The nominations for the 37th GMA Music Awards were announced on Wednesday with sixstepsrecords Praise & Worship Artist Chris Tomlin leading the way with a total of 9 nominations.
The list of nominees was announced at the Hilton Nashville Downtown in Music City by recording artists Kirk Franklin and Rebecca St. James, both of whom garnered nominations for themselves – Franklin with three, including Urban Album of the Year, and St. James with two, including a nod for her work on the Music Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe project. Franklin and St. James are also scheduled to host the GMA Music Awards ceremony on Apr. 5 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.
Tomlin, who won his first Dove Award at last year’s ceremony for Praise & Worship Album of the Year (Arriving), garnered nominations for Artist and Male Vocalist of the Year as well as two nods in the Song of the Year category for his songs "Holy is the Lord" and "How Great is Our God," both of which he wrote for his RIAA Gold-certified CD Arriving. Tomlin’s three other nominations came from his participation on collaborations on three Special Event Album of the Year nominees including Music Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, WoW Christmas Green and Passion: How Great Is Our God.
Placing behind Tomlin in the nomination race with six apiece were Female Vocalist of the Year nominees Natalie Grant and Joy Williams, Rock Album of the Year nominees Relient K, and Group of the Year nominees David Crowder Band, who were pictured alongside Tomlin on the recent cover of the January issue of CCM Magazine, featured for their music’s influence in the "Passion" collegiate worship movement.
Big winners from last year’s GMA Music Awards ceremony including Jeremy Camp, Casting Crowns, The Crabb Family, Israel Houghton, BarlowGirl, Third Day, and 2005’s Artist of the Year Switchfoot each received five nominations a piece.
"Each of these artists reflects the multi-dimensional impact that gospel music has in our culture and they deserve the recognition these Dove nominations will bring. Chris Tomlin and David Crowder Band make music that not only resonates with one person listening on the radio or on their iPod, but also connects with hundreds or thousands gathered in a worship setting," said John W. Styll, president of the GMA and executive producer of the GMA Music Awards. "It is also great to see Natalie Grant, Joy Williams and BarlowGirl bringing the female voice back to the forefront, alongside recent years’ Dove favorites like Switchfoot, Casting Crowns, Relient K and Jeremy Camp."
Other notable nominees include producer Brown Bannister, up for seven awards including Producer of the Year and six album nominations. Singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman, who won more Dove Awards (49) than another other artist in gospel music history, could potentially pass the 50-trophy mark this year if one of his three nominations results in a win.
Former Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell is up for his first Dove Award this year for his performance of "In Christ Alone" for the WoW #1’s compilation CD and "American Idol" finalists continue to make their mark on gospel music with George Huff, Clay Aiken, and this year’s "Idol" Carrie Underwood each garnering a nomination.
For a complete list of nominees and other information, go to www.gmamusicawards.com.