- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 20, 2011

ATLANTA (AP) - The Dove Awards show for Christian music is leaving Nashville for the first time in its 42-year history and organizers expect the new production in Atlanta to be just as successful and uplifting.

The motivation for moving was to expand the national reach of the awards, which will air on April 24 on the Gospel Music Channel. The show will be hosted by “The View” co-host, comedian and actress Sherri Shepherd.

Chris Tomlin and TobyMac are tied for the most nominations with six each. Jason Crabb and Chris August have five nominations each, while Francesca Battistelli and Marvin Sapp each received four.

Tomlin, who led all nominees and collected two awards in 2009, is up for best male vocalist and song of the year with “Our God.” He also hopes to claim his third artist of the year award against TobyMac, Battistelli, Crabb, Sapp, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound and Natalie Grant.

Third Day, Casting Crowns’ front man Mark Hall and Steven Curtis Chapman _ who has won more Dove Awards with 56 than any other artist _ are set to perform together. Many of the nominees, including Battistelli, Sapp and Tomlin will hit the stage at the award show.

Other expected performers include country star Kenny Rogers, gospel singer Kirk Franklin, MIKESCHAIR, Chonda Pierce, Mary Mary and Smokie Norful.

Presenters include Super Bowl winner and Green Bay Packers wideout Greg Jennings; Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, singer Ruben Studdard and actress Kim Fields.

The pre-show event will be hosted by Jason Crabb. Brian Courtney Wilson and Guy Penrod will perform at the pre-show.



GMA Dove Awards: https://www.doveawards.com/

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