Jason Crabb Tops 2012 Dove Awards Nominees
Jason Crabb Tops 2012 Dove Awards Nominees

The diversity of the faith-based music community was recognized today as nominees were announced for the 43rd annual Gospel Music Association Dove Awards.

Southern gospel singer Jason Crabb leads the ceremony, set for April 19 at Atlanta's Fox Theater, with eight nominations, including nods in the artist, male vocalist, country recorded song and Southern gospel album of the year categories.

Fresh from her recent Grammy win, worship leader Laura Story earned nominations in the artist and female vocalist categories. Reach Records flagship artist Lecrae and bluegrass gospel family act the Isaacs were both honored with their first nominations in the artist of the year category.

Crabb received the news of his eight nominations as he was traveling back from last night's college basketball game between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the University of Kentucky Wildcats, where he performed the national anthem.

"I'm just blown away," Crabb says. "My latest release, 'The Song Lives On,' is a project I'd always dreamed of recording. I wanted to go back to my roots…back to the church where I grew up singing. To see the songs I sang in a little country church be honored in this way is special. This album is something really dear to my heart."

R&B veteran Montell Jordan, Emmy-nominated comedian Chonda Pierce, BET "Lift Every Voice" host CoCo Brother and World Heavyweight Champion wrestler A.J. Styles announced the nominees at a press conference held today at the Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta, with newcomer Jamie Grace performing at the event.

"The GMA is excited to again honor the artists, songwriters and creative individuals in our community through the 43rd Annual GMA Dove Awards," stated GMA executive director Jackie Patillo. "This event not only celebrates great work, but also provides a platform to further our mission of exposing, promoting and celebrating the Gospel through music."

Click here for the complete list of nominees.