So, you think Christian music is a snore, and/or has little impact on the music world at large? Think again, as you witness the 2008 Dove Awards' Artist of the Year, TobyMac. This guy not only ruled the Christian scene last night, but his latest genre-bending album (Portable Sounds) debuted in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 album chart the week of its release.
Aside from Mr. Mac--whose album also won the Doves' rock/contemporary album award--last night's show offered up some pretty darn solid rock and pop material in general. Mark Hall, who leads up Casting Crowns, collected four awards as a solo entity and three as part of his band. Chris Tomlin, who was the undisputed heavyweight winner last year, still managed to add his third male vocalist win to his belt. Natalie Grant also won her third award for female vocalist.
The show was at the historic Grand Ole Opry stage, and in a nod to this Nashville landmark, country queen Wynnona performed a duet with Grant as part of the evening's entertainment. Additionally, Charlie Daniels closed the show with an energetic performance of "I'll Fly Away."
Wynonna also took time to pose with best new artist Brandon Heath:
In a nod to pop culture in general, three American Idol alumni--Phil Stacey, Chris Sligh, and Mandisa--performed with Christian's legendary Amy Grant in a tribute to another legend, Michael W. Smith. No snores here!