Tomlin Leads Gospel Nominations

Christian singer Chris Tomlin leads the pack in Dove Award nominations for gospel music with nine, including artist of the year and male vocalist of the year.

Close behind with six nominations each are Relient K and the David Crowder Band, along with female vocalist of the year nominees Natalie Grant and Joy Williams.

Nominations for the 37th installment of the Gospel Music Association Music Awards were announced February 1st. The awards, which recognize artists in the Christian music industry, will be presented April 5th at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

Tomlin made his debut in 2002 and his 2004 LP, Arriving, has achieved Gold status.

“It’s very much reflective of sort of the new generations,” GMA President John W. Styll told the Tennessean. “Chris Tomlin seems like a brand new artist, but he’s selling Gold, so it’s very appropriate.”

Female vocalist of the year nominee Grant said she was “kind of shocked” by the announcement of her nominations, but her fourth album, Awaken, was one 2005’s top sellers.

“For me it’s overwhelming,” she said. “I had a couple of record deals fall through earlier in my career, so it’s been a long road. I had to work so hard to get here.”

One of gospel music’s most prominent producers, Brown Bannister, is up for seven nominations, including producer of the year.

Some of 2005’s Dove winners returned with five nominations each, including Switchfoot, Jeremy Camp, Casting Crowns, The Crabb Family, and Israel Houghton.

This year’s “American Idol” winner, Carrie Underwood, made her Dove nominations debut for her song “Jesus Take the Wheel.”