It was a night of music, fellowship and faith.
The Dove Awards celebrated its fourth year on Lipscomb’s campus Tuesday night as the 47th annual event honored the best of the best in Christian and gospel music.
Presented by the Gospel Music Association and hosted by musical duo for KING & COUNTRY and musician Tye Tribbett, this night of music featured the theme “Love. Amplified.”
“All of us here in this room tonight — we’re living proof of God’s grace multiplied, and what His love sounds like when it’s amplified,” said host Luke Smallbone from for KING & COUNTRY.
GMA introduced the “Love. Amplified.” social-media campaign in August when it announced the nominees. The challenge lasted through Sept. 13.
Fans could enter the contest by posting a one-minute video to Instragram introducing someone in their community they believed amplies love and tagging it with #ourloveamplified.
Mallory Fundora was the winner of the social media campaign and was honored at the Dove Awards Tuesday night. She was presented with the Dove Care Award for her work in feeding the hungry.
Fundora has two feeding programs that inspire education, feed hungry children and connect families in the U.S. with children in Uganda.
“God just kept providing for me and kept bringing in the funds, way more than I expected,” Fundora said. “Now I have a feeding program that feeds over 450 kids every weekday during their break from school, and I also pair people around the world with students in Uganda so that they can go to school and have a relationship with these people around the world.”
GMA said it created the “Love. Amplified.” theme to encourage artists and fans alike to be vessels of movement for love, being examples of the grace of Christ in their everyday lives.
Sawyer Davis, a senior public relations major from Hixson, Tennessee worked as a red carpet escort for several artists throughout the evening and said they were an embodiment of this movement.
“I think sometimes we expect artists of this caliber to be conceited and think they deserve special treatment or something,” Davis said. “But that’s not what I saw going on at all. Everyone was so kind and spoke to each other with such appreciation.
“Everyone I talked to called the Doves a kind of family reunion, and that was an encouraging thing to see.”
Lauren Daigle wins big for second year in a row
After sweeping each category she was nominated for last year, reigning New Artist of the Year Lauren Daigle returned to the Dove Awards Tuesday night and took home three awards, including the top one — “Artist of the Year.”
“One of my friends asked me backstage if it hit me right way, and I think it’s going to take about a week for it to sink in,” Daigle said of winning Artist of the Year. “Honestly, just looking back at last year and being completely new to the Dove Awards, to this year, I just feel such an embrace of the industry.
“It’s just an honor, honestly, to be up here and to be surrounded by people that genuinely care. I am just so honored that He chooses music to be a thing that He breathes through to people’s hearts.”
Daigle leaves for her first headline tour early Wednesday morning and is working on an upcoming Christmas album that she will take on tour with for KING & COUNTRY later in the year.
Having won the “New Artist” category last year, it was only fitting that Daigle be one of the presenters for the same category Tuesday night.
Daigle and Jason Ingram presented the “New Artist of the Year” award to newcomer Jordan Feliz.
“I just want my music — I want my life — to represent Him in the best way possible, and one of my favorite ways is joy,” Feliz said. “I want people to feel joy, to feel refreshed either listening or leaving a concert. Whatever you’re holding onto, my prayer is that you would come (to a concert) with that thing and leave without it.”
Other big winners of the night include for KING & COUNTRY, the Christian Contemporary Artist of the Year and War Room, the Inspirational Film of the Year.
Hillsong United’s Empires won Worship Album of the Year; “Good Good Father” won Song of the Year; Kirk Franklin won Gospel Artist of the Year; the Kendrick Brothers received the Impact Award; Jason Ingram earned Songwriter of the Year.
Chris Tomlin won the Sound Exchange Award. This win marked the first time a Christian Contemporary Artist has won the award. Previous winners of this award include Garth Brooks and Pitbull.
“Anyone who’s seen success knows you have to be surrounded by a great team,” Tomlin said. “I’ve been surrounded by the very best. I can’t believe this — I’m most proud of what this recognition says about the genre of Christian music. Christian music, as a whole, is what is truly being recognized today.
“It’s an honor to represent all of you in this room. To me, this signals that the church is alive and well and on the move. There’s no higher way to express music than to give glory to God, the One who created it in the first place.”
The 47th annual Dove Awards will air on Trinity Broadcasting Network on Sunday, Oct. 16.
Photo galleries by Ben Davis and Anna Rogers
Radio story by Anna McClure
Video by Brooke Dorris, Davis and Risley