Blog Roll at the 42nd Annual Dove Awards

By Melissa Riddle ... | senior content strategist,
Posted: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 20:37

Host Sherri Shepherd appears again to introduce the last performance of the night (I think). Sanctus Real and Tenth Avenue North perform together as Chris August takes the press pit stage.
August does a little Elvis impression, while holding two of his three Dove Awards. “I feel like a nut. I walked on stage... I have to thank Fresh Prince. He inspired me. I just appreciate people being open to new artists... I don’t even have a mantle. I live in an apartment over someone’s garage. I thought the only thing I had a chance at winning was "New Artist.” As a person who has been working at music for many, many years, to finally have someone say, ‘you did a good job.’ It’s a pretty good feeling.” He’s working on new songs, but he’s not supposed to talk about it yet.

Chonda Pierce is back at it again...during commercial breaks. “The later it gets, the nastier it gets,” she says, talking about a recent night doing stand up at the Laugh Factory comedy club... ‘kind of like tonight. Most of the Christians have gone home now; the ruckus crowd is here.’ Says she got a tattoo for her 25th anniversary, but that it has fallen, so that her husband’s initials are now in her, and I quote, ‘buttcrack.’ The audience is howling.  
Pierce announces ‘Group of the Year’ Award for NEEDTOBREATHE, off air... The band isn’t here to accept, which is probably why it’s awarded off air, but the crowd responds enthusiastically all the same.

...but now Kevin Sorbo is on stage in the press pit... who has two more faith based movies coming out this year, one based on a Karen Kingsbury novel. “I’ve always been a Christian, not a perfect one, I’ve had to ask forgiveness for a lot of stuff...”
‘We knew when shooting ‘What If’ that it was special. It was in theaters for five months just through word of mouth. Hollywood kind of woke up with ‘The Blindside’... They call it a niche market, but it’s not really a niche. I call it an underserved.”

‘Let the Waters Rise’ by Mike’s Chair, followed by Jason Crabb singing “Sometimes I Cry”...


Chonda Pierce is back... she’s just what the doctor ordered this late in the game. I have no idea how she got to it, but she ended with “You can’t say hoedown in Los Angeles,” which was and still is hysterical to me.

Ernie Haase & Signature Sound take the stage... how electric is Ernie’s suit? Trust me when I say it’s ELECTRIC BLUE. Can’t really hear the performance in the press pit, but it looks pretty cool, especially when Committed shows up... Two more reasons to tune in on Easter Sunday.

The Christian music trifecta just happened in the press pit: Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, the men of Third Day and Mark Hall of Casting Crowns just came back after the big adoption number on the main stage. Show Hope, the organization the Chapmans started to help people adopt has financed 2700 adoptions of orphans from 46 countries. Mac Powell and Mark Hall have both adopted orphans, which Steven describes as ‘the kingdom of God at it is in heaven, where there will be no more orphans’... “Adoption is our story, it is the Gospel.”

Sherri Shepherd appears in a killer green dress. It takes quite a woman to get away with a green dress, and boy does she! Introduces LeCrae, who arrives ‘rock star’ style, for a duo/medley of “Background” and “God Is Enough” with Natalie Grant. As they exit the stage, Grant slaps LeCrae on the shoulder... wonder what that was about?!

Leann Touey and her daughter, Collins (the real people behind the Blindside movie), on stage to present Contemporary Gospel Song of the Year, which went to Marvin Sapp for “Best In Me.”  
“This is such a shock to me,” Sapp said accepting the award. “This has been one of the most difficult years of my life... I have to dedicate this to one person, my late wife Malinda P. Sapp. She means the world to me.”

“I’m wearing Baby Gap,” Kirk Franklin says, mugging for the photographers on stage in the press pit. “God’s been so kind to me,” he responds, when asked about the success of his new record, Hello Fear. “I’m trying to take it all in stride, and process it.”
Can’t hear what Tim Tebow is saying on camera because the sound is off in the press pit, while Kirk is on stage. Guess I’ll be watching the telecast on gmc on Easter Sunday to catch that! Don’t miss it... Tebow looks real sharpe in that blue jacket. Kind of miss the black paint and Bible reference under his eyes though. Something really sweet is happening on stage... with. Steven Curtis Chapman and Mary Beth, his wife, and all these people wearing ‘adoption’ T-shirts, but I can’t tell what’s happening. Another reason to watch, not that I needed another one.

