Christian singer Jason Crabb won two of the most prominent awards for male artists at the 43rd annual Dove Awards held for the second straight year in Atlanta.
Crabb went home with artist and male vocalist of the year awards on Thursday night at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. The show will air on April 24 on GMC, formerly the Gospel Music Channel.
Natalie Grant dethroned Francesca Battistelli, taking home female artist of the year. Grant previously won the award four straight years before Battistelli.
After winning her first Grammy, Laura Story continued her stellar year with five awards. The singer's Grammy-winning song, "Blessings," won her song of the year at the Doves.
R&B soul singer Angie Stone along with gospel singers Yolanda Adams, Crystal Lewis and Karen Peck opened up the show with a choir dressed of red, singing a spirited rendition of Dottie Rambo's song "I Go To the Rock." The foursome's performance was a tribute to Whitney Houston, who died Feb. 11. Houston also sang the song in the 1996 movie, "The Preacher's Wife."
Stone, who learned about the tribute a day ago, said it was an emotional experience.
After the singer's touching performance, some humor shortly followed when co-hosts actor David Mann of Tyler Perry's sitcom "Meet the Browns" and Christian comedian Chonda Pierce took the stage. Pierce asked if Mann could introduce her at some point, and the actor sarcastically said, "I'll see what I can do," while looking away as audience members broke into laughter.
Jamie Grace won new artist of the year. The 20-year-singer, who has battled with Tourette's syndrome for nearly half of her life, shed tears while accepting her award to thank her family along with TobyMac, who signed Grace to his label, Gotee Records, after he discovered her through YouTube.
Kirk Franklin ended a five-year drought, claiming contemporary gospel album of the year for his album, "Hello Fear." Franklin has had strong year so far as well, Franklin, recently collecting two Grammys and two NAACP Image Awards, hasn't won a Dove Award since 2007.
Visit doveawards.com for the full list of winners.