Dove Awards: Lauren Daigle earns top honors at 50th annual Christian music show
On a night celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Dove Awards raised a golden trophy to Christian music's brightest modern stars.
Platinum-selling pop crossover Lauren Daigle earned Artist of the Year at the ceremony, held at Lipscomb University's Allen Arena. She also brought home Song of the Year for "You Say" and Pop Album of the Year for 2018's "Look Up Child," both honors shared with songwriter-producer team Jason Ingram and Paul Mabury.
A 10-time Dove honoree, Daigle previously won Artist of the Year in 2016 and New Artist of the Year in 2015.
"It's the people in this room that have held me up through this journey," Daigle said. "It's been profound, it's been vast and it's been wild.
"I'm so incredibly grateful to share this honor with all of you guys."
Lauren Daigle accepts Song of the Year for "You Say" at the Gospel Music Association (GMA) 50th Annual Dove Awards at Lipscomb University's Allen Arena Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo: Larry McCormack / The Tennessean)
Daigle and gospel artist Kirk Franklin led nominations at the 50th annual ceremony; Franklin earned a pair of trophies this year, including Gospel Artist of the Year.
Dove Awards 2019: A complete list of winners
New, diverse voices in gospel music
Veterans like Franklin and TobyMac may have topped younger artists Tuesday night, but each emphasized the importance of new and diverse voices in gospel music.
"We're seeing richness in diversity, and it's something that we have to take out into this world," TobyMac said. "We are required to share this love with the world.
"I know we got some things to make up for, some things to get right, but we are beautiful when we're together."
In his acceptance speech, a passionate New Artist of the Year winner Aaron Cole reminded the audience that "if a boy from Bristol, Virginia - y'all don't even know where that's from - can do this, you can do this."
Cole, a 20-year-old hip-hop artist, performed his vibrant 2019 single "There For Me" earlier in the show.
"Oh, snap ... let's go," he proclaimed. "I just wanna thank God, bro, 'cause whooooo ... bro. This is a lot of hard work, you feel me? This is a lot of doing rap shows, chicken dinners, you feel me? Sleeping on couches, you feel me?"
Aaron Cole won New Artist of the Year at the Gospel Music Association (GMA) 50th Annual Dove Awards at Lipscomb University's Allen Arena Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo: Larry McCormack / The Tennessean)
And the celebration paid tribute to its five decades of history with a show record 17 performances - many rousing the audience to ovations.
Onlookers lifted hands and swayed along as the Bethel Music Band teamed with Phil Wickham for a rendition of 2018's "Loving Hope"; the Gaither Vocal Band treated the audience to a medley of its Christian legacy; Gospel giants Shirley Caesar, Jakalyn Clarr and Dorinda Clark Cole shared stage for a vibrant take of "Oh Happy Day."
Video montages paid tribute - and mildly teased - past shows.
"Gosh, 30 years ago," said 59-time Dove Award winner Steven Curtis Champman, eyeing a throwback photo displayed on stage. "I was a wide-eyed kid fresh from Kentucky with a serious Southern twang ... and a pretty impressive mullet, I have to say."
Pop / Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year - Cat 13 "God Only Knows" - for KING & COUNTRY, (writers) Joel Smallbone, Jordan Reynolds, Josh Kerr, Luke Smallbone, Tedd Tjornhom at the Gospel Music Association (GMA) 50th Annual Dove Awards at Lipscomb University's Allen Arena Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo: Larry McCormack / The Tennessean)
Earlier in the show, contemporary duo For King & Country won Pop Song of the Year for "God Only Knows," a track tackling depression and loneliness. The group released in August a remix of the song featuring country legend Dolly Parton.
"There are songs that you write and on that very rare occasion there are songs that write you," said Joel Smallbone, one-half of the brotherly duo. "There's something about the day or the moment and it feels like a gift from God ... that was this song for us, it really was."
The 50th anniversary show closed with a cathartic medley from Franklin, "Strong God," "F.A.V.O.R." and "Hosanna," who earned a final ovation as he performed alongside a 60-person choir.
Dove Award winners
- Artist of the Year: Lauren Daigle
- New Artist of the Year: Aaron Cole
- Worship Song of the Year: "Who You Say I Am" (writers) Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan, (publisher) Hillsong Music Publishing
- Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year: TobyMac, Forefront / Capitol CMG
- Gospel Artist of the Year: Kirk Franklin, Fo Yo Soul Recordings / RCA Records
- Song of the Year: "You Say" (writers) Jason Ingram, Paul Mabury, Lauren Daigle, (publishers) CentricSongs, Fellow Ships Music, Flychild Publishing, So Essential Tunes
- Southern Gospel Artist of the Year: Gaither Vocal Band, Gaither Music Group
- Inspirational Film of the Year: Breakthrough, (director) Roxann Dawson, (producers) DeVon Franklin, Jessica Dunn
- Pop / Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year: "God Only Knows" - for KING & COUNTRY, (writers) Joel Smallbone, Jordan Reynolds, Josh Kerr, Luke Smallbone, Tedd Tjornhom
- Gospel Worship Recorded Song of the Year: "This Is A Move (Live)" - Tasha Cobbs Leonard, (writers) Brandon Lake, Nate Moore, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Tony Brown
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) - The Gospel Music Association is celebrating 50 years of the Dove Awards as top artists and industry professionals in the Gospel and Christian Music industry gather in Nashville. The awards are
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