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The 36th Annual GMA Music Awards
By Burton Wray

Song of the Year 

  • "Blessed Be Your Name"; Matt Redman, Beth Redman; Thankyou Music (PRS), Songs (ASCAP)
  • "Dare You to Move"; Jonathan Foreman; Sugar Pete Songs, Meadowgreen Music (ASCAP) 
  • "Friend of God"; Israel Houghton, Michael Gungor; Vertical Worship Songs (ASCAP), Champions for Christ Publishing (BMI), Integrity's Praise! Music (BMI), Sound of the New Breed (BMI)
  • "Glory Defined"; Jim Cooper, Kenny Lamb, Jason Roy; Dayspring Music (BMI), WB Music (ASCAP), I Give Music (ASCAP)
  • "Healing Rain"; Michael W. Smith, Martin Smith, Matt Bronleewe; Word Music, SmittyFly Music (ASCAP), Curious? Music UK (PRS), Songs From the Farm (BMI)
  • "Meant to Live"; Jonathan Foreman; Sugar Pete Songs, Meadowgreen Music (ASCAP)
  • "More"; Matthew West, Jason Houser, Kenny Greenberg; Word Music/Westies Music Publishing (ASCAP), Extreme Writers Music/WB Music (ASCAP), Greenberg Music (BMI)
  • "Through the Fire"; Gerald Crabb; Lehsem Songs (BMI) 
  • "Who Am I"; Mark Hall, Juan DeVevo, Melodee DeVevo, Hector Cervantes, Megan Garret, Andy Williams, Chris Huffman; Club Zoo Music (BMI), SWECS Music (BMI)
  • "You Raise Me Up"; Rolf Lovland, Brendan Graham; PolyGram International Publishing (ASCAP), PeerMusic III (BMI), Peermusic Ireland (BMI) 
This is a category that looks to be competitive this year.  There are several songs that can lay a good claim to the award, but most likely only one will win.  The songs that are nominated are from artists such as Michael W. Smith, Casting Crowns, Matt Redman, and Switchfoot.  Unlike many past years, there is no one frontrunner, no "Redeemer" this year that will definitely win the award.  Casting Crowns though looks to be a GMA favorite this year and "Who Am I" enjoyed a good bit of radio success, so look for it to walk away with this award. Dark horse: "You Raise Me Up" or "Healing Rain" Should Win: "Who Am I" Will Win: "Who Am I"

Male Vocalist of the Year 

  • Fernando Ortega
  • Israel Houghton
  • Jason Crabb
  • Jeremy Camp
  • Mark Hall
This is one of the categories that leaves fans scratching their heads.  For the first time in recent memory, both Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman have released new studio albums, but neither is nominated.  Despite the strength of _Welcome to Diverse City_ TobyMac isn't nominated.  Mac Powell and Bart Millard are no where to be seen.  As good as Jason Crabb is, this award will most likely come down to who the voters like more this year, Jeremy Camp or Mark Hall.  GMA voters seem to love Jeremy Camp and they will show their love to him again.
Dark horse: Jason Crabb
Should Win: Mark Hall
Will Win: Jeremy Camp

Female Vocalist of the Year 

  • Bethany Dillon
  • Christy Nockels
  • Joy Williams
  • Natalie Grant
  • Nicole C. Mullen
This category is the one that will most leave fans wondering what in the world is going on.  Rachael Lampa released the best album of her career and one of the best of 2004, but didn't get a nomination. On the flipside, Joy Williams spent 2004 getting a new management company, a new booking company, and getting married but not releasing any new material and yet is nominated.  While the women nominated are all great, the category is weak enough this year that a new artist has a good shot of walking away with the award.
Dark horse: Nicole C. Mullen is a past winner and still much beloved within the GMA so she could sneak in and win this award.
Should Win: Rachael Lampa should win but she wasn't even nominated.
Will Win: Bethany Dillon

Group of the Year 

  • Casting Crowns
  • MercyMe
  • Selah
  • Switchfoot
  • The Crabb Family
This is also one of those categories that isn't as strong as it has been in years past.  The Crabb Family has had a good year, but the GMA voters have yet to completely catch on to southern gospel, so they are longshots.  Selah had a good year but that was mainly based on the success that Josh Groban's cover of "You Raise Me Up" had on mainstream radio.  Some fans really enjoy Switchfoot, but GMA voters haven't completely gotten on that bandwagon yet.  That makes this is two group race between MercyMe and Casting Crowns.  MercyMe has enjoyed success in the past, but this may be the year of Casting Crowns as they take home awards in this and several other categories. 
Dark horse: Switchfoot
Should Win:  MercyMe
Will Win: Casting Crowns

