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castingcrownspicsmallic.jpgChristian music’s big chance to shine happens tonight when the Gospel Music Awards, or the Dove Awards, are given for outstanding commercial–and occasionally critical–success on the airwaves this year. Instead of being televised weeks later, as in years past, the Dove Awards will get at least some live exposure tonight when they are broadcast on the Gospel Music Channel (GMC is available on DirecTV and in some regional areas on Charter or Comcast cable.) I don’ t think there are going to be any big upsets and certainly some edgier groups are conspicuously absence, but I have long ago given up trying to figure out the fine print of the Gospel Music Awards’ voting process.
Here are a few of my predictions for tonight’s major categories. Be sure to leave your thoughts about who was the best–or worst–in the CCM world this past year in the comment box below.
Female Vocalist of the Year:
The nominees are: Amy Grant, Christy Nockels, Darlene Zschech, Krystal Meyers, Mandisa, Natalie Grant, Sandi Patty.


The Dove Goes To: I started with the easiest category first, because I believe it will be Natalie Grant, walking away with another award for her great new album, “Relentless.”
Male Vocalist of the Year
The nominees are: Chris Tomlin, Gerald Wolfe, Jon Foreman, Mark Hall, Mark Schultz, Marvin Sapp, tobyMac.
The Dove Award goes to: This is a slightly tougher call, but instead of going with the obvious choices of Mark Hall or Chris Tomlin, I say it will be tobyMac.
Artist of the Year
The nominees are: Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Natalie Grant, Point Of Grace, Skillet, The Clark Sisters, tobyMac.
The Dove Award goes to: Another easy guess, because it has been another big year for Casting Crowns who will pick up multiple Doves tonight.
Songwriter of the Year•
The nominees are: Mark Hall, Brandon Heath, Bernie Herms, Leeland Mooring, Cindy Morgan.
The Dove Award goes to: Like I said, Casting Crowns will win a lot, and Mark Hall is going to win this category for his work on “The Altar and The Door.”
New Artist of the Year
The nominees are: 33 Miles, Austins Bridge, Brandon Heath, DeWayne Woods, Group 1 Crew, Mandisa, Rush of Fools.
The Dove Award goes to: I know you “Idol” fans are rooting for Mandisa, but I say it will be Rush of Fools.
Who do you think will be the big winners?

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