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'It's Overwhelming!' Lauren Daigle Named 'Artist of the Year' at 50th Annual Dove Awards

Image credit: (AP Photo)
Image credit: (AP Photo)

Grammy-winning singer Lauren Daigle won the Artist of the Year award, rising above the competition at the 50th annual Gospel Music Association's Dove Awards Tuesday night.

She led the field with six Dove nominations, winning three for Pop/Contemporary Album, Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for her multi-platinum and Grammy-winning crossover single "You Say." 

The 28-year-old singer was the favorite entering the awards show, which held in Nashville, TN. It marked her second Artist of the Year Dove win in three years.

Daigle's latest album, Look Up Child was released a year ago and has enjoyed widespread commercial success. Through her soaring and soulful vocals and boasting songs of hope and love, the singer has managed to stretch beyond the exclusively-Christian music industry and gain thousands of secular fans around the world.

Daigle's music has appealed to a growing audience in just the last year.  

"Just to see the support of so many people, it's really, really moving. It's overwhelming," Daigle said after winning song of the year.

Producer and songwriter Jason Ingram, who helped write and record Daigle's record, also won four awards including songwriter of the year, non-artist, and song of the year, which he co-wrote.

Two-time Grammy-winning Australian duo, for KING & COUNTRY received three nominations, winning Pop/Contemporary recorded song with "God Only Knows." 

Brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone released a powerful music video for "God Only Knows," highlighting the tough topic of suicide in an effort to show fans that they aren't struggling alone.

Grammy-winning gospel artist Kirk Franklin received six nominations this year, taking home the Dove for the Gospel Artist and the award in the Contemporary Gospel/Urban category for his hit "Love Theory."   

During his acceptance speech, Franklin pleaded for prayers concerning the recent shooting of Atatiana Jefferson in Fort Worth, Texas.   

Franklin, who lives in Fort Worth, asserted, "A young girl by the name of Atatiana Jefferson was shot and killed in her home by a policeman and I am just asking that we send up prayers for her family and for his, and asking that we send up prayers for that 8-year-old little boy that saw that tragedy."  

Christian Hip Hop artist TobyMac received four nominations and was named Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year.

TobyMac or Toby McKeehan, his real name, grew up in the suburbs of northern Virginia and went to college at Liberty University. It was there that he met Michael Tait and Kevin Max Smith - forming the Christian pop group DC Talk

Multiple artists performed throughout the evening including Tedashii, Hillsong Worship, Casting Crowns and Amy Grant.  Presenters and performers included longtime gospel music leaders like Bill Gaither, Shirley Caesar, and Pat Boone.

The Dove Awards has been honoring the achievements of Christian and Gospel artists since 1969.

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