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Dove Awards Shower Christian Music Artists

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

WilliamsZach perf at 2018 DovesZach Williams performs at the 2018 Dove Awards. The recent Gospel Music Association Dove Awards ceremonies in Nashville, Tenn. saw dozens of Christian music artists honored by their industry and artistic colleagues.

And many of them have ties to West Michigan or are coming to the area for concerts over the next several months.

The inspirational pop-rock band For King & Country, performing in Grand Rapids' Van Andel Arena Dec. 9 , won a Dove Award for its holiday album "Christmas: Live in Phoenix."

"We were kind of shocked by that," said singer-songwriter Luke Smallbone the day after the Oct. 16 award ceremonies. "(The album) really had the band guys' fingerprints all over it, and it was great playing those Christmas songs."

The band will present many of those selections on its upcoming tour, paired with singer-songwriter Zach Williams. Williams won Doves for Artist of the Year and another for his song "Old Church Choir."

For King & Country has won several past awards (including Grammys) and Smallbone offers a reflection about the honors.

"Awards are not what you sign up to do music for," he told a reporter. "You sign up because you believe in the power of music and how it can affect someone's day – cheer them up or spur them on – and in some cases, deliver hope."

According to the artist, the honor comes with the support from fellow artists and others who affirm your gifts and your art. "It's real encouragement from your contemporaries who are saying, 'Thanks for putting forth the effort and the hard work,'" he added.


*Pop singer Tori Kelly has a connection to one Dove Award: She provided guest vocals on a song ("I'll Find You") by gospel hip-hop artist Lecrae. The song's music video won a Dove. Meanwhile, Lecrae did vocals on Kelly's new song "Masterpiece" from her just-released gospel album.


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Kelly has a concert Nov. 2 at Fountain St. Church in Grand Rapids, while Lecrae is bringing his latest tour with Andy Mineo to The Intersection Nov. 11.

*Michigan native Tauren Wells (from the Battle Creek area) had eight nominations going into this fall's awards, and punched tickets on three of them: New Artist of the Year, Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year, and Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for his release "Hills and Valleys."

* The worship anthem "Reckless Love" was honored as the overall Song of the Year and Worship Song of the Year. The artist and co-writer Corey Asbury also won Worship Album of the Year for his album of the same title. Asbury performed in Sept. at Cornerstone University.

*The hard rock band Skillet picked up a Dove for Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year: "Unleashed Beyond." Although Skillet's next stop in West Michigan is unknown, drummer Jen Ledger, who has released a solo album, is part of the annual Winter Jam tour, coming to Van Andel Arena Jan. 18, 2019.

(Other artists on the gigantic tour: Newsboys United, Mandisa, Danny Gokey, Rend Collective, Newsong, Hollyn, Ty Brasel, Manic Drive, and Adam Agee; details at www.jamtour.com


Pastor/gospel music artist and Grand Rapids native Marvin Sapp nabbed his second career Dove Award for "Close" -the title song of his most recent album - which won Traditional Gospel Song of the Year.

"I'm always amazed and grateful that God honors me publically and keeps me relevant after 30 years in ministry" said Sapp, 51, pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids.

Sapp is celebrating his church's 15th anniversary – and his 30th in ministry – the first weekend in November with special activities both at his church in Madison Ave SE in G.R. as well as its sister congregation in Muskegon.

You can find the 2018 Dove Award winners in all 40 categories at www.doveawards.com

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Author Information
Terry DeBoer
Author: Terry DeBoer
Terry is a journalist/feature writer for newspapers, magazines and websites, with a background in radio broadcasting. His usual beat is arts and entertainment, specializing in Christian/gospel music. A married father of two, he is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan Contributing Writer: West Michigan Christian News August 2011 – Present Feature writer: -Mlive.com (website and various newspapers) 1988– 2016 -Spotlight New Christian Music Magazine 1997-2008 -Church News Editor, Church Herald Magazine 2004-2009

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