Zach Williams and the brother duo For King & Country lead all artists with five nominations each for the 51st annual GMA Dove Music Awards, the Gospel Music Association announced Thursday (Aug. 13) morning. Hillsong Worship, Kirk Franklin and Jonathan McReynolds were a beat behind with four nominations each.
Other notable first-time nominees include former disco queen Gloria Gaynor, who won a Grammy for best roots gospel album in January (two nods), We the Kingdom (three) and Unspoken (two). We the Kingdom are nominated for new artist of the year, making them the apparent front-runners in that category.
Tasha Cobbs Leonard is the only artist nominated for both artist of the year and gospel artist of the year.
Thirteen songs are vying for song of the year. Only two have just one songwriter. The trend to multiple writers on a song extends to the gospel world.
“The GMA is honored to continue its legacy of celebrating our diverse creative community and the music that moves us and ministers to us all, especially during these trying times,” GMA president Jackie Patillo said in a statement.
The nominations were announced by artists Brooke Ligertwood (Hillsong Worship), Joel Smallbone (For King & Country), Anthony Brown, Christine D’clario, Joseph Habedank and Aaron Cole from their homes across the country.
The nominations program was broadcast exclusively on SiriusXM/Pandora’s “The Message” (Channel 63), “Kirk Franklin’s Praise” (Channel 64) and “EnLighten” (Channel 65). The nominee announcement can be seen in its entirety on the GMA Dove Awards Facebook Page and YouTube channel.
Voting for the final winners will extend from Aug. 20-27. Winners will be announced on TBN on Oct. 30. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, in lieu of the annual live awards show, the show will consist of pre-recorded performances and acceptance speeches.
Here are the 13 songs nominated for song of the year: “Almost Home” (Barry Graul, Bart Millard, Ben Glover, Mike Scheuchzer, Nathan Cochran, songwriters); “Burn the Ships” (Joel Smallbone, Luke Smallbone, Matt Hales, Seth Mosley, songwriters); “Deliver Me (This Is My Exodus) (Desmond Davis, Donald Lawrence, Marshon Lewis, Robert Woolridge, songwriters); “Dead Man Walking” (Emily Weisband, Jeremy Camp, Jordan Sapp, songwriters); “Holy Water” (Andrew Bergthold, Ed Cash, Franni Cash, Marin Cash, Scott Cash, songwriters); “King of Kings” (Brooke Ligertwood, Jason Ingram, Scott Ligertwood, songwriters); “Love Theory” (Kirk Franklin, songwriter); “Nobody” (Bernie Herms, Mark Hall, Matthew West, songwriters); “Rescue” (Jason Ingram, Lauren Daigle, Paul Mabury, songwriters); “Rescue Story” (Andrew Ripp, Ethan Hulse, Jonathan Smith, Zach Williams, songwriters); “See A Victory” (Ben Fielding, Chris Brown, Jason Ingram, Steven Furtick (songwriters); “The God Who Stays” (AJ Pruis, Jonathan Smith, Matthew West, songwriters); “Way Maker” (Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu, songwriter).
Here are nominees in select other categories:
Artist of the Year: For King & Country, Hillsong Worship, Lauren Daigle, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Zach Williams
New artist of the Year: Chris Renzema, Cochren & Co., Elle Limebear, Switch, We The Kingdom
Gospel artist of the Year: Jekalyn Carr, Jonathan McReynolds, Kirk Franklin, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Travis Greene
Rap/hip-hop album of the year: Aaron Cole’s Not By Chance, Andy Mineo’s Work in Progress, Gawvi’s Heathen, Kanye West’s Jesus Is King, Social Club Misfits’ Mood // Doom
Rock/contemporary album of the year: Apollo LTD’s Out of Body, Demon Hunter’s War, Disciple’s Love Letter, Red’s Declaration, Skillet’s Victorious
Pop/contemporary album of the year: Jeremy Camp’s The Story’s Not Over, Tauren Wells’ Citizens of Heaven, Unspoken’s Reason, We the Kingdom’s Live At The Wheelhouse, Zach Williams’ Rescue Story
Spanish language album of the year: Alex Campos’ Soldados, Barak’s Shekinah (Live), Elevation Worship’s Aleluya (En La Tierra), Jesus Adrian Romero’s Origen y Esencia, Un Corazon y Lead’s Sinergia
The full list of nominees can be found here: