Casting Crowns among most rewarded at GMA Music Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Mainstream breakthrough band Switchfoot and the quickly rising Casting Crowns were among Christian music's most recognized artists April 13 during the 36th annual GMA Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn.

Switchfoot won four Doves, including one for Artist of the Year, while Casting Crowns won three, including a Dove Award for Group of the Year. Casting Crowns' lead singer, Mark Hall, picked up honors for Songwriter of the Year and Song of the Year for "Who Am I."

"Songs come and go and styles come and go, but the church will always be there," Hall, a youth pastor at Eagles Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, Ga., said backstage. "I believe the church is where our talents belong."

The Crabb Family earned Doves in three different song categories, demonstrating their growing reputation as a genre-busting group that is drawing a younger generation of fans to southern gospel music.

"I love the fact that Switchfoot and The Crabb Family share top Dove Award honors this year because it powerfully reveals the variety of cultural expressions of the Gospel through music," said John W. Styll, president of the Gospel Music Association. "These two groups could not be more different culturally and musically and, yet, the message of the Gospel is evident in both of them."

Nicole C. Mullen received her second Female Vocalist of the Year award, and Jeremy Camp won his second straight Male Vocalist honor.

"This right here cannot be what makes or breaks you," Mullen said backstage. "If you're called by Jesus Christ, if you're hired by Him, then nobody can fire you. We believe we're called by Him, whether somebody else recognizes you or not. ... You don't want this to be the height of what you get. I want to make sure my crown in heaven is higher."

The show opened with the big band sounds of Denver & the Mile High Orchestra and featured performers such as BarlowGirl, Natalie Grant, Watermark, Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Matt Redman and Skillet. Presenters included Sandi Patty, Michael W. Smith, tobyMac, MercyMe, NASCAR driver Bobby Labonte and Jason Illian, a former contestant on "The Bachelorette." The event was hosted by Israel Houghton, Steven Curtis Chapman, Rebecca St. James, CeCe Winans, Smokie Norful and Darlene Zschech.

President Bush, in a written statement, expressed his gratitude for the Christian music industry.

"Gospel music brings joy to countless individuals and contributes to America's spiritual foundation," he said. "For more than three decades, [the GMA Awards have] offered an opportunity to recognize the best and brightest gospel performers for their achievements and creativity. Our country is a richer place because of your music.

"I commend this year's honorees and the GMA for your dedication to sharing the good news through music," Bush added. "Your work reminds us of God's love and boundless mercy and inspires others to serve a cause greater than self."

The GMA Music Awards will be televised in national syndication during the month of June through network affiliates and independent stations.

Following is a complete list of Dove Award winners:

-- Song of the Year: "Who Am I"; Mark Hall; Club Zoo Music (BMI), SWECS Music (BMI)

-- Songwriter of the Year: Mark Hall

-- Male Vocalist of the Year: Jeremy Camp

-- Female Vocalist of the Year: Nicole C. Mullen

-- Group of the Year: Casting Crowns

-- Artist of the Year: Switchfoot

-- New Artist of the Year: Building 429

-- Producer of the Year: Ed Cash

-- Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year: "Hittin' Curves"; Dichotomy A; Grits; Teron Carter, Stacy Jones, Otto Price, S. Moss; Gotee Records

-- Modern Rock Recorded Song of the Year: "Control"; Reset EP; MuteMath; Paul Meany, Darren King, Adam LeClave; Teleprompt Records/Word Records

-- Rock Recorded Song of the Year: "Stay"; Stay; Jeremy Camp; Jeremy Camp; BEC Recordings

-- Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year: "Dare You to Move"; The Beautiful Letdown; Switchfoot; Jonathan Foreman, Sparrow Records

-- Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year: "Who Am I"; Casting Crowns; Casting Crowns; Mark Hall; Beach Street Records/Reunion Records

-- Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year: "Voice of Truth"; Casting Crowns; Casting Crowns; Mark Hall, Steven Curtis Chapman; Beach Street Records/Reunion Records

-- Southern Gospel Recorded Song of the Year: "He Came Looking for Me"; Driven; Crabb Family; Gerald Crabb; Daywind Records

-- Bluegrass Recorded Song of the Year: "Heroes"; Heroes; The Isaacs; Rebecca Isaacs Bowman, Sonya Isaacs; Gaither Music

-- Country Recorded Song of the Year: "Forever"; Driven; The Crabb Family; Jason Crabb, Gerald Crabb; Daywind Records

