Hall received nominations for male vocalist and song of the year for”East to West.” His band has four nominations, including artist andgroup of the year.

“What makes the Doves special is the fact that it’s your peers” whovote on them, Hall said. “You need people who do what you do toencourage you and tell you you’re doing good. It’s something we allcan use.”

Michael W. Smith and Gospel Music Channel host Elle Duncan announcedthe nominees February 14 in Nashville.

Chris Tomlin followed Hall with five nominations, including artist,male vocalist and song of the year for “Amazing Grace (My Chains AreGone).”

The David Crowder Band and tobyMac also have five nominations.

Hall is especially proud of being nominated for “East to West,” a tunehe says has touched a lot of people.

“It deals with God’s forgiveness,” Hall said. “He’s not keeping score.You’re not at two strikes right now. He loves you even after whatyou’ve done or who you’ve become.”

The Gospel Music Association’s 39th annual Dove Awards will bebroadcast live April 23 from the Grand ole Opry House in Nashville onthe Gospel Music Channel. It’s the first live nationwide broadcast forthe awards in six years.

Smith, a perennial Dove favorite since his first win in 1987, hasthree nominations including Christmas album of the year for It’s aWonderful Christmas, a collection of mostly new holiday music hewrote or co-wrote.

“It still is one of my favorite things that I’ve ever done,” Smithsaid of the album. “It’s very seldom that you get to the end of arecord and go, `You know, I’m not sure I would change much.’ And Istill feel that way about this record.”After 25 years in the industry, Smith said he still gets excited aboutbeing nominated and would like to win another Dove. But these dayshe’s a little more philosophical about it and says if he doesn’t win,he won’t be disappointed.

“I think that’s the biggest difference in my emotional state,” saidthe 50-year-old singer. “As you get older you start to kind of findout what life is all about, and it’s really not about getting awards.If you win, it’s great. But it doesn’t bother me.”

Country artists Martina McBride and Alabama also received nominations.McBride’s “Anyway,” which she wrote with Brad and Brett Warren, is upfor country recorded song. Alabama’s Songs of Inspiration II is in thecountry album category. Ricky Skaggs and The Whites earned threenominations, including a bluegrass album of the year mention for theirSalt of the Earth project.

Here’s a partial list of the Dove Awards nominees. For a completelist, visit doveawards.com.

Male Vocalist of the Year

Jon Foreman

Mark Hall

Marvin Sapp

Mark Schultz


Chris Tomlin

Gerald Wolfe

Female Vocalist of the Year

Amy Grant

Natalie Grant


Krystal Meyers

Christy Nockels

Sandi Patty

Darlene Zschech

Group of the Year

Casting Crowns

The Clark Sisters

David Crowder Band

Ernie Haase & Signature Sound

Hillsong United

Point of Grace


Artist of the Year

Casting Crowns

The Clark Sisters

Natalie Grant

Point of Grace



Chris Tomlin

New Artist of the Year

33 Miles

Austins Bridge

Group 1 Crew

Brandon Heath


Rush of Fools

DeWayne Woods