Chris Tomlin and TobyMac each received six nominations Wednesday for the Dove Awards, the gospel and Christian music show that will be held in Atlanta this year for the first time.
Jason Crabb and Chris August drew five nods each for the 42nd annual show, which traditionally has been held in Nashville. Francesca Battistelli and Marvin Sapp each received four.
Battistelli, who welcomed her first child last year, is nominated for best female vocalist, an honor she won last year. She’ll also compete for artist of the year against Tomlin, TobyMac, Crabb, Marvin Sapp, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound and Natalie Grant.
“This has definitely been a whirlwind the last couple of years,” said Battistelli, who helped announce the nominations. “With me being a mom and a wife, this just adds to the mix. It’s very exciting and adds to the mix of my juggling life. I’m blessed.”
In addition to artist of the year, Tomlin is up for best male vocalist and song of the year for Our God.
Israel Houghton, worship leader at Houston’s Lakewood Church, received two nominations – for male vocalist of the year and contemporary gospel album for Love God. Love People. He also was one of more than two dozen people listed for One Voice – Every Tribe, Tongue & Nation, a nominee for special event album. Love God. Love People won best pop/contemporary gospel album at the Grammys this week.
Gospel rapper Lecrae, nominated for rap/hip-hop recorded song of the year (Background) and rap/hip-hop album of the year (Rehab), said he is focused on broadening the culture of hip-hop within the gospel genre.
“I represent a demographic, a culture of young people who are passionate about their faith,” Lecrae said. “I want to show that God isn’t just loving on one kind of sound. I just want to show how incredible he is.”
The awards will be presented April 20 and air on Easter Sunday, April 24, on the Gospel Music Channel. Other nominees include:
Song:All of Creation (MercyMe); Beautiful, Beautiful (Battistelli); Get Back Up (TobyMac); Hold My Heart (Tenth Avenue North); Lead Me (Sanctus Real); Let the Waters Rise (MIKESCHAIR); Love Came Calling (Triumphant Quartet); Our God ( Tomlin); Sometimes I Cry (Crabb); and Starry Night (Chris August).
Male vocalist: Doug Anderson, August, Crabb, Brandon Heath, Houghton, Sapp, Tomlin.
Female vocalist: Audrey Assad, Battistelli, Grant, Britt Nicole, Janet Paschal, Kerrie Roberts, Laura Story.
Group: Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Gaither Vocal Band, Sidewalk Prophets, Tenth Avenue North, MercyMe, MikesChair, NeedToBreathe.
For a complete list, see www.doveawards.com.