Hosts and First Performers Announced for 2012 Absolutely Gospel Music Awards

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – (January 30, 2012) – The administrators and staff of (formerly are proud to announce this year’s hosts and first list of performers for the 2012 Absolutely Gospel Music Awards Celebration.
The hosts for this year’s Awards Celebration of two of the industry’s most respected female voices and personalities. This year’s hosts are Karen Peck Gooch (Karen Peck & New River) and Sonya Isaacs Yeary (The Isaacs).
Karen Peck Gooch has been lauded as one of the greatest voices to ever take the stage in Southern Gospel music. She has been awarded the Favorite Soprano award in the Singing News Fan Awards 11 times. A veteran of the Absolutely Gospel Music Awards, Karen has won Female Vocalist of the Year twice (including last year), and with her group New River, has won an impressive 15 additional Absolutely Gospel Music Awards. Karen Peck & New River has scored over 10 #1 singles over the course of its 20-year history. Gooch recently made her big screen debut in the hit movie Joyful Noise with Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton.
No stranger to the Absolutely Gospel Music Awards hosting stage, Sonya Isaacs Yeary co-hosted the 2010 Awards Celebration. Sonya is known widely across multiple genres of music including Country, Southern Gospel, Bluegrass, and more. Sonya has been awarded two Female Vocalist of the Year, two Songwriter of the Year, and two Musician of the Year awards in this particular awards program. Most recently, the song “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” (which she co-wrote with her sister Becky and husband Jimmy) was recorded by country music giant Martina McBride and nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Solo Performance.
“I am very honored to be co-hosting the Absolutely Gospel Music Awards along with my friend, Sonya Isaacs Yeary,” said Karen Peck Gooch. “I’m looking forward to a special night of honoring the finest artists in Southern Gospel music and hearing the top current songs in the industry. It’s going to be a night to remember!”
Sonya Isaacs Yeary said, “I am so excited to be co-hosting the incredible AGM Awards with Karen Peck this year! She’s a hot tamale, what with bein’ in that new big movie and all! I hope she doesn’t try to hog the show! Only kidding, ‘friend’! We are going to have a blast! But seriously, two blondes? This could be dangerous! See y’all there!”
“We couldn’t be more elated with our hosts for this year’s Awards Celebration,” mentioned Deon Unthank, President of “Sonya and Karen are two of the most respected names in this industry. We know that they are going to do a great job hosting this year.”
In addition, the first list of performers is now available. Performing on this year’s Awards Celebration are The Isaacs, Karen Peck & New River, The Perrys, Wilburn & Wilburn, Beyond the Ashes, Eighth Day, and Mark209. In addition, Jeff & Sheri Easter are spearheading a multi-artist tribute to a legend in the Gospel music industry (like the 2010 tribute to The Singing Cookes). More information will be announced at a later date about the specifics of that tribute. Additional performers are still being confirmed as well.
Karen Peck Gooch will also be performing “Mighty High” from the Joyful Noise soundtrack with an all-star choir made up of multiple nominees in this year’s Absolutely Gospel Music Awards.
More information on the 2012 Absolutely Gospel Music Awards Celebration will be forthcoming, including additional performers and sponsors.  The date for this year’s Absolutely Gospel Music Awards Celebration is Tuesday, April 10, 2012.  The event will again take place at the River of Life Church in Smyrna, Tennessee and is free to the public. The event is scheduled to be streamed live on the internet this year.
The awards program sees two records broken this year. The Isaacs broke the record for the most nominations by an artist in a single year – this year earning 12 nominations. In addition, producer/songwriter/Ernie Haase & Signature Sound pianist Wayne Haun earned a staggering 15 nominations – also breaking a record for the most nominations in a single year by an individual.
In addition, for the first time in the 10 years of the Absolutely Gospel Music Awards – a song that wasn’t released to radio (also known as an album cut) earned a nomination for Song of the Year – the Booth Brothers’ critically acclaimed song “What About Now.” In addition, last year’s Songwriter of the Year (Professional) winner Kenna West earned a nomination for the 2012 Pacesetter Award – the first time a professional songwriter has earned a nomination in that specific category.
Social networking paid off in a big way for artists in the Fan Favorite Artist of the Year category – the only category chosen strictly by the fans and readers of Surprise nominations from acts like Sharron Kay King, The Ladd Family, and Mark209 saw a huge surge of votes due to their support from fans on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
About (formerly has grown from relative obscurity to the industry’s leading internet publication for Southern Gospel news and information in only a few short years. The site includes a wide variety of features, consisting of artist interviews, a weekly chart, late-breaking news, and much more.