Four-time GMA Female Vocalist of the Year, Natalie Grant and Multiple Dove Award-winning Group, MercyMe’s Frontman Bart Millard, to Host 41st Annual Event First Round of Performers Include Industry Leaders Casting Crowns, TobyMac, Donald Lawrence, Jason Crabb and GMA Dove Award Hosts (NASHVILLE, Tenn.) Dec.23, 2009 – The Gospel Music Association (GMA) officially announces its initial hosts, appearances and plans for its 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards. The 2010 Dove Awards will be held on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at Nashville’s famed Grand Ole Opry House and televised nationwide on Gospel Music Channel (GMC) television network (www.gospelmusicchannel.com), Saturday, April 24, 2010 from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. EST. The GMA Dove Awards is Christian/Gospel music’s biggest night of the year, where top artists from every style of gospel music come together for a night of music and celebration as the GMA bestows the industry’s highest honor — the Dove Award. Final nominees will be announced on February 18, 2010. The 41st annual GMA Dove Awards will be hosted by 2009’s Female Vocalist of the Year, Natalie Grant, and multiple Dove Award-winning group MercyMe’s frontman Bart Millard. While the awards will be a highlight of the show, music performances will take center stage at this year’s GMA Dove Awards, showcasing some of gospel music’s top-selling and most diverse artists. Artists scheduled to appear include Casting Crowns, TobyMac, Natalie Grant, Donald Lawrence, Jason Crabb, MercyMe, and many more to be announced soon. Those appearing include GRAMMY® and American Music Award® winning-artists, among others who top the charts in sales, touring, and radio airplay in their respective formats. “The GMA Dove Awards is our opportunity to come together as a community to worship God and support each other as we celebrate the Gospel through music,” said Ed Leonard, chairman of the GMA’s board of directors. “Along with this summer’s Immerse conference, it is a cornerstone of what we are doing in 2010 as an association. Coming together like this makes us stronger as a community, plus it’s a lot of fun!” MercyMe’s Millard commented, “Over the years MercyMe has been honored with and has performed on the Dove Awards, but more than that we have been privileged to be a part of this community of musicians and believers that share a common purpose. We always look forward to the GMA Dove Awards, and I’m excited to be co-hosting the show with Natalie Grant this year. It will be great to see the incredible talent our industry has to offer coming together and continuing to spread the gospel through all styles of music.” “Hosting the GMA Dove Awards is a real honor,” stated Natalie Grant. “I have always been a fan of Christian music so I consider it a tremendous privilege to help shine a brighter spotlight on the message of this life-changing music, and the artists who create it. I love that it’s not a night of competition, but an evening of giving honor and celebrating one another. It’s really more like a family gathering that I look forward to every year.” GMA Dove Week 2010 will kick off Monday, April 19 with the ASCAP Christian Music Awards. The week will additionally include an Artist Summit and the BMI Christian Music Awards as its key events. Similar to GRAMMY® Week or CMA Week, GMA Dove Week will also feature media events, showcases and professional networking opportunities, most driven independently. The GMA will help to coordinate and promote such events along with other activities taking place during the week. Tickets to the 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards will go on sale first to GMA Members Monday, January 4th at 10 a.m. CST by calling 615-277-1376. Tickets to the public will go on sale January 19th through the Grand Ole Opry Call Center by calling 1-800-SEE-OPRY/1-800-733-6779, via the web at www.opry.com or may be purchased in-person at The Opry Box Office located at the Opry House at 2804 Opryland Drive and the Ryman Auditorium Box Office at 116 5th Ave North, in downtown Nashville. Ticket prices range from $25 – $200. In addition to GMA Dove Week and the GMA Dove Awards, GMA’s highly-regarded IMMERSE conference will return to Belmont University July 28-31, 2010. IMMERSE will bring together artists, songwriters, musicians, worship leaders, music business students, industry experts and more in a celebration of music and learning. Popular events from GMA Music Week, such as the highly successful Songwriters’ Showcase and Evening Worship Service, will be available to attendees as well as concerts from top Christian artists. Additional information is forthcoming. For more on supporting the GMA or becoming a member, please visit www.gospelmusic.org or contact the GMA directly at 615.277.1376. It’s not too late to be eligible to vote for the 2010 Doves! The GMA has extended its membership deadline to December 30, 2009 via www.gospelmusic.org/membership/individual/join.aspx.