Known to many as “Gospel Music’s Biggest Night,” the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards will be celebrating its 44th year with some new changes.

For the first time ever, the award show will be presented in the fall rather than the traditional spring time. The awards will be handed out from Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena in Nashville, Tenn., on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 7:30 CDT.

And who will be part of this year’s big event? Superstars Amy Grant and Kirk Franklin will co-host the show and Michael W. Smith, TobyMac, the Gaither Vocal Band and Tamela Mann were just announced as performers. Presenting the awards will be Jaci Velasquez, Lecrae, Dr. Bobby Jones, Isaac Carree and Pastor Rick Warren.

The big show will be broadcasted to more than 60 million households by the UP network (formerly GMC) at 8:00 p.m. EDT on October 21. The main reason for resetting the award show timeline is to give the Christian/Gospel genre a bigger boost just before the industry’s most significant retails sales season.

Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God.Psalms 147:7, KJV

“The GMA Dove Awards has a tradition of bringing our music community together to celebrate God’s goodness as a family and raising awareness for Christian and Gospel music,” says GMA Executive Director Jackie Patillo. “This year we will not only pay tribute to the music and its makers, but we will shine a light on those who have experienced the music as a lifeline.”

Essentially, this year, the program will be more than just the music and GMA chooses to honor fellow artists who use their influence to promote charitable causes. Food for the Hungry will be this year’s ministry sponsor.

For some, the most exciting change has nothing to do with music at all. New for 2013, the Dove Awards have added a feature film category with partnership from the Dove Foundation, known for its Dove Seal of approval for films of all kinds. Christian filmmaking is at an all-time high, so it only makes sense to honor the most “Inspirational Film of the Year.”

“I am delighted that such a highly-respected organization as the GMA is recognizing Christian films,” says Dick Rolfe, Dove Foundation co-founder and CEO.

If that wasn’t enough, the Dove Awards have also announced new changes in other categories, as well.

Three new categories have been added, (“Contemporary Christian Performance of the Year,” “Southern Gospel Performance of the Year” and “Gospel Performance of the Year”), three have been eliminated, (“Male Artist of the Year,” “Female Artist of the Year” and “Group of the Year”) and due to lack of submissions, “Urban Recorded Song of the Year” and “Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of the Year” have become one. So has “Urban Album of the Year” and “Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year.”

The 2013 Dove Awards features a diverse group of nominees highlighted by the following in five of the top categories:

Artist of the Year

– Chris Tomlin, sixstepsrecords

– Francesca Battistelli, Fervent

– Lecrae, Reach Records

– Tamela Mann, TillyMann

– TobyMac, ForeFront Records

New Artist of the Year

– Capital Kings, Gotee Records

– Colton Dixon, Sparrow Records

– For King & Country, Fervent

– Rhett Walker Band, Essential Records

– Tasha Cobbs, EMI Gospel

Song of the Year 

– “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord),” Matt Redman, (writers) Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin

– “All I Can Do (Thank You),” Mikeschair, (writers) Mike Grayson, Ben Glover, David Garcia

– “Break Every Chain,” Tasha Cobbs, (writer) Will Reagan

– “Forgiveness,” Matthew West, (writer) Matthew West

– “From My Rags To His Riches,” Devin McGlamery featuring Dailey & Vincent, (writers) Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey

– “Greatly Blessed, Highly Favored,” Gaither Vocal Band, (writers) Larry Gatlin, Bill Gaither

– “Hold On,” Canton Junction, (writer) Gerald Crabb

– “I’m Learning,” Aaron & Amanda Crabb, (writers) Lee Black, Michael Fordinal, Kenna West

– “Live Like That,” Sidewalk Prophets, (writers) Dave Fray, Ben McDonald, Ben Glover

– “Need You Now (How Many Times),” Plumb, (writers) Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, Luke Sheets, Christa Wells

– “Not For a Moment (After All),” Meredith Andrews, (writers) Meredith Andrews, Jacob Sooter, Mia Fieldes

– “One Thing Remains,” Kristian Stanfill, (writers) Brian Johnson, Christa Black Gifford, Jeremy Riddle

– “Redeemed,” Big Daddy Weave, (writers) Mike Weaver, Benji Cowart

– “Sometimes I Wonder,” Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, (writers) Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey

– “Take Him To The Place,” Aaron & Amanda Crabb, (writers) Aaron Crabb, Amanda Crabb

– “Take Me to the King,” Tamela Mann, (writer) Kirk Franklin

– “The Proof of Your Love,” for King and Country, (writers) Joel Smallbone, Fred Williams, Luke Smallbone, Ben Glover, Mia Fieldes, Johnathan Lee

– “What The Blood Is For,” Jason Crabb, (writers) Ronnie Freeman, Tony Wood

– “Where I Belong,” Building 429, (writers) Jason Roy, Jason Ingram

– “Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies),” Chris Tomlin, (writers) Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Scott Cash

– “Why Can’t We,” The Isaacs, (writers) Rebecca Isaacs Bowman, Sonya Isaacs, Jimmy Yeary

Songwriter of the Year

– Ben Glover

– Benji Cowart

– Matt Redman

– Toby McKeehan

– Wayne Haun

Inspirational Film of the Year

– Amazing Love: The Story of Hosea, (director) Kevin Downes, (producers) Daryl LeFever, Rich Christiano

– Christmas With A Capital C, (director) Helmut Schleppi, (producers) Michael Scott, James Chankin, Peter Yoder

– Courageous, (director) Alex Kendrick, (producer) Stephen Kendrick

– Jerusalem Countdown, (director) Harold Cronk, (producers) James Chankin, Michael Scott, Matthew Tailford, David A.R. White

– Love Begins, (director) David S. Cass Sr., (producers) Erik Heiberg, Lincoln Lageson

– MONUMENTAL: In Search of America’s National Treasure, (director) Duane Barnhart, (producers) Duane Barnhart, Kirk Cameron, Angela Alvarex

– October Baby, (directors) Andrew & Jon Erwin, (producers) Dan Atchison, Justin Tolley, Jon Erwin, Andy Erwin

– The Bible, (directors) Tony Mitchell, Crispin Reece, Christopher Spencer, (producers) Lightworkers Media, Hearst Productions

– Travel The Road: Season One, (directors) Will Decker, Tim Scott, (producers) Will Decker, Tim Scott

– Seven Days In Utopia, (director) Matt Russell, (producers) James Berman, Mark G. Mathis

A full list of nominees can be found here.

Some of the 2012 Dove Award winners included Jason Crabb for Artist of the Year, Jamie-Grace for New Artist of the year, NEEDTOBREATHE for Group of the Year and Laura Story’s “Blessings” for Song of the Year. Jason Crabb hosted the press conference for the announcement of the 2013 nominees along with Francesca Battistelli, Dailey and Vincent, James Fortune, Mandisa and Rhett Walker.

Last year’s hosts were Christian comedians Chonda Pierce and David Mann, who introduced a number of star performers, including Crystal Lewis, LaCrae, Mandisa and Natalie Grant, Among the 2012 presenters were Jaci Velasquez, Al Styles, Kirk Franklin and Dara MacClean. will live stream the red carpet, pre-telecast and other non-broadcast show activities.  If you would like to attend the Dove Awards in person, tickets are available beginning at just $15 and go all the way up to $200. For more information on tickets and pricing, go to

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