Fans voted for perennial favorites and newcomers alike at the 8th annual K-LOVE Fan Awards. Winners were officially announced during an exclusive broadcast on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) on Friday night, June 4, 2021. Those who attended the live, in-person ceremony at Nashville’s historic Grand Ole Opry House on May 30 kept the winners a secret for nearly an entire week.
The results were worth the wait! @for KING & COUNTRY took home the evening’s top prize of “Artist of the Year” for a third time. The Australian-born duo also won “Group/Duo of the Year,” extending their reign as the most-awarded artist in K-LOVE Fan Awards history with 13 wins.
@Zach Williams added two more accolades to his mantle with wins in the categories of both “Male Artist of the Year,” and “Song of the Year” for “There Was Jesus,” his GRAMMY-winning duet with Dolly Parton. Meanwhile, @Lauren Daigle was named “Female Artist of the Year” for the fifth consecutive year.
Fans chose “Waymaker” as their “Worship Song of the Year” for 2021, giving first-time nominee @Michael W. Smith his inaugural K-LOVE Fan Award. In addition, @CAIN also scored their first nomination and subsequent first win when fans voted “Rise Up (Lazarus)” “Breakout Single of the Year.”
Not only do the K-LOVE Fan Awards celebrate the biggest songs in Christian music each year, but the fan-voted award show also seeks to honor Christian athletes, actors, and authors making a positive impact in popular culture. This year’s Impact Award recipients included Scott Drew, head coach of the Baylor Bears basketball team (Sports Impact); “The Chosen” (Film/Television Impact); and @Skillet’s John Cooper, author of Awake & Alive To Truth (Book Impact). (See the complete list of winners below.)
In addition to the 10 trophies presented throughout the night, the 2021 K-LOVE Fan Awards boasted two hours of show-stopping performances and one-of-a-kind collaborations. @Crowder opened the broadcast with a high-energy rendition of his No. 1 hit “Good God Almighty.” Notable performances from new acts like @We The Kingdom, @Andrew Ripp, and CAIN followed. @Matthew West, who hosted for the sixth time, treated fans to a stripped-down performance of “Truth Be Told” alongside county singer Carly Pearce. @Tauren Wells teamed up with Rascal Flatts’ Gary LeVox for “Until Grace,” and @Danny Gokey joined forces with Latin singer @Evan Craft, and hip-hop artist Redimi2 for a bilingual mash-up of Craft’s “Be Alight” and Gokey’s “Love God Love People.” Meanwhile, both @Casting Crowns and Zach Williams debuted brand new songs.
Additional performances featured @Cory Asbury, @Elevation Worship, @Dante Bowe, and @MercyMe before @Kari Jobe, @Cody Carnes, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, and Elevation Worship’s Chris Brown took the stage for an all-star finale of “The Blessing.”
Throughout the evening, there were also appearances by AccessMore podcast hosts Paula Faris, Darren Mulligan (@We Are Messengers), @Natalie Grant and Charlotte Gambill; New York Times bestselling author and “Book Impact” nominee Annie F. Downs; K-LOVE Books author and esteemed recording artist Michael W. Smith and up-and-coming songstress @Riley Clemmons.
The K-LOVE Fan Awards capped an entire weekend of fan-centric activities that included a Kick-Off Concert headlined by Crowder, a Songwriter’s Showcase hosted by @Steven Curtis Chapman, and worship services led by Natalie Grant, Charlotte Gambill, and @Brian & Jenn Johnson.
Ticket packages for the 2022 K-LOVE Fan Awards Weekend are now on sale. Next year’s event will take place May 27 - 29, 2022, in Nashville.
2021 K-LOVE Fan Awards Complete List of Winners
Artist of the Year — for KING & COUNTRY
With 13 trophies on their mantle, for KING & COUNTRY is the most awarded artist in K-LOVE Fan Awards history.
Male Artist of the Year — Zach Williams
Three-time K-LOVE Fan Award winner Zach Williams knows what it’s like to hear the right song at the right time.
Female Artist of the Year — Lauren Daigle
Eight-time K-LOVE Fan Award winner Lauren Daigle gave fans a taste of fresh music when her emotional ballad, “Hold On To Me,” released this spring.
Group/Duo of the Year — for KING & COUNTRY
In a year when we had to be apart, the 2021 K-LOVE Fan Awards Group/Duo of the Year kept us together with a song that resonated deeply with listeners.
Song of the Year — “There Was Jesus” by Zach Williams (feat. Dolly Parton)
Zach Williams realized a dream when he recorded “There Was Jesus,” the second single from his acclaimed album, Rescue Story.
Worship Song of the Year — “Waymaker” by Michael W. Smith
Michael W. Smith has three GRAMMY Awards, an astounding 45 GMA Dove Awards, one American Music Award, and now his first career K-LOVE Fan Award.
Breakout Single — “Rise Up (Lazarus)” by CAIN
First-time K-LOVE Fan Award nominees CAIN not only won their category, but they also performed their award-winning single “Rise Up (Lazarus),” at the 2021 K-LOVE Fan Awards.
Sports Impact — Scott Drew, Head Coach for Baylor Men's Basketball
Tied as the Big 12’s longest-tenured head coach, in his 18th season, Scott Drew led the Baylor Bears to their first National Championship title.
Film/Television Impact — “The Chosen”
“The Chosen” is the first multi-season series ever to be based on the life of Jesus. The popular television show is now in its second crowd-funded season, with the hope of telling the Gospel narrative across seven complete seasons.
Book Impact — Awake & Alive To Truth by John Cooper
Writing a book wasn’t on John Cooper’s bucket list. But slowly, the Skillet frontman realized he had something to say that would require more space than a three-minute song.