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 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.
http://www.castingcrowns.com/ also was a big winner, notching three Doves: group of the year, Christmas album and short form music video.
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 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.