The 54th Annual GMA Dove Awards were handed out in 37 categories at the Allen Arena in Nashville last week. The sold-out event aired exclusively on the TBN cable television network and The TBN App.
Host Tauren Wells led the all-star night of music with performances from across the community including Gospel, Latin, Worship, Pop, Southern Gospel and a special tribute to the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop.
Tasha Cobbs Leonard won Gospel Worship Album of the Year for, Hymns (Live), and her track It Is Well earned Traditional Gospel Recorded Song of the Year.
“This album means a lot to me because I’m a PK [pastor’s kid],” she said. “I’m a church girl.”
She closed the show with a rousing performance of her track Burdens Down backed by the Tennessee State University Choir.
The big winner of the night was Brandon Lake who won four awards including Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year – Artist, Worship Recorded Song of the Year and Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year.
“There are so many people in this room that I look up to and who gave me permission to write as a young boy,” he said. “They say imitate before you innovate. I have imitated so many of you year after year after year and songs not making it and no one hearing it and then God breathes on a little something.”
Blind Nigerian-born American singer/songwriter, Blessing Offor, won his first Dove Awards this year. His song Brighter Days won Pop Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year and he also scored with Short Form Music Video of the Year (Performance) for his collaboration with TobyMac, The Goodness.
It was a big night for TobyMac too. He was the center of the Dove Awards celebration of the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop. The special moment was a highlight featuring dynamic performances from Hulvey, Social Club Misfits, and GRITS alongside TobyMac. They took it all the way back with a reprise of 2002’s Ooh Aah (My Life Be Like), a track that’s gotten over 300 million Spotify streams. Meanwhile, TobyMac took home Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for his, Life After Death, project that he dedicated to his late son.
“I made this record in honor of my son Truett, my firstborn who we lost. His life was like a shot of lightning, burning fast and hot,” TobyMac said. “You couldn’t help but take notice. I couldn’t be more thankful that our God loves the wild ones. I made these songs in the hardest, coldest of valleys and we still don’t know why God would ask this of us, but sometimes we don’t get to ask those questions. He didn’t promise us that we wouldn’t face hard things, that we wouldn’t face loss. He promised He would never leave us or forsake us. If you take the time to look in the hardest deepest valleys, the coldest places in this world, if you take the time to look, He is there. He is true to His word that He will not leave us. I have experienced that. He is the only reason that there is life after death.”
Song of the Year went to Goodness Of God, which has been popularized by Cece Winans, honored songwriters Ben Fielding, Ed Cash, Jason Ingram, Jenn Johnson, and Brian Johnson.
New Artist of the Year went to Katy Nicole and Jesus Revolution took home Feature Film of the Year. Maverick City Music and Kirk Franklin won Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year for Kingdom Book One Deluxe. Brian Courtney Wilson won Traditional Gospel Album of the Year for, Transitions. Jonathan McReynolds won Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of the Year for Your World.
Pastor Mike Jr. won Gospel Worship Recorded Song of the year for Impossible and he also performed his No. 1 hit Impossible with Ricky Dillard. Lecrae took home Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year for Church Clothes 4.
Dr. Bobby Jones, who hosted BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel for 35 seasons, received the Jackie Patillo Leadership Award for his legacy and promotion of gospel music.