Dove Awards 2022: Co-hosts Erica Campbell, Chris Tomlin talk hosting – Tennessean

Dove Awards 2022: Co-hosts Erica Campbell, Chris Tomlin talk hosting – Tennessean

Erica Campbell can immediately pinpoint her favorite memory from the Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. That story, however, starts in the middle of a “meltdown.”
The gospel music star – and one half of the acclaimed duo Mary Mary – was co-hosting the Nashville-based awards show for the first time in 2015. She was also performing, and nominated in several categories. In short, it was an intense evening for the California native.
“I was literally backstage having a meltdown,” she recalls to The Tennessean. “Because I changed clothes a bunch of times, and it didn’t feel right. I was like, ‘I don’t want to change! No more wigs, no more makeup!’ It just felt too (much) about me. And in the moment where I’m saying, ‘God, I only want you to get the glory,’ was the same moment my song won.”
She remembers running to the stage “with tears in my eyes.”
“It was so crazy, but still a very powerful moment in my life. God always blows our mind with moments that we never know are coming. And I think when your heart is open, you can receive what he’s trying to show you about yourself. Even in big moments, like an award show.”
In that spirit, Campbell is returning to co-host this year’s GMA Dove Awards, which will be held in Nashville at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena on October 18.
She’s taking a first time co-host under her wing: Contemporary worship star Chris Tomlin. He’s been one of Christian music’s biggest names for 20 years, but when he went to his first Doves as a plus-one in the year 2000, he says he couldn’t fathom being on its stage.
“Although it is about the artists and celebrating them, and saying ‘Well done,’ there’s a much bigger purpose than any other awards show. That’s where it ends on every other award show. But with this, that’s just the beginning. Because it is all about bringing glory and praise, and turning people’s hearts and attention on the only one who’s truly worthy.”
Both Campbell and Tomlin will sing at this year’s ceremony, along with announced performers Jekalyn Carr, Crowder, Phil Wickham, and Gateway Worship Español (featuring Daniel Calveti, Becky Collazos, Christine D’Clario and Josh Morales).
Tomlin is aiming to perform “Holy Forever,” a song he considers the anchor of his just-released album, “Always.”
“When I play it live, it changes the room,” he says. “It’s just one of those (songs) that really captured worship in such a pure way.”
“Positive” was a big solo gospel hit for Campbell last year, and she’s planning to debut a brand-new song with a common spirit at this year’s show: “It’s a celebration of all that God has done,” she says.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen – If you’ll get the polite, ‘Oh, that was nice,’ or if they’ll stand up and clap and sing with you. So I’m hoping for the best. I know that I love Jesus, I love this music and I love people, so all I can do is give my heart, and hopefully my heart will be received.”
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The pool of acts nominated for Artist of the Year is especially vibrant at this year’s Doves. Gospel great CeCe Winans and two-time reigning winners For King & Country are nominated alongside first-time hopefuls Maverick City Music and We The Kingdom. Southern rocker Zach Williams might pick up his second win in the category, too.
The top nominee overall, as usual, is an off-stage figure: producer and songwriter Jeff Pardo, with nine nods stemming from his work with Anne Wilson, We Are Messengers and more. Maverick City Music is tied for most-nominated artist alongside Matthew West – each have seven.
This will be the 53rd annual Dove Awards. The ceremony began in Memphis as a banquet hosted by the then-new GMA during the National Quartet Convention. In 1971, the Doves moved to Nashville, where it found a permanent home (except for a two-year stint in Atlanta after the 2010 flood).
Lipscomb University has been the home of the Doves and the GMA’s annual Hall of Fame ceremony since its return to Nashville in 2013.
Campbell, like countless Doves alums, remembers watching the show on television as a kid – thanks to a grandmother who kept her set tuned to Christian network TBN, which still broadcasts the ceremony today.
“There were a lot of people that I fell in love with, and Sandi Patty was one of my absolute favorites. ‘More Than Wonderful’ is still my favorite song to this day. It’s probably because of listening and watching with my grandmother back when she won Female Vocalist of the Year, I think, 20 years in a row. (Note: it wasn’t quite 20, but Patty won the award for 11 consecutive years starting in 1982.)
The 53rd annual GMA Dove Awards are now sold out, but the show will be filmed and will air this Friday on TBN at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. CT. An encore presentation airs October 28 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. CT. It can also be watched on TBN’s website and official app – visit for local channel information and more.


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