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52nd Dove Awards celebrates a night of music and camaraderie

The 52nd Gospel Music Association Dove Awards returned Tuesday night to the Allen Arena in Lipscomb to celebrate a Christian music community that is “stronger together.”

After a year-long hiatus from the in-person ceremony due to COVID-19, the energy of the crowd made one thing clear: Everyone was happy to be back.

Nominee Kelly Nelon Clark spoke about the feeling of being together again in her red carpet interview: “We’re so thrilled; I want to hug everyone!

Lipscomb University President Candace McQueen kicked off the show with a welcome to campus, which was followed by a stunning performance by We The Kingdom featuring African musical inspirations.

Hosts Natalie Grant and Jonathan McReynolds kicked off their duties with a video skit about the pitfalls of zoomed in meetings before meeting on stage to officially open the show.

The evening’s first prize for Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year went to Koryn Hawthorne for his record “I Am”.

This was followed by performances by gospel legend CeCe Winans, Tasha Layton and the new popular group CAIN.

“A Week Away”, directed by Roman White, won the inspirational film of the year award, followed by the gospel artist of the year award which went to CeCe Winans for the 24th Dove Award of his long career.

Winans then reflected on her victory saying, “I feel so encouraged and it reminds us that the word of God is always relevant.”

Co-host Jonathan McReynolds took the stage with Mali for a performance of their songs “Best Thing” and “Jump Ship,” and later GMA sweetheart Lauren Daigle returned to the stage at the Dove Awards for a performance. interpretation accompanied by a choir of his most recent single. , “Hold on to me.”

The hit “Graves Into Gardens” won the Worship Recorded Song song of the year award, followed by a performance by famed Christian rapper KB with Matt Redmon.

The coveted Song of the Year award went to “The Blessing”, written by Chris Brown, Cody Carnes, Kari Jobe and Steven Furtick.

After the touching In Memorium segment, Maverick City Music performed his hit “Jireh” and the Rap / Hip Hop album of the year was awarded to KB for his album “His Glory Alone”.

Legendary artist and co-host Natalie Grant returned to the stage for a beautiful performance supported by a children’s choir, featuring her twin daughters.

The night’s final artist of the year award went to For King and Country fan favorite, and Elevation Worship closed the show with a performance of their now Dove Award winning song “Graves Into Gardens” .

In the press room after the ceremony closed, all the artists expressed their common gratitude for the renewed brotherhood and for the wonderful gift they received to share their music with the world.

Renowned rapper Lecrae spoke about the connection made easier by music.

“By showing my scars, the injured see that their wounds can heal,” Lecrae said.

Dove Award nominated artist Blanca summed up the purpose of the evening at best.

“Any fulfillment that I have obtained is only an offering for the foot of the cross.”

Photo by Hannah Cron

Video by Kathryn Farris, Gunnar Eng

Radio report by Danny Kotula

Gallery by CJ Arndt