42nd Annual GMA Dove Awards Nominee Press Conference to Be Held Wed. Feb. 16 in Atlanta, Streamed Live on www.watchgmctv.com

By Jenny Bennett | managing editor, www.watchgmctv.com
Posted: Tue, 01/25/2011 - 10:14

NASHVILLE, TN – (January 25, 2011) – The Gospel Music Association (GMA) is pleased to announce that the 42nd Annual GMA Dove Awards press conference will be held on Wednesday, February 16th in Atlanta at the historic Fox Theatre’s Grand Salon at 10 a.m. EST. The press conference will be streamed live at www.watchgmctv.com and hearitfirst.com. This year marks the first time the show has taken place outside Nashville in 40 years. The show will be taped live at the Fox Theatre on April 20 and will air on gmc Easter Sunday, April 24 at 7 & 9 p.m. EST.

GMA’s Chairman of the Board Ed Leonard will join the presenters at the historic press conference. “The GMA has been working hand in hand with the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau to make sure we have a very eventful and successful awards show debut in Atlanta. This city offers such a diverse musical landscape and we are thrilled to be here,” says Leonard.

The Fox Theatre is located at 660 Peachtree Blvd. NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30308. Parking for the press conference is available in the public parking lot next door to the Fox Theatre or at The Georgian Terrace Hotel. The phone number for the Fox is 404.881.2100.

Nominees in select categories will be announced by the participating artists, while the remaining categories will be made available online at www.gospelmusic.org, www.watchgmctv.com and www.hearitfirst.com.

About the Presenters

Bishop Paul S. Morton
Bishop Paul S. Morton is the presiding bishop of Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International, senior pastor of Changing a Generation Full Gospel Baptist Church in Atlanta, and serves as co-pastor of Greater St. Stephens in New Orleans where his wife, Pastor Debra Morton, serves as senior pastor. Not only is Bishop Morton known worldwide as bishop and pastor of a thriving worldwide ministry, he is also a psalmist with over 25 years of recorded music to his credit. Bishop Morton is a heavily sought after minister in word and song and we are happy he is part of the GMA family. GMA selected Bishop Morton to be chaplain for the Dove Awards.

Carlos Whittaker
Worship leader and blogger Carlos Whittaker first gained notoriety with his blog Ragamuffin Soul (http://www.ragamuffinsoul.com) which earned him a reputation as one of the most thoughtful, creative and provocative voices in the Christian community. He added to that reputation with his Integrity Music CD debut (Ragamuffin Soul) last year, which received critical acclaim and landed him a gig as featured guest on Jeremy Camp's The Worship Tour last fall. The son of a southern Baptist minister, Whittaker has served as a worship leader for Andy Stanley's Buckhead Church in Atlanta and as a leader/planner for major ministry conferences including Catalyst, Story, North Point and Saddleback. Once featured on the popular TLC series "L.A. Ink," Whittaker has been a featured guest commentator for CNN Headline News and he and his family recently won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Viral Video.

Francesca Battistelli
Inspired by legendary jazz greats and current contemporaries like John Mayer and Sara Bareilles, singer/songwriter Francesca Battistelli set out to write pop, soul-infused music that would motivate and encourage listeners of any age. Her phenomenal debut My Paper Heart released to rave reviews and has since earned her a GRAMMY nomination (Best Gospel Song Performance), two Dove Awards and 11 Dove Award nominations. The album delivered the smash No. 1 single “Free to Be Me” and hit singles “It’s Your Life,” “I’m Letting Go” and “Beautiful, Beautiful.” With over 400,000 copies sold and well over 775,000 downloads to date, Battistelli has become the genre's best-selling new artist in the past eight years. Coming up this March is the highly anticipated release of her sophomore album Hundred More Years featuring the lead single, “This Is the Stuff.”

Lecrae Moore is a Christian hip hop artist signed to Reach Records, the record label he co-founded. 2011 is off to a great start for Lecrae who is nominated for a GRAMMY for his forth album Rehab, which has spent an unprecedented 15 weeks on Billboard's Gospel Music chart. His new effort, Overdose, is another chart-topper that surpassed Kanye West’s current CD in its first week on the charts. With five successful albums to his name, touring worldwide, and inspiring a generation of young believers across the globe, Lecrae is humbled by his position in leading others towards Christ. His hope is that Reach’s impact will spread far beyond simply the music and into the lives of individuals across the world, ultimately exalting Jesus Christ.

