52nd GMA Dove Awards: Live, In-Person, & Stronger Together

Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2021 by Lindsay Williams

52nd Dove Awards - Stronger Together

Although the 2020 edition of the annual Dove Awards was relegated to a reimagined, performance-heavy, no-audience-allowed televised presentation due to COVID-19 last fall, this year’s ceremony was back in full force—live and in-person. The Gospel Music Association’s (GMA) celebration returned to Nashville on Tuesday evening, Oct. 19, for a taping that aired exclusively on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) tonight, Oct. 22. Winners were announced across 38 categories with @Elevation Worship, @for KING & COUNTRY and @CeCe Winans unveiled as the evening’s biggest winners.

Hosted by five-time “Female Vocalist of the Year” @Natalie Grant and multi-Dove Award winner Jonathan McReynolds, the 52nd GMA Dove Awards lived out this year’s theme of “Stronger Together” as the two-hour broadcast united a wide array of artists and showcased a diverse spectrum of musical styles.

While Joel and Luke Smallbone of for KING & COUNTRY added three Doves to their growing treasure trove of accolades—including one of the evening’s most prestigious awards, “Artist of the Year”—and Gospel legend CeCe Winans, who has been accumulating Dove Awards since the ’90s, earned a trio of statuettes, it was Elevation Worship who led the night’s tally with four wins, including “Song of the Year” for their collaboration with @Kari Jobe and @Cody Carnes on “The Blessing.”

On stage, it was really the rising stars who shone brightest this year. While each “New Artist of the Year” nominee— @Brandon Lake, @CAIN, @Dante Bowe, @Hope Darst and @Maverick City Music—was given a performance slot, it was Mav City who ultimately took home the trophy in the coveted category. Meanwhile, Bowe earned his first Dove as a solo artist for “Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of the Year” for “Joyful.” 

Newcomers @We The Kingdom—who earned the “New Artist of the Year” distinction in 2020—also walked away double winners, collecting a pair of Doves for “Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year” and “Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year” for their full-length debut, Holy Water. The family band, who bowed their first Christmas album today, opened the show with an exuberant version of “God So Loved.”

Other notable performances included a moving rendition of @Lauren Daigle’s latest No. 1 hit, “Hold On To Me,” an awards show premiere of @Zach Williams’ “Stand Up” from Rescue Story, and a powerful moment from CeCe Winans singing her Dove Award-winning song “Believe For It.”

52nd GMA Dove Award Winners

Song of the Year
Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes & Elevation Worship, “The Blessing”

Songwriter of the Year (Artist)
Brandon Lake

Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year
We The Kingdom

Gospel Artist of the Year
 CeCe Winans

Artist of the Year

New Artist of the Year
Maverick City Music

Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year

Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year
Tauren Wells, “Famous For (I Believe)”

Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of the Year
Dante Bowe, “Joyful”

Gospel Worship Recorded Song of the Year
CeCe Winans, “Believe For It”

Worship Recorded Song of the Year
Elevation Worship (feat. Brandon Lake), “Graves Into Gardens”

Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year

Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year
We The Kingdom, Holy Water

Gospel Worship Album of the Year 
CeCe Winans, Believe For It

Spanish Language Album of the Year
Evan Craft, Desesperado (Spanish)

Worship Album of the Year
Elevation Worship & Maverick City Music, Old Church Basement

Christmas/Special Event Album of the Year 
for KING & COUNTRY, A Drummer Boy Christmas

Recorded Music Packaging of the Year
Elevation Worship, Graves Into Gardens

Short Form Video of the Year
TobyMac, “Help Is On The Way (Maybe Midnight)”

Long From Video of the Year
for KING & COUNTRY, Burn The Ships Concert Film

Inspirational Film of the Year
A Week Away

For a complete list of winners, visit www.doveawards.com.

Elevation WorshipMusicLauren DaigleBrandon LakeFor KING & COUNTRYBehind the MusicCody CarnesHope DarstZach WilliamsMaverick City MusicKari JobeNatalie GrantDante BoweCAINGMACeCe WinansDove Awards