Atlanta, GA — (zpz2010.com) Today live from Atlanta, Georgia the Gospel Music Association (GMA) held a press conference to announce the finalist for the 2011 Dove Awards. Among those announcing the finalists were Christian music artists Mandisa, LeCrae, Third Day, and Francesca Battistelli who won Female Vocalist of the Year last year, and is in the running again for this year’s awards.
Leading the pack with nominations were Chris Tomlin and tobyMac, each picking up a total of six nominations. Close behind was Battistelli with four nominations, and Jason Crabb with five nominations. Each of them will be competing against one another for Best Song of the Year, and in the Best Artist of the Year categories. You can view the full list of nominations here: 2011 Dove Award Finalists (PDF)
For the first time in forty years, the Dove Awards will be held outside of Nashville, Tennessee. This year they will instead be held in Atlanta, Georgia on April 20th at the Fox Theatre. It will then be broadcast on April 24th, Easter Sunday, on the Gospel Music Channel at 7 P.M. EST. This year they will be hosted by Sherri Shepherd, of ABC’s talk show, The View.
Following the press conference board chairman of the GMA, Ed Leonard had this to say about the decision to move the awards ceremony to Atlanta:
“We were looking for a place that was a true representation of all forms of gospel and Christian music. “You’ve got Third Day, Casting Crowns, Karen Peck and New River, Chris Tomlin…I don’t know if there is another city other than Nashville that represents Christian music in its entirety than [Atlanta].”
-Ed Leonard, Chairman of the Board for the GMA
No plans are in store yet for future locations of the Dove Awards although Leonard said he is “open to keeping the Doves in Atlanta.”
Second-round voting ballots for GMA members only will be made available through March 5th through 26th.