Artist of the Year 

  • Casting Crowns
  • MercyMe
  • Michael W. Smith
  • Selah
  • Switchfoot
Who would have thought that Michael W. Smith wouldn't be a lock for this award? After all, 2004 saw his first studio album in a number of years, but that album wasn't up to the level of excellence that his previous releases so it would be a shock to see him win this.  Just as with the "Group of the Year" award this one comes down to MercyMe and Casting Crowns. MercyMe released one of the best albums of the year but this award will continue what could be a very good night for Casting Crowns
Dark horse: Michael W. Smith has always been much beloved by the GMA so he could sneak in and win this despite _Healing Rain_ not being up to the level of his previous releases.
Should Win: MeryMe released one of the best albums of the year so they deserve to win
Will Win: GMA voters seem to be real big on Casting Crowns, so they have the best shot to walk home with this award.

New Artist of the Year 

  • BarlowGirl 
  • Bethany Dillon
  • Building 429
  • Day of Fire
  • Matthew West
One of the discussions with the Oscars is how an early release date for a movie affects its chances for a major award.  Several of the artists nominated in this category released their projects early in the year and this might have hurt their chances.  Some that fall into this boat include BarlowGirl and Matthew West.  >From early in the year to late in the year, Bethany Dillon was in the news and on radio.  This is quite simply her award to win.
Dark horse: Building 429
Should Win: Bethany Dillon
Will Win: Bethany Dillon

Producer of the Year 

  • Brown Bannister
  • Ed Cash
  • Israel Houghton
  • Mark A. Miller
  • Pete Kipley
Dark horse: Pete Kipley produced a wonderful CD by MercyMe but in just 4 years they seem to have fallen out of favor with GMA voters so that will hurt his chances.
Should Win: Brown Bannister Will Win: Brown Bannister should win this on the basis of producing one of the highest profile projects of the year, the first pop CD from Steven Curtis Chapman in several years.  Bannister is also one of the busiest and most respected producers in the business.

(predicted winners in bold)

Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year 

  • “Back in the Day”; It’s Pronounced Five Two; KJ-52; KJ-52, Todd Collins, Jonah Sorrentino; Uprok Records 
  • “Hittin’ Curves”; Dichotomy A; Grits; Teron Carter, Stacy Jones, Otto Price, S. Moss; Gotee Records
  • “Life is Short”; Professional Rapper; John Reuben; John Zappin, Grant Harrison, C. Pendleton; Gotee Records
  • “Lord You Are”; HD Higher Definition; The Cross Movement; John Wells, Virgil Byrd, William Branch, Brady Goodwin; Cross Movement Records
  • “Move”; Professional Rapper; John Reuben; John Zappin, Grant Harrison, C. Pendleton; Gotee Records 
Modern Rock Recorded Song of the Year 
  • “Alone”; Fight The Tide; Sanctus Real;Chris Rohman, Matt Hamnitt; Sparrow Records
  • “Control”; Reset EP; MuteMath; Paul Meany, Darren King, Adam LeClave; Word Records
  • “Rawkfist”; Phenomenon; Thousand Foot Krutch; Trevor McNevan, Steve Augustine, Joel Bruyere; Tooth & Nail
  • “Revolutionary Love”; Illuminate; David Crowder Band; David Crowder, Jack Parker, Jeremy Bush; Sixsteps Records
  • “The Gift of Cool”; A Beautiful Glow; Worship Circus; Gabriel Wilson, Solo Greely, Eric Lumiere, Josiah Sherman; INO Records
Rock Recorded Song of the Year 
  • “Come on Back to Me”; Wire; Third Day; Mac Powell, Mark Lee, Tai Anderson, David Carr, Brad Avery; Essential Records
  • “Cornerstone”; Day of Fire; Day of Fire; Josh Brown, Gregg Hionis; Essential Records
  • “Everything About You”; Fight The Tide; Sanctus Real; Chris Rohman, Matt Hamnitt, Steve Goodrum, Tedd Tjornhom; Sparrow Records
  • “Stay”; Stay; Jeremy Camp; Jeremy Camp; BEC Recordings
  • “Without You”; Inside Out; Nate Sallie; Chris Estes, Nate Sallie; Curb Records
Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year 
  • “American Dream”; Casting Crowns; Casting Crowns; Mark Hall, Juan DeVevo, Melodee DeVevo, Hector Cervantes, Megan Garret, Andy Williams, Chris Huffman; Beach Street Records/Reunion Records
  • “Dare You to Move”; The Beautiful Letdown; Switchfoot; Jonathan Foreman, Sparrow Records
  • “Glory Defined”; Space In Between Us; Building 429; Jason Roy, Jim Cooper, Kenny Lamb; Word Records
  • “Never Alone”; BarlowGirl; BarlowGirl; Rebecca Barlow, Alyssa Barlow, Lauren Barlow; Fervent Records
  • “Show You Love”; Who We Are Instead; Jars of Clay; Dan Haseltine, Charlie Lowell, Stephen Mason, Matt Odmark; Essential Records
Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year 
  • “Healing Rain”; Healing Rain; Michael W. Smith; Michael W. Smith, Martin Smith, Matt Bronleewe; Reunion Records
  • “Letters From War”; Stories & Songs; Mark Schultz; Mark Schultz, Cindy Morgan; Word Records
  • “Live for Today”; Deeper Life; Natalie Grant; Natalie Grant; Curb Records
  • “More”; Happy; Matthew West; Matthew West, Jason Houser, Kenny Greenberg; Universal South
  • “Who Am I”; Casting Crowns; Casting Crowns; Mark Hall, Juan DeVevo, Melodee DeVevo, Hector Cervantes, Megan Garret, Andy Williams, Chris Huffman; Beach Street Records/Reunion Records
Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year 
  • “Arms Open Wide”; Revelation; David Phelps; Rita Baloche; Word Records
  • “Still the Cross”; Still the Cross; FFH; Jeromy Deibler, Donna Smith, Scott Williamson; Essential Records
  • “Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus)”; Short Term Memories; Chris Rice; Chris Rice; Rocketown Records
  • “Voice of Truth”; Casting Crowns; Casting Crowns; Mark Hall, Steven Curtis Chapman; Beach Street Records/Reunion Records
  • “You Can’t Imagine”; Driven; Crabb Family; Sue C. Smith, Gerald Crabb; Daywind Records
  • “You Raise Me Up”; Hiding Place; Selah; Rolf Lovland, Brendan Graham; Curb Records
Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year 
  • Beatmart Recordings - Best of the Submissions; Various; Todd Collins, Troy Collins, Freeman; Beatmart Recordings
  • Dichotomy A; Grits; Teron Carter, Stacy Jones, Otto Price, CZ, Pettidee, Crisis, Liquid Beats; Gotee Records
  • HD Higher Definition; The Cross Movement; Nelson Chu, Virgil Byrd, Demetrius Hinton, Myles Lawhorne, Courtney Peebles, Curtis Zackery; Cross Movement Records
  • Soul Purpose; KJ-52 and TC Present; Todd Collins; BEC Recordings
  • Welcome to Diverse City; tobyMac; Toby McKeehan, Christopher Stevens, Paul Meany, Solomon Olds, Joe Baldridge, Jeff Savage, Robert Marvin, Josiah Bell, Max Hsu, Michael Linney; ForeFront Records
Modern Rock Album of the Year 
  • Collide; Skillet; Paul Ebersold; Ardent Records
  • Fight the Tide; Sanctus Real; Tedd T.; Sparrow Records
  • Letters to the President; Hawk Nelson; Aaron Sprinkle, Trevor McNevan; Tooth & Nail Records
