Backstage at the Dove Awards


Steven Cur­tis Chap­man and his sons back­stage at the Dove Awards. Pho­tos by Eliza Marie Somers
I attend­ed my first Dove Awards last week in Nashville and did­n’t know what to expect. There was no red car­pet to show off the artists. I was told by a PR type a “red car­pet just goes against the grain of what the Dove Awards (Chris­t­ian music) is about.” And now that I think about it, that is so true. The musi­cians are “pas­tors” preach­ing the word of God, so it does seem self-serv­ing to have a red car­pet.

What struck me at the Dove Awards back­stage was the fam­i­ly atmos­phere.

It was an emo­tion­al event espe­cial­ly with all the heartache sur­round­ing Steven Cur­tis Chap­man, who won song­writer of the year and artist of the year, and his fam­i­ly. Last May, Chap­man’s 5‑year-old daugh­ter, Marie Sue, died after she was acci­den­tal­ly hit by a car dri­ven by her old­er broth­er in the fam­i­ly’s dri­ve­way.).


Steven ded­i­cat­ed his per­for­mance of “Cin­derel­la” to Marie Sue, and was over­come by emo­tion. (The Gospel Music Chan­nel is replay­ing the Dove Awards this month Back­stage he said he felt like he was among fam­i­ly and friends and felt like he was home and that’s why he broke down.
He also said the tragedy has brought his fam­i­ly clos­er.


Bran­don Heath jug­gles his awards.
Bran­don Heath took home three awards: song of the year, male vocal­ist of the year and pop/contemporary song for “Give Me Your Eyes.” Being that he’s been singing only a few years, expect more from this artist. He clas­si­fies him­self as a song­writer first.


Natal­ie Grant
Natal­ie Grant won female vocal­ist of the year for the fourth year in a row. She gave a strong per­for­mance with Group 1 Crew at the Doves.


Tenth Avenue North
Tenth Avenue North snagged the new artist of year award. The band recent­ly played Den­ver with Mer­cyMe. also was a big win­ner, notch­ing three Doves: group of the year, Christ­mas album and short form music video.


Miss Cal­i­for­nia
Miss Cal­i­for­nia Car­rie Pre­jean was at the Doves and received a stand­ing ova­tion. She also intro­duced Mer­cyMe’s for its per­for­mance at the Doves. Dur­ing the Miss USA pageant, Pre­jean drew ire from many when she sup­port­ed tra­di­tion­al mar­riage.


Mary Mary

Mary Mary back­stage after win­ning urban record­ed song. The sis­ter act start­ed off the Doves with their hit, “Get Up,” a song that urges us to get up and use the gifts God has give us.


Jars of Clay
Jars of Clay was award­ed the Gospel Angel for the group’s work with Blood: Water Mis­sion, which builds wells and water projects in Africa. The char­i­ty will hit its 1,000 well this year.


KJ-52 gar­nered the award for rap/hip-hop song of the year for “Do Yo Thang.” He will release a new album short­ly that will fea­ture a FREE CD.

Click here for a list of all the win­ners.

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