Christian band crowned Artist of the Year

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The Christian band Casting Crowns was named artist of the year at the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards Wednesday. It was a first-time win in that category for the group that is known for its members’ roles in youth ministries at Atlanta-area churhes.

Other winners:

Female Vocalist of the Year: Francesca Battistelli

Male Vocalist of the Year: Brandon Heath

Group of the Year: NEEDTOBREATHE

New Artist of the Year: Sidewalk Prophets

Songwriter of the Year: Jennie Lee Riddle

Song of the Year: “By Your Side,” performed by Tenth Avenue North

Producer of the Year: Jason Ingram and Rusty Varenkamp

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