DECEASED singer/songwriter Rich Mullins and British dance group the World Wide Message Tribe were among the surprise winners of Dove Awards at the 29th GMA week held in Nashville in April.

The list of winners are:- Artist Of The Year: Rich Mullins; Female Vocalist Of The Year: Crystal Lewis; Male Vocalist Of The Year: Steven Curtis Chapman; Traditional Gospel Song Of The Year: "I Go To The Rock", The Preacher's Wife soundtrack, Whitney Houston; Urban Album Of The Year: 'God's Property' from Kirk Franklin's Nu Nation, God's Property; Group Of The Year: Jars Of Clay; New Artist Of The Year: Avalon; Song Of The Year: "On My Knees", David Mullen; Songwriter Of The Year: Steven Curtis Chapman; Rock Album Of The Year: 'Conspiracy No 5', Third Day; Modern Rock/Alternative Album Of The Year: 'Caedmon's Call', Caedmon's Call; Rap/Hip Hop Album Of The Year: 'Revived', World Wide Message Tribe; Southern Gospel Album Of The Year: 'Light Of The World', The Martins; Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song Of The Year: "Jumping In The House Of God", World Wide Message Tribe; Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song Of The Year: "Up Where I Belong", BeBe & CeCe Winans; Urban Recorded Song Of The Year: "Stomp", God's Property from Kirk Franklin's Nu Nation; Producer Of The Year: Brown Bannister; Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song Of The Year: "Let Us Pray", Steven Curtis Chapman; Rock Recorded Song Of The Year: "Alien", Third Day; Modern Rock/Alternative Recorded Song Of The Year: "Some Kind Of Zombie", Audio Adrenaline; Contemporary Gospel Album Of The Year: 'Pray', Andrae Crouch; Pop/Contemporary Album Of The Year: 'A Miracle In Harlem', Shirley Caesar; Country Album Of The Year: 'Hymns From The Ryman', Gary Chapman; Bluegrass Album Of The Year: 'Bridges', The Issacs; Country Recorded Song Of The Year: "The Gift", Collin Raye; Southern Gospel Recorded Song Of The Year: "Butterfly Kisses", Bob Carlisle; Inspirational Recorded Song Of The Year: "A Baby's Prayer", Kathy Troccoli; Bluegrass Recorded Song Of The Year: "Children Of The Living God", Fernando Ortega; Long Form Video Of The Year: 'A Very Silly Sing-a-long', Veggie Tales; Short Form Video Of The Year: "Coloured People", DC Talk ; Recorded Music Packaging Of The Year: Sixpence None The Richer; Choral Collection Of The Year: 'Our Saviour...Emmanuel', Greg Nelson, Bob Farrell; Inspirational Album Of The Year: 'Artist Of My Soul', Sandi Patty; Musical Of The Year: 'My Utmost For His Highest: A Worship Musical', Gary Rhodes, Claire Cloninger; Enhanced CD Of The Year: 'Live The Life', Michael W Smith; Special Event Album Of The Year: 'God With Us: A Celebration of Christmas Carols And Classics'.

Said Andy Hawthorne of the World Wide Message Tribe, "We never intended to get awards and, until we told the Lord we were willing to stay at home and do our work, he gives us Doves. In America, kids often call themselves Christians because they go to church and buy the latest CD. We know it is much more than this. This will mean probably nothing to the kids in England. They don't know about the CCM industry or the Dove Awards. Something that struck me here his week is we've met some great people but we've also met some that should be evangelists and go after the lost sheep. The industry sucks them in. My heart is that we pray that people get back to going after the lost instead of concentrating on the 99 (where the money is). This will be dust in a few years but one kid to Christ is much more valuable. My lifetime's call is the one million people within 12 miles of my house. I hope we sell thousands of records only because all of that money goes back into the ministry in Manchester." CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.