8 Impactful Moments From 2023 GMA Dove Awards

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Brandon Lake and Tasha Cobbs Leonard were among those in the winners circle on Friday evening (Oct. 20), as the 54th annual Dove Awards aired on TBN.

The Gospel Music Association began in 1964, and the first Dove Awards were held in 1969; initially, the ceremony primarily honored Southern gospel music. But the awards ceremony has expanded over the decades to honor an array of sounds and musical styles, including pop, hip-hop, Gospel, country, Latin and more.

During the 2023 ceremony, which was taped earlier this week on Oct. 17 at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Lake took home the lion’s share of wins, earning four trophies, including the overall artist of the year trophy.

“There are so many people in this room that I look up to and who gave me permission to write as a young boy. They say imitate before you innovate,” Lake said in accepting his artist of the year honor. “I have imitated so many of you year after year after year and songs not making it and no one hearing it and then God breathes on a little something. I’m so grateful to be a part of this community.”

Cobbs Leonard took home two awards — gospel worship album of the year for Hymns (Live) and traditional gospel recorded song of the year — and closed out the evening by performing “Burdens Down.”

“This album means a lot to me because I’m a church girl; I’m a PK [preacher’s kid],” Cobbs Leonard told the audience after winning the evening’s first honor, gospel worship album of the year. She added, “One of the ways I learned scripture was through song. I think we have an amazing opportunity to impact future generations through our lyrics.”

Toby Mac, Blessing Offor and Jeff Pardo each won two awards. Other winners included Katy Nichole (new artist of the year), Elevation Worship (worship album of the year for Live From the Loft), Jason Crabb and Dylan Scott (bluegrass/country/roots recorded song of the year for “Good Morning Mercy”) and Lecrae (rap/hip-hop album of the year, for Church Clothes 4). Song of the Year went to “Goodness Of God,” honoring songwriters Ben Fielding, Ed Cash, Jason Ingram, Jenn Johnson, and Brian Johnson. Miel San Marcos, Daniel Calveti, Marcos Witt and Ingrid Rosario won Spanish language recorded song of the year for “Coritis (En Vivo).”

Here, we look at 8 impactful moments from the ceremony. A full list of winners can be found here.

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