TobyMac, Casting Crowns, Natalie Grant, Chris Tomlin, Trin-i-tee 5:7, Israel & New Breed and the David Crowder band were among the top honorees at the 39th annual GMA Music Awards last night at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. The focal point of the Gospel Music Assn.'s annual convention, the event aired live on the Gospel Music Channel.

TobyMac netted the artist of the year Dove, an honor he won back in 1996 as a member of the groundbreaking trio dcTalk. In a category generally dominated by pop artists or worship leaders, tobyMac's win elevated the Christian hip hop/rock genre that tobyMac (a.k.a. Toby McKeehan) has championed for so long. "I hope it opens the door for diversity in our industry," he says. "We ARE a diverse industry, but I think we could be more diverse. When I say diverse, I don't just mean colors of skin, but colors of music too. I'm talking about funk, hip hop and R&B and even opening the door for more country music. Everyone knows my music is like a big ole pot of gumbo. Everyone knows I'm about diversity. If this is the beginning of a new era, I'm proud to cut the red tape."

TobyMac also won rock/contemporary album of the year for "Portable Sounds" and his hit "Boomin" was named short form video of the year. "I didn't expect it," he told Billboard.biz backstage clutching his flock of Doves. "I'm blessed."

The third time was indeed the charm for both Grant and Tomlin as hey each won their third female vocalist and male vocalist honors, respectively. Ian Eskelin was named producer of the year and Cindy Morgan, who took home the best new artist Dove 15 years ago, was named songwriter of he year.

Casting Crowns frontman Mark Hall won four accolades and the Georgian-based band picked up three Doves, including their fourth consecutive win in the group of the year category. Hall and co-writer Bernie Herms won song of the year honors for "East to West." Casting Crowns's current album, "The Altar and the Door" was named pop/contemporary album of the year.

Hall, one of the industry's most self-effacing artists, says he's always surprised each time he takes the stage to receive and award. "You get up there and [think] 'I'm such a dork! How did I even get this award? God you are so awesome to even let us be in the room.' It's just really good to be appreciated for what you do."

Veteran rockers Skillet won their very first Dove Award for rock recorded song of the year for their hit "Comatose." "This breaks our losing streak," frontman John Cooper told Billboard.biz backstage wearing a big smile. "I was just shocked." His wife Korey echoed the same sentiment. "When I heard 'Comatose,' I said 'Did I just hear Comatose?' Do we go up there now?' It was really crazy!"

Trin-i-tee 5:7, Austin's Bridge, and Group One Crew were among the other first time dove recipients. Crew won in the rap/hip hop album category for their self-titled Fervent Records debut. Daywind trio Austin's Bridge won bluegrass recorded song for "He's in Control." Trin-i-tee 5:7 won for urban recorded song for "Listen" and urban album for "T57."

"Thank Jesus and block voting," joked Christian comedian Mark Lowry backstage after pulling a major coup by beating out his friend Sandi Patty in the inspirational album of the year category for "I Love to Tell the Story, A Hymns Collection," produced by Paul Johnson. It marked Lowry's first Dove win as a vocalist.

The following is a complete list of Dove winners:

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
TobyMac

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Natalie Grant

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Chris Tomlin

GROUP OF THE YEAR
Casting Crowns

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Brandon Heath

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
Cindy Morgan

SONG OF THE YEAR song title; writer; publisher (award to the writer and publisher)
"East To West"; Mark Hall, Bernie Herms; My Refuge Music, Club Zoo Music (BMI),
SWECS Music (BMI), Sparrow Song (BMI), Word Music LLC (ASCAP), Banahana Tunes (ASCAP)

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
Ian Eskelin

RAP/HIP HOP RECORDED SONG (song; album; artist; writer; label)
"Name Droppin'"; Bone-Appetit Servin' Up Tha Hits; T-Bone; Rene F. Sotomayor, Teak Underdue, Dee Underdue; Flicker Records

ROCK RECORDED SONG
"Comatose"; Comatose; Skillet; John L. Cooper, Brian Howes; Ardent Records, Atlantic, Lava, SRE Recordings

ROCK/CONTEMPORARY RECORDED SONG
"Everything Glorious"; Remedy; David Crowder*Band; David Crowder*Band; Sparrow Records, sixstepsrecords

POP/CONTEMPORARY RECORDED SONG
"East To West"; The Altar And The Door; Casting Crowns; Mark Hall, Bernie Herms; Beach Street Records, Reunion Records

INSPIRATIONAL RECORDED SONG
"By His Wounds"; Glory Revealed; Steven Curtis Chapman, Mark Hall, Brian Littrell, Mac Powell; Davis Nasser, Mac Powell; Reunion Records

SOUTHERN GOSPEL RECORDED SONG
"Get Away Jordan"; Get Away Jordan; Ernie Haase & Signature Sound; Traditional; Gaither Music Group