Sandi Patty’s in the press pit, in a fabulous black dress, 75 pounds ‘released’...”I’m now my Wi-Fit age, which is 40. I’ll be 55 in August...”

“I understand now in a different way God’s grace and forgiveness than I did when I won that first Dove Award,” she says. Tonight Sandi won ‘Inspirational Album of the Year, the 40th Dove Award of her career.
On her bucket list: To do ‘Hello Dolly’ on Broadway.

Host Sherri Shepherd introduces Third Day. “Children of God,” a song inspired by the needs of orphans... Sweet pictures of children who’ve been adopted... gonna miss the performance because...

Kenny Rogers in the press pit... “My mom was extremely religious. Church three times a week. God had a really good shot at our family. She believed it was such an important thing. Church choirs, glee clubs... so this album has been a great thing for me.” Just met Point of Grace this morning, even though he’d sung on their record before. It’s the friendships I’ve made in this business are more important than me than all the awards.” Loves the Fox... ‘shocked at the sheer beauty, the acoustics are good, parking sucks...’

“We Shall Behold Him,” “Via Dolorosa”... Do they write songs like these anymore? Well, yes... and no. The Sandi Patty tribute featuring Laura Story, Audrey Assad and Natalie Grant, Britt Nicole, Janet Pascal and others had a bit of a rocky start, but ended with a heartwarming bang! “Love In Any Language” finale with Ms. Patty, who agreed the future of women in Christian/Gospel music is bright, indeed.
Sandi Patty presents ‘Female Vocalist of the Year’ Award to the likely winner... Francesca Battestelli. It’s her second year to win.

Kim Fields, wearing a Victoial Shaffer dress (stunning!), is a big fan of the DOVE Awards and Stellar Awards. But acting was her first love, she says. Her advice to upcoming actors? Know your craft and try to learn as much as you can about everyone else’s jobs around you so that you can understand what they are doing.

Restroom etiquette with Chonda Pierce and Sherri Shepherd... these women are cracking themselves up.  Up next, Kenny Rogers with Point of Grace, who took home three pre-show Doves... one for Country Recorded Song of the Year. Rogers’ new CD, For the Love of God, is a Cracker Barrel Country Stores feature... Anyone got any Chicken ‘N’ Dumplins out there? We’re all hungry here in the press pit.

Male Vocalist of the Year went to newcomer Chris August, who won the Dove for Pop Contemporary Album of the Year during the pre-show.  Hmmm... I think most of us thought Brandon Heath would take it again this year, but the power of "Starry Night" has proven too much for Heath. Or it could be the power of the skinny tie. Nah... it’s the song. It’s a GREAT song. Might just take the big award.

Host Sherri Shepherd appears in a seriously pretty dress. Earlier in the press room she shared the happy news of her recent engagement and said her ’10 lb weight loss’ did trick... She’s giving the love to Jesus tonight... excited, she says, to be in a place to be able to say it out loud. ‘Give it to me, Kirk Franklin, say, ‘I love Jesus!’... Chris Tomlin, give it to me!’ She’s quoting TobyMac lyrics, (“I Was Made To Love”)... ‘sounds like my ex-boyfriend talking, Toby Mac, if that’s your real name...’   Up next Mary, Mary...

Comedian Chonda Pierce... in the commercial break, feeling a bit disrespected. Somebody mispronounced her name... “I hope the Lord doesn’t come back tonight, I’m not living through eternity in this dress.” She’s got the whole press room laughing... and she’s not even back here yet. “They got Spanx for men... Before you get up here and get your Gospel Music Award, you better tuck that beer gut in!”  “This ain’t cleavage, these are my ankles right here,” after describing her very own full body length Spanx.

“Our God” tied for with Meredith Andrews’ “How Great Is the Love” for Worship Song of the the Dove pre-show. That performance by Chris Tomlin is more than enough to demonstrate why. Meredith Andrews also took home the ‘Praise & Worship Album of the Year.’ I’m gonna have to go back and give that girl a listen.

Wonder what the governor of Georgia listens to in his car? I’m thinking he’s old school, hmmmm... who would it be? Sandi Patty? Donnie McClurkin? Who do you think?

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