> cMusicWeb.com > Views > Flown Doves

Looking for something new? Our latest news and articles are at inReview.net

[ flown doves ]


advertise here






Doves are a curious thing. Not the aviary type, but those awards that the Gospel Music Association bestows upon the so-called “Best and Brightest” Christian artists. Curious not for the awards themselves, nor for any historical oddity, but for the way the “winners” are chosen. In all of their 33 years, the Doves have not been decided by an ‘elite’ but rather by those who have purchased the right to vote by becoming members of the GMA. True, there are some members who work in the music industry, but they have to pay more for their memberships, as they are considered “professionals.“ The cost of a one year membership for a “professional“ is $85, while an “Associate“ membership is $60 and a “student“ membership is a mere $25.

Now, for a moment let’s forget the costs and focus on the absurdity of purchased votes. The purpose of the GMA is to “Educate, encourage and promote the development of all forms of gospel music.” Whenever you give awards that were chosen by any average Joe who typed in a credit card number, what benefit does it give to the industry? Of course, Dove award winners will be promoted, and they will sell more albums, since “award“ has always been a buzzword among the paying public. But as far as the educating and encouraging bit goes, this system is hardly supportive of their cause. When all involved know that this little statuette was earned not by talent, but by what tickled the ears of Julie in Nowhere, USA, glory is lost. Whatever pride there may be is tarnished.

Another intriguing point of the Doves: The personalities of the artists are revealed through all those acceptance speeches. To the channel surfer seems to be a carbon copy of the Oscars. “I’d like to thank all my friends and my family. I couldn’t have done this without you!” You know how it goes. In all my years of watching the Doves there has been only one acceptance speech that seemed fitting. In 2000, New Artist of the Year Ginny Owens was led to the microphone where she acknowledged that this was an award for a gift that God had given. She went on to admonish her fellow artists to remember the responsibility that they have as God’s messengers. Stone silence followed her as she was led off the stage. I was so cheered that I stood up in my living room and shouted something along the lines of “You go, girl!” But in actuality, shouldn’t her words have been unnecessary? Shouldn’t the audience of CCM’s who’s who leapt to their feet in agreement?

Since I write this in late April, the Dove season is drawing to a close. Did truly talented artists win or were those pesky birds handed over to the one who sold the most albums? Were the speeches giving praise where it was due, or were multitudes of hair dressers and producers the god of the evening? Whoever was thanked, there was only One behind all the success. Only One behind the choosing and the voting, and the speeches. Perhaps He sees something of worth in those ceremonies. Maybe one of these days the awards will go to the deserving. Maybe this year, or perhaps next year? From where I sit, it would take an act of God to change the ways of the GMA. He has performed greater miracles than that though. Think water springing from rocks. May he soon deem fit to wield that blessed staff!

Gospel Music Association
Dove Awards
- Melissa Miles
April 2002
Articles written by the staff.
Maintained by WebMaster Dan Ficker.
Site Design by da Man
All Material © 1999-2005 Different Media LLC
Support cMusicWeb.com