The GMA Dove Awards, or the Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, aired last night, Friday, October 30th. They were hosted this year in Nashville, Tennessee, and aired only on TBN with no in person audience allowed, obviously due to Covid-19. The GMA Dove Awards are different from many other popular award shows and are much less universally known compared to their mainstream counterparts like the Grammys, the VMAs, or the Oscars. This is because these awards specialize in religious, primarily Christian music, and this organization is a popular source for growth and success within the Christian music industry, a niche genre of its own.
However, this association has clearly shown itself to be open minded and inclusive as they have invited secular and mainstream artists to perform for them as well, as long as certain criteria regarding appropriateness and mention of religion are met. One such surprising guest this year from the secular realm was Kanye West. A talented rapper, he prepared something entirely different to be able to perform and be considered for the GMAs. He showcased one of his newest singles, “Follow God”, which was actually in his typical rap/hip-hop style, yet evidently centered around religious ideas and believing in God. In fact, this was so successful that he scored an award for this song, as the rap/hip hop recorded song of the year. It is surprising that he was not the only secular artist to win, but even more so that he was joined by the well respected legacy singer Dolly Parton, who has a secular but entirely different style and genre. It is incredible that Kanye was regarded as on the same caliber as Dolly Parton, and that Kanye has become increasingly versatile in style and at the same time more personal towards his audience through his music.