The Gospel Music Association has announced its nominees for the Dove Awards and several new solo male artists are topping this year’s list.
The Dove Awards show will be held at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, on Oct. 16. Leading the nominations is writer/producer Colby Wedgeworth with eight nominations.
Following Wedgeworth is Provident/Sony Music recording artist Tauren Wells who has multiple nominations across different categories totaling seven nominations.
Wells’ nominations include: Song of the Year, Songwriter-Artist, New Artist, Pop/Contemporary Album, Contemporary Christian Artist, Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song, and Rap/Hip-Hop Recorded Song.
Wells is the former frontman of the boy band Royal Tailor. He went solo in 2016 and his debut release garnered two Grammy nods. His music also secured him a spot on the Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey’s 2017 tour where he unapologetically showcased his faith-based tunes in arenas across the U.S.
Wells has previously shared the goal he’s looking to reach with his new solo career.
“We got so many crazy Christians that we can use a rebranding of sorts. Where we’re not scared of having conversations with people; where we’re not bringing our egos into it and [instead] walking in the humility that Christ speaks of,” he said while on tour.
“I know what it is to be broken, I’d rather be whole,” Wells added when talking about why he shares his faith with others.
His album Hills and Valleys has now secured him several Dove nominations.
Another artist nominated for the 49th annual Dove Awards with six nominations is singer Zach Williams.
Williams’ nominations include: Artist of the Year, Songwriter-Artist, Song of the Year, Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song, Contemporary Christian Artist, and Bluegrass/Country/Roots Recorded Song.
One of contemporary Christian music’s newest artists, Williams first shared the freedom he’s found in Jesus with his first hit single, “Chain Breaker.” The former rock star walked away from a life of drugs and rock ‘n’ roll to follow God’s plan for his life and to share his newfound hope with others.
Williams said he grew up in a Christian home where both his mother and father were heavily involved in church. But as a teenager, he drifted away from the values his parents had instilled in him.
It wasn’t until he was in his 20s that he would come back to his faith after listening to a Big Daddy Weave song. His debut album, Chain Breaker helped skyrocket his Christian career.
“My ministry now is to just tell the world about what God has done in my life and hopefully that will bring other people to Jesus. I’m just a normal guy, just like anybody else. I don’t feel like I’m changing at all other than the fact that God is giving me opportunities, and I don’t want to miss those opportunities of where I can go out and share who Jesus is and what He’s done in my life,” Williams said.
Lastly, honored with five Dove Award nominations is artist Cory Asbury who released the Top Christian Billboard hit “Reckless Love” in January.
The title track of his first solo album also hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs Chart and the Mediabase Christian Audience Chart, while continuing to make an impact at radio. Along with a thriving music career, Asbury is a member of Bethel Music and serves as the worship pastor at the Radiant Church in Michigan.
Other nominees for the 49th annual Dove Awards include Tasha Cobbs Leonard, TobyMac, Hillsong UNITED, MercyMe and NEEDTOBREATHE.
The Dove Awards will broadcast on TBN Oct. 21. The awards celebration was designed to honor the contributions of artists in the Christian and gospel music genre and nominees are voted on by the entire GMA membership, consisting of nearly 2,500. For a full list of this year’s nominees, click here.