-- Urban Recorded Song of the Year: "You Don't Know"; I Owe You; Kierra Kiki Sheard; Rodney Jerkins, Danny Nixon, Fred Jerkins, LaShawn Daniels, Delisha Thomas; EMI Gospel

-- Traditional Gospel Recorded Song of the Year: "Through the Fire"; Driven; The Crabb Family featuring Donnie McClurkin; Gerald Crabb; Daywind Records

-- Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of the Year: "Again I Say Rejoice"; Live From Another Level; Israel & New Breed; Israel Houghton, Aaron Lindsey; Integrity Gospel

-- Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year: Welcome to Diverse City; tobyMac; Toby McKeehan, Christopher Stevens, Paul Meany, Solomon Olds, Joe Baldridge, Jeff Savage, Robert Marvin, Josiah Bell, Max Hsu, Michael Linney; ForeFront Records

-- Modern Rock Album of the Year: Fight the Tide; Sanctus Real; Tedd T.; Sparrow Records

-- Rock Album of the Year: Day of Fire; Day of Fire; Scott Humphrey; Essential Records

-- Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year: Wire; Third Day; Paul Ebersold; Essential Records

-- Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year: Undone; MercyMe; Pete Kipley; INO Records -- Inspirational Album of the Year: Hiding Place; Selah; Jason Kyle, Nicol Sponberg, Allan Hall, Todd Smith; Curb Records

-- Southern Gospel Album of the Year: Driven; The Crabb Family; Jason Crabb, Adam Crabb, Aaron Crabb, Kelly Bowling, Jerry Yoder; Daywind Records

-- Bluegrass Album of the Year: Angels Gathering Flowers; The Lewis Family; Wayne Haun; Thoroughbred Records

-- Country Album of the Year: Passing Through; Randy Travis; Kyle Lehning; Word Records

-- Urban Album of the Year: Everyday People; Nicole C. Mullen; Nicole C. Mullen, David Mullen, Tommy Sims, James "Big Jim" Wright, Andrew Ramsey, Shannon Sanders; Word Records

-- Traditional Gospel Album of the Year: A Tribute to Mahalia Jackson; Lynda Randle; Barry Beckett; Gaither Music

-- Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year: Live From Another Level; Israel & New Breed; Israel Houghton, Aaron W. Lindsey; Integrity Gospel

-- Praise & Worship Album of the Year: Arriving; Chris Tomlin; Ed Cash; Sixsteps Records

-- Instrumental Album of the Year: The Passion of the Christ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack; Various; John Debney; Mel Gibson; Integrity Music/Sony

-- Children's Music Album of the Year: Angel Alert!; Various; Celeste Clydesdale, David T. Clydesdale; Word Music

-- Spanish Language Album of the Year: Te Amo Dios; Praise Street Worship Band; Dave Moody, James Cobble Jr., Wesley Pritchard, Eulises Canada, Nelson McSwain; Lamon Records

-- Special Event Album of the Year: The Passion of the Christ: Songs; Third Day, Steven Curtis Chapman, MercyMe, Scott Stapp, POD, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Big Dismal, Lauryn Hill, Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, MxPx, Mark Hoppus, Charlotte Church, BeBe Winans, Angie Stone, Dan Lavery; Tim Cook, Mark Joseph, Gregg Wattenberg, Steven Lerner; Lost Keyword Records/ Wind-Up Records

-- Musical of the Year: Emmanuel -- Celebrating Heaven's Child; Joel Lindsey, Russell Mauldin; Brentwood-Benson Music

-- Youth/Children's Musical of the Year: Fear Not Factor; Dennis Allen, Nan Allen; Brentwood-Benson Music

-- Choral Collection of the Year: Live ... This is Your House; Carol Cymbala; Brooklyn Tabernacle Music

-- Worship Song of the Year: "Blessed Be Your Name"; Matt Redman, Beth Redman; Thankyou Music, Worshiptogether.com Songs

-- Recorded Music Packaging of the Year: Happy; Jan Cook, Tim Frank, Emily West, Clark Hook, Susan Levy; Clark Hook, Michael Lavine; Universal South

-- Short Form Music Video of the Year: "Dare You to Move"; Switchfoot; Nina Grossman Warner; Robert Hales; HIS Entertainment; Sparrow Records

-- Long Form Music Video of the Year: Switchfoot Live In San Diego; Switchfoot; Dwight Thompson; Dwight Thompson; New Revolution Entertainment; Sparrow Records


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