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Artist of the Year Nominees are Casting Crowns, tobyMac, Mary Mary,
Jars of Clay, Francesca Battistelli, Skillet and Jason Crabb

Group of the Year Nominees Include Skillet, Casting Crowns, Gaither Vocal Band, Jars of Clay, Hezekiah Walker & The Love Fellowship Crusade Choir, NEEDTOBREATHE, and Tenth Avenue North

Kari Jobe, Crystal Aikin, Bluetree, Jonny Diaz, Revive, Sidewalk Prophets and
Brian Courtney Wilson Recognized in New Artist of the Year Category

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) February 18, 2010 – Jars of Clay, Skillet, Matt Maher and Jason Crabb, lead the diverse and gifted artists nominated for gospel/Christian music’s highest honor – the Dove Award, with six nominations each. Producer Wayne Haun leads in total nominations with seven, including Producer of the Year.

Of the 43 categories, nominees in 23 categories of the Dove Awards were announced at a press conference today in Nashville for the 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards. The event was held at Belmont University’s Curb Café and was hosted by an outstanding list of Dove and GRAMMY nominees and winners including Francesca Battistelli, Jeremy Camp, Jason Crabb, Brandon Heath, Kari Jobe, Michael W. Smith, Ben Tankard and Lisa Kimmey-Winans. The GMA Dove Awards, gospel music’s biggest night of the year, will feature artists from every style of gospel/Christian music coming together for a night of music and celebration.

The 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards will be held on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at Nashville’s famed Grand

Ole Opry House and televised nationwide on gmc (http://www.gmclife.com), Sunday, April 25, 2010 from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. EST. While the awards are the purpose of the show, music performances will definitely share center stage at the GMA Dove Awards, showcasing some of gospel music’s hottest and most diverse artists.

Dove Awards will be handed out in 43 categories. Dove Awards nominations go to recordings released during the eligibility year November 1, 2008 through October 31, 2009 and voted on by the members of the GMA. The complete nominations list is available at both www.gospelmusic.org and www.doveawards.com.

Tickets to the 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards are currently on sale through the Grand Ole Opry Call Center, 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.

About GMA:
Founded in 1964, the Gospel Music Association serves as the face and voice for the Christian/Gospel music community and is dedicated to exposing, promoting and celebrating the Gospel through music of all styles including Pop, Rock, Praise & Worship, Urban Gospel, R&B, Hip Hop, Southern Gospel, Bluegrass, Country and more.

The GMA community consists of more than 2,200 members including agents, artists, church leaders, managers, promoters, radio personnel, record company executives, retailers, songwriters and other industry visionaries. The GMA produces the GMA Dove Awards, GMA Dove Week and IMMERSE. For more on supporting the GMA or becoming a member, please visit www.gospelmusic.org or contact the GMA directly at 615.277.1376.

About GMC:

gmc is the fastest-growing network in television and can be seen in 46 million homes on various cable systems around the country, on DIRECTV on channel 338 and on Verizon FiOS on channel 224. www.gmclife.com

About Belmont University:

Belmont University Service Corps provided several volunteers to assist with today’s event. Service

Corps is an organization comprised of students from Belmont’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. Service Corps members strive to make positive and lasting contributions to the music industry by dedicating their time and energy to numerous causes and events in exchange for hands-on industry experience.

About Belmont University and the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business

Named one of the top two “Schools to Watch” in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Belmont University is a fast-growing community of more than 5,400 students who come from every state and 25 countries. Committed to being a leader among teaching universities, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service. The university’s purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world’s needs. With more than 75 areas of study, 20 master’s programs and three doctoral degrees, there is no limit to the ways Belmont University can expand an individual's horizon.

In 1971, Belmont created a music business program to prepare young men and women for operational, administrative, creative and technical positions in the music industry.  In 2003, The Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business was established to provide educational programs of study for future entertainment industry professionals.  Offering majors in Music Business, Audio Engineering Technology, Entertainment Industry Studies and Songwriting, the college equips students with a foundation addressing the latest issues and trends in the music and entertainment industries. For more information, visit www.belmont.edu.