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NEWS STORY: Late composer Rich Mullins wins Dove Award as artist of the year

c. 1998 Religion News Service UNDATED _ Rich Mullins, the Christian composer who died in an auto accident in September, was named artist of the year on Thursday (April 23) at the 29th Annual Dove Awards.”(Mullins) wrote from a deep well of integrity and he was utterly committed to the truth,”said pop artist Amy Grant, […]

c. 1998 Religion News Service

UNDATED _ Rich Mullins, the Christian composer who died in an auto accident in September, was named artist of the year on Thursday (April 23) at the 29th Annual Dove Awards.”(Mullins) wrote from a deep well of integrity and he was utterly committed to the truth,”said pop artist Amy Grant, who participated in a musical tribute to Mullins that included singer Michael W. Smith and Mullins’ band, the Ragamuffins.

Tributes to Mullins accented an awards show that attempted to demonstrate Christian music’s wide range of genres and showcased many celebrities known more for their ties to secular music than gospel.

Some 15,000 gathered in the Nashville Arena for the two-hour annual extravaganza and pre-show, both of which aired live on The Nashville Network. The Doves are the Christian music industry’s equivalent of the Grammys.

Singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman, who garnered four Doves last year, walked away with five awards this year, the most by any artist. Chapman was honored as songwriter and male vocalist of the year, as well as winning both a writing and performing Dove for”Let Us Pray,”the pop/contemporary recorded song of the year and for a performance on the special event album of the year.

Veteran artist Crystal Lewis was named female vocalist of the year, and Jars of Clay, a band that has made significant inroads on secular best-selling charts, was named group of the year.

Several African-Americans were honored with Doves. Urban album of the year went to”God’s Property from Kirk Franklin’s Nu Nation”by the hugely popular God’s Property, which performed”Stomp,”a rousing number from their album combining hip hop and gospel.

Franklin, whose group also won urban recorded song for”Stomp,”told the contemporary Christian musicians in the audience he looked forward to future work within the industry,”breaking down some walls and getting everybody ready for the Second Coming.” The awards marked the first time God’s Property had won Doves.

Songwriters David Mullen, Nicole Coleman-Mullen, and Michael Ochs were awarded song of the year for”On My Knees.” Mullen said he believed it was the first time the Dove for song of the year had been awarded to an African-American _ his wife Nicole _ and urged the audience to recognize the fact with applause.

Pop diva Whitney Houston won the traditional gospel recorded song prize for”I Go to the Rock”from”The Preacher’s Wife”soundtrack, and later performed the number with the Georgia Mass Choir as the show’s grand finale.

Houston, as well as other artists known more for their secular music than their gospel recordings, testified to their faith during the show.

The recovery from a liver ailment of co-host and country singer/songwriter Naomi Judd was mentioned a few times.

Co-host and musician/composer John Tesh spoke of how Judd had been”miraculously healed,”drawing applause. Later Judd said,”I am standing before you tonight absolutely free of the virus, a living testimony that peace and love and hope, the actual symbols of a dove, are the most powerful medicine.” Veteran actor/comedian Andy Griffith, who received a standing ovation before presenting a Dove, spoke of his delight in making two recordings of hymns.

Following is a complete list of the 1998 Dove Awards winners:

Song: “On My Knees” by David Mullen and Michael Ochs.

Songwriter: Steven Curtis Chapman.

Male Vocalist: Steven Curtis Chapman.

Female Vocalist: Crystal Lewis.

Group: Jars of Clay.

Artist: Rich Mullins.

New Artist: Avalon.

Producer: Brown Bannister.

Rap-Hip Hop Recorded Song: “Jumping in the House of God” by World Wide Message Tribe.

Modern Rock-Alternative Song: “Some Kind of Zombie” by Audio Adrenaline.

Rock Recorded Song: “Alien” by Third Day.

Pop-Contemporary Recorded Song: “Let Us Pray” by Steven Curtis Chapman.

Inspirational Recorded Song: “A Baby’s Prayer” by Kathy Troccoli.

Southern Gospel Recorded Song: “Butterfly Kisses” by Tim Greene.

Bluegrass Recorded Song: “Children of the Living God” by Fernando Ortega and Alison Krauss.

Country Recorded Song: “The Gift” by Collin Raye and Jim Brickman.

Urban Recorded Song: “Stomp” by God’s Property.

Traditional Gospel Recorded Song: “I Go To The Rock” by Whitney Houston.

Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song: “Up Where I Belong” by BeBe & CeCe Winans.

Rap-Hip Hop Album: “Revived” by World Wide Message Tribe.

Modern Rock-Alternative Album: “Caedmon’s Call” by Caedmon’s Call.

Rock Album: “Conspiracy No. 5” by Third Day.

Pop-Contemporary Album: “Behind the Eyes” by Amy Grant.

Inspirational Album: “Artist Of My Soul” by Sandi Patty.

Southern Gospel Album: “Light Of The World” by The Martins.

Country Album: “Hymns from the Ryman” by Gary Chapman.

Urban Album: “God’s Property from Kirk Franklin’s Nu Nation” by God’s Property.

Traditional Gospel Album: “A Miracle In Harlem” by Shirley Caesar.

Instrumental Album: “Invention” by Phil Keaggy, Wes King and Scott Dente’.

Praise & Worship Album: “Petra Praise 2: We Need Jesus” by Petra.

Children’s Musical Album: “Sing Me to Sleep Daddy” by Billy Gaines, Michael James, Phil Keaggy, Michael O’Brien, Guy Penrod, Peter Penrose, Angelo Petrucci, Michael W. Smith, Randy Stonehill and Wayne Watson.

Spanish Language Album: “La Belleza de la Cruz” by Crystal Lewis.

Special Event Album: “God With Us: A Celebration of Christmas Carols & Classics” by Anointed, Michael W. Smith, Twila Paris, Sandi Patty, Steven Curtis Chapman, Chris Willis, Steve Green, Cheri Keaggy, Avalon, Out Of The Grey, Ray Boltz, Clay Crosse, CeCe Winans and Larnelle Harris.

Musical: “My Utmost For His Highest: A Worship Musical” by Gary Rhodes and Claire Cloninger.

Choral Collection: “Our Saviour: Emmanuel” by Greg Nelson and Bob Farrell.

Enhanced CD: “Live The Life” maxi single by Michael W. Smith.

Recorded Music Packaging: “Sixpence None The Richer” by Sixpence None The Richer.

Short Form Music Video: “Colored People” by dc Talk.

Long Form Music Video: “A Very Silly Sing-a-long Veggie Tales” by Mike Nawrocki, Chris Olsen and Kurt Heinecke.