CAIN, Lauren Daigle, Natalie Grant, KB, We The Kingdom, CeCe Winans, and others performed at this year’s GMA Dove Awards, which were marked by unity and pleasure. The concert was taped at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena in Nashville and aired on TBN and SiriusXM on Friday night (October 22).
The event began with a pleasant surprise for the Gospel Music Association president/executive director Jackie Patillo, who has served as the organization’s president/executive director for the past ten years. Patillo received the first exceptional leadership award, which will be named after him in the future.
“I’m speechless,” she says “Patillo explained. “And I’m very flattered and appreciative. This is a wake-up call, y’all. This is a task for you. This is not a paid position. Despite the fact that certain days are difficult. However, I adore you. And for that I am grateful. And I believe in Christ’s oneness. I believe we can celebrate our differences in ways that demonstrate to the world that we are Christians via our love. I believe in God’s power via the Bible and the messages in your music. So, thank you very much. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and wonder.”
The evening’s charming co-hosts were Natalie Grant and Jonathan McReynolds; this was McReynolds’ first time co-hosting the event, while Grant had hosted in 2007.
We the Kingdom opened the event with a performance of “God So Loved,” a churning folk-rock song, and welcomed international children’s chorus His Little Feet. Koryn Hawthorne’s I AM won the first award of the evening, for contemporary gospel album of the year.
From there, the GMA Dove Awards seemed to effortlessly blend performances from CCM, gospel, rap/hip-hop, worship, Southern gospel, and more into a seamless showcase for the breadth and depth of the genre as a whole, from KB’s hard-hitting hip-hop to Hawthorne’s simmering R&B, Daigle’s folksy worship style, The Isaacs’ bluegrassy “The American Face,” CAIN’s amalgam of rock, country, and folk
During the evening, Grant and CeCe Winans, two of the most prominent gospel and Christian music performers, held court. When Grant approached the stage, the audience went silent and stood at attention as she played “My Weapon,” collaborating with the Belonging Co. choir to deliver a forceful, string-filled performance.