Nominees in the major Dove categories were announced earlier in August at a Nashville press conference. Award ceremonies are set for Oct. 13.
Artist of the Year is considered the most prestigious award, but there are also categories of top artists in the genres of contemporary Christian, gospel, Southern gospel, and best new artist.
The band For King & Country is nominated in the overall artist category - one of its six nods for this year's awards. 4K&C recently performed in Muskegon at the Unity Music Festival.
A fellow top artist nominee - Francesca Battistelli – has her song "He Knows My Name" up for a Dove in the top song category. Battistelli is returning to the area Nov. 21 with Matthew West for a concert at Community Reformed Church in Zeeland.
Receiving four total nominations is singer-songwriter/worship leader Chris Tomlin, who performs Nov. 7 in Van Andel Arena. Tomlin is in the running for top Contemporary Christian artist, Pop-Contemporary album ("Love Ran Red") and Songwriter of the Year.
Tomlin's arena concert also features the band Rend Collective. Tickets range from $42.50 to $16 and are available at www.ticketmaster.com, at the arena or DeVos Place box office.
Rap/hip-hop artist Lecrae has already visited Grand Rapids within the past year. He is the leading Dove nominee with seven total nods, including Artist of the Year, top Contemporary Christian artist, top songwriter and Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the Year ("Anomoly").
Among other multiple nominees are David Crowder and Matt Maher (the complete list is at www.doveawards.com).
You've got to hand it to a newcomer to the national scene, Gladwin, Mich. native Nathan John Feuerstein. Under his stage name of NF, Nate has nabbed three Dove Award nominations, including the year's top new artist, top rap hip-hop album of the year ("Mansion") and short form video of the year for his music video "Wake Up."
His CD was co-produced by Tommee Profitt, a West Michigan talent who is a Grace Bible College grad and songwriter/worship leader, most recently at Cornerstone Church in Caledonia.
NF performed on the main stage at the Unity Festival and contributed vocals to a song on the new TobyMac CD.
Rapidly approaching is a Sept. 27 concert in Zeeland featuring former "American Idol" finalist Colton Dixon. Dixon's CD "Anchor" is nominated for a Dove as Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year. For ticket info visit http://www.iTickets.com/events/344287.html
Newsboys is another Dove-nominated band coming to the area. "We Believe," the band's statement-of-faith ballad, is a finalist in both the overall song and the top Pop-Contemporary Song categories. Newboys' "We Believe" tour comes to Grand Rapids First church, 2100 44th St. SW on Fri. Nov. 6. Special guests are Hawk Nelson and Ryan Stevenson. Tickets range from $20 to $35, with VIP seats at higher cost. Check Online.
AND THERE'S MORE
On the gospel music front, the major "Festival of Praise" tour stops at Van Andel Arena on Sun. Nov. 15. Israel Houghton, Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, Kim Burrell and other gospel music notables are on the bill in the year's largest gospel tour.
Tickets for Festival of Praise range from $39.50 to $69.50 and are available via Ticketmaster outlets, DeVos Place and arena box offices, and on line at www.ticketmaster.com.
It may be a bit early to think Christmas, but Michael W. Smith performs with the Grand Rapids Symphony Pops and the Resurrection Life Church Choir in "The Spirit of Christmas" Tues. Dec. 8 at the church 5100 Ivanrest Ave. SW.
Smith's album "The Spirit of Christmas" (recorded with several of his "Friends") is Dove nominated as the year's top Christmas album. Tickets are $25 to $60, and there are a limited number of tickets in a Family 4-Pack price of $60. www.grsymphony.org, 454-9451.