Get ready for 'Opry At The Doves'

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dove_awards_08.jpgAmerican Idol previous finalists Phil Stacey, Mandisa and Chris Sligh; Dove Award Female Vocalist of the Year, Natalie Grant with country icon Wynonna; 19Recordings/Jive Recording Artist Jordin Sparks; Ricky Skaggs and The Whitesand Point Of Grace with Cindy Morgan, are the latest performers added to the increasingly luminous line-up for the 39th Annual Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Awards telecast, according to the GMA and Gospel Music Channel (GMC).

Gospel and Christian music's biggest night of the year will take place
live on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 in Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry House and will be broadcast live nationwide on the Gospel Music Channel television network from 8 – 10pm EST. The Dove Awards will also be broadcast live on XM Satellite Radio on XM 32 "The Message."

Joining Skaggs, The Whites and Charlie Daniels with Third Day's Mac Powell, will be The Isaacs, Angella Christie, The Hoppers, Jeff and Sheri Easterand, Karen Peck and New River for an "Opry at the Doves" special performance.

Also performing will be 'New Artist of the Year' Nominees: 33 Miles, Brandon Heath, Group 1 Crew, Mandisa, Rush Of Fools and DeWayne Woods.

The vibrant tapestry of artists tapped for performances ensure that the 2008 Dove Awards telecast will include many extraordinary moments, including several especially created for the occasion like: The world premiere of music created for Compassion art www.compassionart.co.uk a newly formed charity founded by Delirious frontman/songwriter Martin Smith that is dedicated to seeing works of art generate income for the poorest of the poor.

Smith hosted an unprecedented gathering of award winning Christian music songwriters in the UK in January and recording is underway for a charity project that will release in the fall. Smith, along with Aussie worship leader Darlene Zschech will appear via satellite video to introduce the first live performance of "So Great" featuring previously announced performers and Compassionart songwriters Chris Tomlin, Steven Curtis Chapman, Israel Houghton, Michael W. Smith, Paul Baloche and Christy Nockels.

2008 marks the 25th year that Dove and Grammy winning artist, Michael W. Smith has been performing and recording his beloved music. Countless artists have been influenced by him including Idol finalists Phil Stacey, Mandisa and Chris Sligh. They, along with Amy Grant, who first brought Smith to renown as her piano player and co-songwriter and Jordin Sparks, who in 2005 and 2006 performed on Smith's Christmas Tour, will remember his influence with a medley of their favorite "Smitty" songs.

Iconic artist Wynonna will make her first performance on the Dove Awards stage with Natalie Grant who is the reigning two-time Dove Award Female Vocalist of the Year for a duet that promises to be one of the most powerful and mesmerizing of the Dove Awards, if not the whole Awards season. The two will perform the powerful "Bring it All Together" from Grant's acclaimed Relentless project.

The Grand Ole Opry may be more famous for its weekly country music performances, but gospel music is woven just as tightly into the heritage of the famed building and the Dove Awards will culminate its show with an "Opry at the Doves" featuring gospel, country and bluegrass artists singing their powerfully simple songs of faith And conviction. Ricky Skaggs and The Whites will perform "Love Will Be Enough" from their Dove-nominated and Grammy-winning Salt of the Earth CD, while Jeff and Sheri Easter, The Hoppers and Karen Peck & New River will perform a medley of southern gospel favorites. Charlie Daniels will lead a "choir" of artists including Third Day's Mac Powell, The Isaacs, Angella Christie and other singers, who are expected to bring a rousing close to the evening's festivities with "I'll Fly Away."

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