11 Reasons to Rock the (Dove) Vote in 2011

By Melissa Riddle ... | senior content strategist, www.watchgmctv.com
Posted: Wed, 03/16/2011 - 11:13

Dove Awards online coverage is sponsored by Soul Surfer, the movie, in theaters April 8.

Read full Dove Awards coverage

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of year again, when spring is in the air and the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards are readying for take-off. Set for a live taping on Wednesday, April 20, followed by the TV premiere right here on gmc Easter Sunday, April 24 at 7 p.m. et, The GMA Dove Awards are one of our favorite annual rites of spring. We’ve always loved watching our favorite Gospel and Christian artists get recognized for the heart, soul and art they create all year long. But the last two years have been particularly great.

Why? Because for the past two years, we – the Gospel music fans – have finally been given a voice. In 2009, GMA took the historic step to give us, the fans, the vote. And we’ve been rockin’ it ever since.

In 2009, 233K of us came to gmc’s web site to cast our vote in two of the 38 Dove categories. The show was televised live from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and fans could vote online in real time. So real in fact, that we almost crashed the server... more than once. That year, Steven Curtis Chapman took home “Artist of the Year,” and Tenth Avenue North was named “New Artist of the Year.” In 2010, The Dove Awards was not televised live, and voting wasn’t kept open as long, but still, thousands made their voices heard and watched as Casting Crowns and Sidewalk Prophets took home those same awards.

This year, we’re just gonna say it straight up. Our #1 reason to ‘Rock the Dove Vote’ this year: to let the Gospel Music Association know that we fans are so passionate about this music, we want an even bigger voice! We love the Gospel Music Association and all they do as a community to support Gospel music and give it its due. But if fans could vote in all six of the major Dove categories, it’d be amazing to see who would, who could win! It would create more energy and excitement in the Gospel/Christian music industry, especially among the music buying public. (How great would that be?!) It’d make for more exciting TV and better ratings. (Woot-woot! We love that here at gmc.)

And if all that could happen, miracle of miracles! It could boost music sales, which is a win-win for everybody. It’d be like ‘American Idol,’ where the underdog always has a chance, where the vote of the masses becomes a television event in the end, or like ‘The American Music Awards’ where actual music buyers choose their favorites.

Not convinced you should vote? Well, I’ve got 10 more compelling reasons to change your mind.

#10: Freedom rocks, and voting is the exercise that keeps those freedom muscles working all year long. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain about the results.

#9: Your vote is a vote for growth. When the GMA Dove Awards began 42 years ago, it was a banquet celebrating the pioneers of southern gospel. There were only 11 categories. Period. Here we are decades later with 38 categories representing genres from pop to rock to rap to urban gospel. Maybe we don’t need more categories, but wouldn’t it be great to see the impact of Gospel music grow exponentially around the world, swelling up from a grassroots effort like the FAN vote? More exposure for the music means more exposure to the message of the music. What could be better than that?!

#8: More votes, more diversity. This year’s Dove nominee list is about as diverse as it has ever been. Ever. In 42 years! Your vote celebrates the diversity that is Gospel music, and underscores – for anyone who might have doubts – that it's more relevant than ever.

#7: Your vote means ‘new’ is not forgotten, that ‘under the radar’ has yet another chance to fly. Voting gives you the opportunity to give your favorite unknown nominee the leg up, which just might give him/her/them the career momentum they need to make another nominee list next year. Or at least get that sophomore release out the door.  

#6: The Diversion Vote: Since Casting Crowns is not a nominee, this year’s ‘Artist of the Year’ voters may comprise a different or even totally new group of fans, so there’s more opportunity than ever before to split the vote. You, the fans, could even make the race too close to call at the very end. And we think that’s exciting.  

#5: Your vote could result in the most ironic win of all time: ‘No Other Name’ is up for ‘New Artist of the Year.’ If they win, the announcer will say, “And the Dove goes to... No Other Name!” What? Who? No other what? That alone could be worth the price of admission.   

#4: It’s bigger than Idol: Why should ‘American Idol’ get all the good voting millions, when Gospel music is so much more worthy of the vote? Besides, why be one of millions when you can be one of thousands instead? Take your cannon-ball of a vote and toss it into the sea and no one is the wiser; but blast it into our Dove pond, and it makes a big splash. It really does!

#3: Your vote makes Dove night dovelier. The 42nd Annual Gospel Music Awards promises a night of powerful performances and moments to remember. But the most exciting thing of all is the idea that real people, whose lives have been impacted by the music itself, have a real hand in showing their appreciation for those who make it. And we think that is just dovely.

#2: Doves and Tweets go together. Your Dove Vote is more Facebook and Twitter-worthy than 82 percent of what most status updates and tweets say. We guarantee it. So cast your vote right here today and then shout it, tweet it, and FB it to the world. Get your Vote on, and get out the Vote!

#1: Your Dove, your decision. Gospel music is the music of the Gospel: the good news. It’s more than another love song, more than just another three minutes on the radio. It’s music in honor of the One who, in the beginning, created melody and language and breath and the desire in our hearts to sing. It’s the music of a people in worship of God, the people’s worship. And the Dove Award is our way of saying, “Well done, you good and faithful servant. You did the Good News justice.” 

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