of the year category, with nominees Avalon, P.O.D., Plus One, Point Of Grace, and Third Day, is particularly divese. "There's no middle. It's CCM [contemporary Christian music] and light AC, all the way over to Southern rock and hard rock," says Gospel Music Association (GMA) president Frank Breeden.

The Dove Awards' 45 categories are voted on by the 5,500 members f the GMA. This year's show is being produced by Dick Clark Productions. It is not yet known which network will carry the show.

Here is a partial list of nominees:

Artist of the year: Steven Curtis Chapman, P.O.D., Michael W. Smith, Third Day, Jaci Velaquez.

Female vocalist: Yolanda Adams, Rachael Lampa, Nicole C. Mullen, Nichole Nordeman, Jaci Velasquez.

Male vocalist: Steven Curtis Chapman, Fernando Ortega, Mac Powell, Mark Schultz, Michael W. Smith.

New artist: Rachael Lampa, Mary Mary, Stacie Orrco, Plus One, Mark Schultz.

Contemporary gospel album: "Devotion," Aaron Neville; "Get Your Praise On," New Direction; "Live in London And More," Donnie McClurkin; "Purpose By Design," Fred Hammond & Radical For Christ; "Tri-city4.com," Donald Lawrence the Tri-City Singers.

Rock album: "Double Take," Petra; "Guardian Live," Guardian; "Loud And Clear," the O.C. Supertones; "Tree63," Tree63; "Worthless Pursuit Of Things On The Earth," Chris Taylor.

Pop/contemporary album: "Crystal Clear," Jaci Velasque; "Live For You," Rachael Lampa; "Mark Schultz," Mark Schultz; "The Promise," Plus One; "This Is Your Time," Michael W. Smith.

Inspirational album: "A Story To Tell-Hymns & Praises," Larnelle Harris; "God Is Working," Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir Live; "Hom," Fernando Ortega; "Wayne Watson," Wayne Watson; "Windows," the Martins.