BLUEGRASS RECORDED SONG
"He's In Control"; Austins Bridge; Austins Bridge; Justin Rivers, Mike Kofahl, John Ramsey; Daywind Records

COUNTRY RECORDED SONG
"How You Live (Turn Up The Music)"; How You Live; Point Of Grace; Cindy Morgan; Word Records

URBAN RECORDED SONG
"Listen"; T57; Trin-i-tee 5:7; Chanelle Haynes, Adrian Anderson, Walter W. Millsap III, Angel Helaire, Candice Nelson, Lamar Van-Sciver, Charles Griffin III, Ryan Farith, Frank Greenfield, Tony Jones; Music World Entertainment

TRADITIONAL GOSPEL RECORDED SONG
"Ready For A Miracle"; Evan Almighty Soundtrack; LeAnn Rimes; Bunny Hull, Art Reynolds; Curb Records

CONTEMPORARY GOSPEL RECORDED SONG
"Say So"; A Deeper Level; Israel & New Breed; Michael Gungor, Israel Houghton; Integrity Music

WORSHIP SONG
"How Great Is Our God"; Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash; worshiptogether.com Songs, sixsteps Music, Alletrop Music

RAP/HIP-HOP ALBUM (album; artist; producer; label)
Group 1 Crew; Group 1 Crew; Christopher Stevens, Andy Anderson; Fervent Records

ROCK ALBUM
Scars Remain; Disciple; Travis Wyrick; SRE Recordings

ROCK/CONTEMPORARY ALBUM
Portable Sounds; TobyMac; Toby McKeehan, Christopher Stevens, David Wyatt; Forefront Records

POP/CONTEMPORARY ALBUM
The Altar and the Door; Casting Crowns; Mark A. Miller; Beachstreet Records; Reunion Records

INSPIRATIONAL ALBUM
I Love To Tell The Story, A Hymns Collection; Mark Lowry; Paul Johnson; Gaither Music Group

SOUTHERN GOSPEL ALBUM
Get Away, Jordan; Ernie Haase & Signature Sound; Lari Goss, Michael English; Gaither Music Group

BLUEGRASS ALBUM
Salt Of The Earth; Ricky Skaggs & The Whites; Ricky Skaggs & The Whites; Skaggs Family Records

COUNTRY ALBUM
Big Sky; The Isaacs; Mark Bright; Gaither Music Group

URBAN ALBUM
T57; Trin-i-tee 5:7; The Bama Boyz, Matthew Knowles, Solange Knowles,Walter W. Millsap III, DJ Static; Music World Entertainment

TRADITIONAL GOSPEL ALBUM
Past And Present; Lillie Knauls; Wayne Haun, Lillie Knauls; Vine Records

CONTEMPORARY GOSPEL ALBUM
A Deeper Level; Israel & New Breed; Israel Houghton, Aaron Lindsey; Integrity Music

INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM
Amazing Grace (Original Score); David Arnold; David Arnold; Sparrow Records

CHILDREN'S MUSIC ALBUM
VeggieTales Christian Hit Music; VeggieTales; Christopher Davis; Big Idea Records

SPANISH LANGUAGE ALBUM
De Corazon A Corazon; Seth Condrey; Seth Condrey, Mark Balltzglier; CanZion

SPECIAL EVENT ALBUM
Glory Revealed; Josh Bates, Steven Curtis Chapman, David Crowder, Mark Hall, Shawn Lewis, Brian Littrell, Trevor Morgan, Paul Neufeld, Candi Pearson-Shelton, Mac Powell, Shane & Shane, Michael W. Smith; Mac Powell; Reunion Records

CHRISTMAS ALBUM
It's A Wonderful Christmas; Michael W. Smith; David Hamilton, Michael W. Smith; Reunion Records

PRAISE & WORSHIP ALBUM
Remedy; David Crowder*Band; David Crowder*Band; Sparrow Records, sixstepsrecords

MUSICAL (title; creator; publisher (award given to creator and publisher)
Amazing Grace - My Chains Are Gone; Dennis & Nan Allen; Pilot Point Music, Lillenas Publishing Company

YOUTH/CHILDREN'S MUSICAL
Praise Rocks; Gina Boe, Barb Dorn, Sue C. Smith, Brian Green; Brentwood Kids Music Club, Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing

CHORAL COLLECTION
Let The Redeemed Say So; Lari Goss; Word Music

RECORDED MUSIC PACKAGING (product; art director; graphic artist; illustrator/photographer; label)
Remedy (David Crowder*Band); Gary Dorsey; Gary Dorsey; Gary Dorsey, Kaysie Dorsey; Sparrow Records, sixstepsrecords

SHORT FORM MUSIC VIDEO (title; artist; director; producer; production company; label)
Boomin'; TobyMac; Scott Speer; Jason Peterson; Symbolic Entertainment; Forefront Records

LONG FORM MUSIC VIDEO
Live From Hawaii; Audio Adrenaline; Mark McCallie; Audio Adrenaline; Audio Adrenaline; Forefront Records