NASHVILLE, Tenn. – April 10, 2008 – American Idol® previous finalists Phil Stacey, Mandisa and Chris Sligh; Dove Award Female Vocalist of the Year Natalie Grant with country icon Wynonna, 19 Recordings/Jive Recording Artist Jordin Sparks; Ricky Skaggs and The Whites and Point Of Grace with Cindy Morgan are the latest performers added to the increasingly luminous line-up for the 39th Annual GMA Dove Awards (www.doveawards.com) telecast, according to the Gospel Music Association (GMA) and Gospel Music Channel (GMC).
Gospel and Christian music’s biggest night of the year will take place live on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 in Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry House and will be broadcast live nationwide on the Gospel Music Channel television network from 8 – 10 p.m. (ET). The Dove Awards will also be broadcast live on XM Satellite Radio on XM 32 “The Message.”
Joining Skaggs and The Whites and the previously announced Charlie Daniels with Third Day’s Mac Powell will be The Isaacs, Angella Christie, The Hoppers, Jeff and Sheri Easter and Karen Peck and New River for an “Opry at the Doves” special performance. Also performing will be New Artist of the Year Nominees 33 Miles, Brandon Heath, Group 1 Crew, Mandisa, Rush Of Fools and DeWayne Woods.
The vibrant tapestry of artists tapped for performances ensure that the 2008 Dove Awards telecast will include many extraordinary moments, including several especially created for the occasion:
· The world premiere of music created for Compassionart (http://compassionart.co.uk/), a newly formed charity founded by Delirious? frontman/songwriter Martin Smith that is dedicated to seeing works of art generate income for the poorest of the poor. Smith hosted an unprecedented gathering of award winning Christian music songwriters in the UK in January and recording is underway for a charity project that will release in the fall. Smith, along with Aussie worship leader Darlene Zschech will appear via satellite video to introduce the first live performance of “So Great” featuring previously announced performers and Compassionart songwriters Chris Tomlin, Steven Curtis Chapman, Israel Houghton, Michael W. Smith, Paul Baloche and Christy Nockels.
· 2008 marks the 25th year that Dove and Grammy wining artist Michael W. Smith has been performing and recording his beloved music. Countless artists have been influenced by him including Idol finalists Phil Stacey, Mandisa and Chris Sligh. They, along with Amy Grant, who first brought Smith to renown as her piano player and co-songwriter and Jordin Sparks, who in 2005 and 2006 performed on Smith’s Christmas Tour, will remember his influence with a medley of their favorite “Smitty” songs.
· Iconic artist Wynonna makes her first performance on the Dove Awards stage with Natalie Grant who is the reigning two-time Dove Award Female Vocalist of the Year for a duet that promises to be one of the most powerful and mesmerizing of the Dove Awards, if not the whole Awards season. The two will perform the powerful “Bring it All Together” from Grant’s acclaimed Relentless project.
· The Grand Ole Opry may be more famous for its weekly country music performances, gospel music is woven just as tightly into the heritage of the famed building and the Dove Awards will culminate its show with an “Opry at the Doves” featuring gospel, country and bluegrass artists singing their powerfully simple songs of faith and conviction. Ricky Skaggs and The Whites will perform “Love Will Be Enough” from their Dove-nominated and Grammy-winning Salt of the Earth CD, while Jeff and Sheri Easter, The Hoppers and Karen Peck and New River will perform a medley of southern gospel favorites. Charlie Daniels will lead a “choir” of artists including Third Day’s Mac Powell, The Isaacs, Angella Christie and other singers to bring a rousing close to the evening’s festivities with “I’ll Fly Away.”
Confirmed as presenters are Kirk Franklin and Matthew West and Dove Award nominees Skillet, Aaron Shust, Mark Lowry, TobyMac, Sandi Patty, Rob Beckley of Pillar, Mark Schultz, and Leonardo. ABC Good Morning America comedy contributor Anita Renfroe will also be on hand to present at the Dove Awards along with fellow comic Michael Jr., R&B singer Regina Belle and from the NFL, Cincinnati Bengals TE Ben Utecht. Other previously announced performers include Casting Crowns, Marvin Sapp, Switchfoot, The Clark Sisters, David Crowder*Band and Trin-i-tee 5:7.
Gospel Music Channel is the exclusive television home for the GMA Dove Awards. GMC is the fastest growing television network in America and can be seen in 40 million homes across the country on DIRECTV channel 338, cable systems including Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Charter, and Knology as well as on Verizon FiOS. In addition to the live telecast, GMC will present back-to-back encore broadcasts that night and additional re-airings following.
Tickets for the 39th Annual GMA Dove Awards are currently available at TicketMaster or www.doveawards.com.
The American Bible Society (www.bibles.com) is the presenting sponsor of the 2008 telecast and the designated charity of the 39th Annual GMA Dove Awards.
Founded in 1964, the Gospel Music Association serves as the face and voice for the gospel/Christian music community and is dedicated to exposing, promoting and celebrating the gospel through music of all styles including pop, rock, praise & worship, black gospel, R&B, hip hop, southern gospel, country, and more. The GMA community consists of 4,000 members including agents, artists, church leaders, managers, promoters, radio personnel, record company executives, retailers, songwriters and other industry visionaries. The GMA produces the GMA Dove Awards, GMA Music Week, GMA Music in the Rockies, and the GMA Academy. For more information, please visit www.gospelmusic.org.
About Gospel Music Channel
Gospel Music Channel (www.GospelMusicChannel.com) is the first and only 24/7 television network dedicated to the rich history and contemporary sounds of Gospel/Christian music and its many different genres and artists. From rock to rap, country to soul, southern to hip-hop, Gospel Music Channel crosses cultures and generations. From the soulful sounds of CeCe Winans and Aretha Franklin to the country roots of Carrie Underwood and Tim McGraw, and the contemporary stylings of Casting Crowns, Kirk Franklin and Natalie Grant and everyone in between, the Gospel Music Channel’s got it all. The network’s program schedule features artist biographies, music specials, live concerts, and hosted music videos for the entire family. Gospel Music Channel is one of the fastest-growing networks in television today and can be seen in nearly 40 million homes on various cable systems around the country and on DIRECTV.
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