Two-time GRAMMY nominee Mandisa’s discography includes True Beauty, It’s Christmas, Freedom and now, What If We Were Real on Sparrow Records. The season 5 American Idol finalist is also an author with the release of “Idoleyes: My New Perspective on Faith, Fat & Fame.” Mandisa was one of only 26 Idols selected to open Walt Disney World’s American Idol Experience in early 2009. Known for her transparency, Mandisa has been seen on Today, CNN Online, E! News Live as well as the pages of US Weekly and People discussing her weight loss journey. She is also a multiple GMA Dove Award nominee with consecutive nods in the Female Vocalist of the Year category.

Third Day
Over the past decade, the Atlanta-based multi-Platinum rock band Third Day (made up of members Mac Powell, Tai Anderson, David Carr and Mark Lee) has racked up 27 No. 1 radio singles and sold more than seven million albums which reflect an impressive two RIAA Platinum and eight Gold Certifications. A recent Georgia Music Hall of Fame inductee (2009), Third Day has garnered 24 career GMA Dove Awards from 42 nominations, four GRAMMY Awards (with 11 career nominations), an American Music Award (with three American Music Award nominations) and multiple ASCAP honors for songwriting.

Third Day has been featured by top media outlets including “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” (NBC), “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” (CBS), “60 Minutes” (CBS), ABC’s “Nightline,” USA Today, the New York Times, and even graced the cover of Billboard magazine, which called Third Day “one of the best rock bands.” As a top-ranked touring band, according to Pollstar magazine, Third Day has played for audiences reaching into the millions. Third Day will headline a massive 40-city “Make Your Move” tour kicking off Feb. 18, 2011 in Mercedes, Texas. Currently, Third Day’s single “Children of God” off its album, Move (10/19/10), is No. 10 at the National Audience chart and No. 13 at the AC Indicator chart. For additional information about Third Day please visit www.thirdday.com.

Kim Lord, Heather Day, and Valerie Ruppe, all sisters, have embarked on a new endeavor with a family group called “Sisters.” They are best known for their careers with the Ruppes and LordSong which featured several #1 and top-charting hits including “Under His Wings” and “Day Three,” as well as their many appearances on the Gaither Homecoming Series and several years on tour with Mark Lowry. Their a capella Youtube hit, “It is Well,” attracted the attention of syndicated columnist Cal Thomas who had them perform the song at his annual media dinner in Washington, D.C. before the National Prayer Breakfast last year. They made their Dove Awards debut at the pre-show last year by performing a hymn in the various styles of the categories they were presenting, to the great delight of the audience. Their first Daywind recording, “Healer of My Heart” was #1 in CashBox Magazine for the month of November (2010) for Southern Gospel Album. Find out more about Sisters at sistersmusic.org.

***Credential Requests for the 42nd Annual Dove Awards can be submitted by filling out and sending the form located HERE. Please note that all submissions will be reviewed and responded to by February 28th.

***Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com or at the Fox Theatre Box Office.

About GMA:
Founded in 1964, the Gospel Music Association serves as the face and voice for the Gospel/Christian music community and is dedicated to exposing, promoting and celebrating the Gospel through music of all styles including Pop, Rock, Praise & Worship, Urban Gospel, R&B, Hip Hop, Southern Gospel, Bluegrass, Country and more. The GMA community consists of more than 2000 members including agents, artists, church leaders, managers, promoters, radio personnel, record company executives, retailers, songwriters and other industry visionaries. The GMA produces the GMA Dove Awards, GMA Dove Week and IMMERSE. For more on supporting the GMA or becoming a member, please visit www.gospelmusic.org or contact the GMA directly at 615.277.1376.

About gmc:
gmc (www.watchgmctv.com), America’s favorite channel for uplifting music and family entertainment, is the fastest-growing network in television and the number one digital network in perceived value (source: BETA Research). gmc can be seen in over 47 million homes on various cable systems around the country, on DIRECTV on channel 338 and on Verizon FiOS on channel 224.

About the Fox Theatre:
The historic Fox Theatre is one of Atlanta’s premiere venues for live entertainment. The Fox’s 4,678 seat theatre is booked more than 300 performances a year ranging from Broadway to rock to comedy to movies. In December 2009, Billboard Magazine ranked the Fox Theatre in Atlanta as "The #1 non-residency venue worldwide for the decade (5,000 seats or less)."

The Fox Theatre is located on Peachtree Street in the middle of the city. Not only is it on the National Historic Register, but it is one of the most beloved landmarks in the city because it is a real memory maker for the citizens of Atlanta. They may have come here to see their first performance or Broadway show; they had their first date here, and maybe even had their first kiss in the balcony. Our ballrooms are spectacular and have hosted everything from Sweet 16s to weddings and corporate events.


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