I guess you can tell from the title of this blog that I am really confused about the nominations released last week for the 2017 Dove Awards.  This post does not cover the entire list of nominees but just the categories in which I work and serve and that would be those involving Southern Gospel artists.


Well… that seems to be the problem I have with this year’s nominees.  We have people that have been nominated in these categories that have absolutely NOTHING to do with our genre.  Take for instance that “Southern Gospel Artist of the Year”, you have a soloist who does not want to even be associated with this type of music yet he is in this category.  He sends no music to Southern Gospel radio, he does no Southern Gospel concerts and yet, because he appears on the Gaither videos, he is nominated for artist of the year?


Continuing on down the list of nominees, I see the duo of Joey+Rory.  Now I know we were all praying for this couple and were saddened by the loss of Joey.  What a great inspiration we received from Rory and his walk through the very shadow of death talked about in Psalm 23.  But they were listed as a nominee for “Southern Gospel Artist of the Year“.  What?


They haven’t even been able to travel in over three years and their music has even reached the top of any southern gospel charts.


When I think of this category, I think of an artist who would represent our genre of music to an entire world.  Don’t you think the artist that wins this award should at least participate in this category?  I mean out of all of those listed, there are two and possibly three that you would NEVER see on the billing of a southern gospel concert.


Then when my blood pressure starts to rise, I look at the category for “Southern Gospel Song of the Year“.  Are you kidding me with this?  We have listed in this category only 2 songs that even reached the #1 spot on the Singing News chart.  Also listed in this category is a song that never reached the Top 40, another song was never released to radio and yet they are able to be viable for a Dove nomination?


Please tell me who is repsonsible for nominating these artists in these categories.  Please tell me the process in which these categories are determined.  Oh wait, I know how they are determined.  Just as you wouldn’t want me, as a Southern Gospel representative, voting and nominating in the other categories, you shouldn’t be allowed to participate in nominating and voting in the categories you know nothing about.


Let’s all understand that while we love Bill Gaither and what he has done for this industry, there are more artists in this industry than those connected to Gaither music.  Can we not all agree, there are other artists who are far more deserving of these top nominating spots than individuals who may have recorded one gospel song or one southern gospel project?  Just because you have appeared on one or two of the Gaither  videos don’t make you eligible to represent our genre.


If they don’t sing on at least 15% of the Southern Gospel promoting events through out the year then they are NOT a representative of our genre.  If their song can’t even make it in our charts (which is the easiest chart to make it in since it’s based on who you know) then what makes you think you should be nominated for a Dove award?


To those who nominate and vote, if you are not familair with our genre, then please do the honarable thing and skip over what you don’t know.   Because for us in this industry, you are turning the Dove Awards into nothing more than the Pigeon Awards.  And we already have enough “podunk” associations giving out those awards… we don’t need another NATPQ awards show.


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