Chris Tomlin took top honors at the 37th Annual Gospel Music Association (GMA) Music Awards last night (April 5) in Nashville, netting five Dove trophies, including artist of the year and male vocalist. Tomlin had gone into the evening the most nominated artist with nine nods. The show was hosted by Rebecca St. James and Kirk Franklin at the Grand Ole Opry House.
The Dove wins cap a highly successful year for the sixsteps records artist, whose album, “Arriving,” was recently certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for U.S. shipments of 500,000 copies. “This is amazing,” Tomlin tells Billboard.com. “I know it’s God’s favor. It’s nothing I’m doing. It’s quite humbling and quite an honor.”
Steven Curtis Chapman made history by receiving his 50th Dove award. The perennial favorite is the most awarded artist in GMA Awards history. He picked up this year’s trophy for special event album of the year for his participation in the “Chronicles of Narnia” project.
During the show, Chapman was surprised with a special tribute by Andrae Crouch, Michael Sweet and Bryan Duncan. During the segment, Jeremy Camp, David Crowder, Casting Crowns’ Mark Hall and Third Day’s Mac Powell performed an acoustic set of Chapman’s Dove-winning classics.
The GMA Music Awards are presented in 42 categories recognizing the top gospel and contemporary Christian artists. The show has also celebrated artists from other genres who’ve made contributions to the Christian music landscape.
This year the program was at its most inclusive as “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood won the Dove for country song of the year for “Jesus Take the Wheel.” Backstreet Boys member Brian Littrell won inspirational recorded song for his cover of the Michael English classic “In Christ Alone.” Alison Krauss and Union Station netted the Dove for bluegrass recorded song for “Living Prayer.”