The Southern Gospel Music Association (SGMA) Hall of Fame inducted its 2020 class during this year’s NQC Fall Festival. Dottie Leonard Miller, founder, president, and chief executive officer of New Day Christian Distributors and Daywind Music Group; and Dianne Wilkinson, Daywind’s renowned, award-winning songwriter, were among those inducted into the SGMA Hall of Fame on Tuesday, September 29.
Daywind artists Karen Peck & New River, Greater Vision, Nelons, Legacy Five, Joseph Habedank, Tribute Quartet, LeFevre Quartet, and Scott Fowler of Legacy Five performed fan-favorite songs to celebrate the occasion.
Dottie Leonard Miller launched New Day Christian Distributors March 1, 1981, with a background of sales and promotion at Calvary Records and Windchime Records. She started by selling Gospel music to Christian retailers across the United States from the garage of her home. Her distribution business developed rapidly and contributed in a significant way to the growth of sheet music, accompaniment tracks, Southern Gospel music, and unique Christian products. With New Day firmly established, Dottie expanded in 1987 by creating, with partner Ronnie Drake, Daywind Music Group, the multi-faceted recording, publishing, production, marketing, and distribution company that has become a vital part of the Christian products industry. Countless singers have used Daywind Soundtracks as a ministry tool to share the latest Christian song or standard of the church, and millions more have been touched through the ministries of Daywind’s family of artists and songwriters. Miller belongs to a small group of pioneering female independent business owners or executives to be so honored at this level in any genre of the music industry.
“I am incredibly honored to be included among these wonderful inductees, including the multi-talented songwriter, Dianne Wilkinson,” said Miller. “I accept this honor as a vessel through whom God has performed His works.”
Dianne Wilkinson has been sharing the message of the Gospel through inspired lyrics and memorable music for more than 40 years. Her songs have been recorded by virtually all of the top Southern Gospel quartets and many other artists during the span of her long songwriting career, which has been blessed with many, many #1 songs. Her songs have received numerous nominations and awards including Singing News Fan Awards, BMI Awards and IBMA Awards. The Cathedrals’ classic hit song, “We Shall See Jesus,” penned by Dianne was honored at the 1984 GMA Dove Awards for Southern Song of the Year. Wilkinson was recognized by the Southern Gospel Music Guild in 2013 for lifetime achievement, a designation she also shares with Miller.
Both ladies continue to build their legacies in Southern Gospel music as they remain active in the ministry. Their best is yet to come.