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Michael W. Smith tops Dove Awards nominees

March 1, 2005 at 4:58 PM

NASHVILLE, March 1 (UPI) -- U.S. Christian artist Michael Smith tops the Gospel Music Association's Dove Award nominations with eight nods.

Relative newcomer Casting Crowns got seven nominations, with singer Mark Hall getting six nominations. Sister act BarlowGirl and Steven Curtis Chapman also received numerous nominations, the Nashville Tennessean reported Tuesday.

The nominee list "reflects a lot of diversity, but it also reflects a lot of new names," said GMA President John Styll. "I think it's great to see some people who aren't normally nominated in some of these categories get in there; it indicates that the guard is definitely changing."

The awards ceremony will be April 13 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. The television broadcast of the 2005 awards are "not yet firm," Styll said.

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