  • The Overflow; Taylor Sorensen; Sam Ashworth, Taylor Harris, Dave Perkins; Rocketown Records
  • World Service; delirious?; Julian Kindred, Martin Smith, Stu G, Jon Thatcher, Tim Jupp, Stew Smith; Sparrow Records
Rock Album of the Year 
  • Day of Fire; Day of Fire; Scott Humphrey; Essential Records
  • Sea of Faces; Kutless; Aaron Sprinkle; BEC Recordings
  • Set It Off; Thousand Foot Krutch; Gavin Brown, Thousand Foot Krutch; Andrew Horrocks; Tooth & Nail Records
  • They’re Only Chasing Safety; Underoath; James Paul Wisner; Solid State Records * Where Do We Go From Here; Pillar; Travis Wyrick, Rob Beckley, Kalel, Noah Henson, Lester Estelle; Flicker Records
Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year 
  • BarlowGirl; BarlowGirl; Otto Price; Fervent Records
  • Space In Between Us; Building 429; Jim Cooper; Word Records
  • Starfield; Starfield; Matt Bronleewe; Sparrow Records
  • The Lime CD; David Crowder Band; David Crowder, Jason Solley, Jack Parker, Jeremy Bush, Mike Dodson, Mike Hogan, Sixsteps Records
  • Wire; Third Day; Paul Ebersold; Essential Records
Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year 
  • All Things New; Steven Curtis Chapman; Brown Bannister, Steven Curtis Chapman; Sparrow Records
  • Bethany Dillon; Bethany Dillon; Ed Cash, Joshua Moore; Sparrow Records
  • Happy; Matthew West; Kenny Greenberg, Jason Houser; Universal South
  • Healing Rain; Michael W. Smith; Matt Bronleewe, Sam Ashworth, Michael W. Smith; Reunion Records
  • Undone; MercyMe; Pete Kipley; INO Records
Inspirational Album of the Year 
  • Fernando Ortega; Fernando Ortega; John Andrew Schreiner; Curb Records
  • Hiding Place; Selah; Jason Kyle, Nicol Sponberg, Allan Hall, Todd Smith; Curb Records
  • Hymns of Faith...Songs of Inspiration; Sandi Patty; David Hamiltion; INO Records
  • Revelation; David Phelps; Regie Hamm, Christopher D. Harris; Word Records
  • The Purest Place; Watermark; Nathan Nockels; Rocketown Records
Urban Album of the Year 
  • Everyday People; Nicole C. Mullen; Nicole C. Mullen, David Mullen, Tommy Sims, James “Big Jim” Wright, Andrew Ramsey, Shannon Sanders; Word Records
  • I Owe You; Kierra Kiki Sheard; Rodney Jerkins, Jazz Nixon, Paul Allen, J Moss, Drew Sheard II, Kierra Sheard, Earl Wright III, Warryn Campbell; EMI Gospel
  • Love, Peace & Happiness; Out of Eden; Lisa Kimmey, Kene Bell, Otto Price, Mooki Taylor, Liquid Beats, Ric Robbins, Todd Collins, Incorporated Elements, Danielle Kimmey; Gotee Records
  • Out the Box; Tonex; T. Bizzy, Marcus Hodges, Steve “The Chef” Russell, Kevin Bond; Verity Records
  • Playing Games; Raymond & Co.; Linslee Campbell;  Integrity Gospel
Praise & Worship Album of the Year 
  • Arriving; Chris Tomlin; Ed Cash; Sixsteps Records 
  • Carried Me: The Worship Project; Jeremy Camp; Adam Watts, Andy Dodd, Steve Hindalong, Mark Byrd; BEC Recordings 
  • Devotion; Newsboys; Peter Furler; Sparrow Records 
  • Let the Worshippers Arise; Phillips, Craig & Dean; Nathan Nockels; INO Records 
  • Open Up the Gates; Planetshakers; Henry Seeley; Word Records
Special Event Album of the Year 
  • Absolute Favorite Christmas; Big Daddy Weave, Warren Barfield, BarlowGirl, Big Tent Revival, Out of Eden, Jill Phillips, Erin O’Donnell, By The Tree, Exit East, Andrew Peterson, Inhabited, Kate Hurley, Tree63, Jennifer Knapp, Todd Agnew, OC Supertones, Kim Hill, Smalltown Poets, Michael English, Palisade, Derek Webb, Jim Brickman, Rivertribe, Kate Miner, Matthew Smith; Susan Riley, Otto Price, Holly Durtschi; Fervent Records
  • Gloria; Ginny Owens, Charlie Peacock, Amy Grant, Wayne Kirkpatrick, Christy Nockels, Michael W. Smith, Christine Dente, Shaun Groves, George Rowe, Taylor Sorensen, Alathea, Cindy Morgan; Charlie Peacock, Scott Dente; Rocketown Records
  • In the Name of Love - Artists United for Africa; Chris Tomlin, Todd Agnew, Grits featuring Jadyn Maria, Tait, delirious?, tobyMac, Sarah Kelly, Jars of Clay, Nichole Nordeman, Audio Adrenaline, Sixpence None The Richer, Starfield, Sanctus Real, Pillar; Lynn A. Nichols; Sparrow Records
  • Passion Hymns Ancient & Modern Live Songs of Our Faith; Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Charlie Hall, Christy Nockels, Matt Redman; Nathan Nockels; Sixsteps Records 
  • The Passion of the Christ: Songs; Third Day, Steven Curtis Chapman, MercyMe, Scott Stapp, POD, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Big Dismal, Lauryn Hill, Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, MxPx, Mark Hoppus, Charlotte Church, BeBe Winans, Angie Stone, Dan Lavery; Tim Cook, Mark Joseph, Gregg Wattenberg, Steven Lerner; Lost Keyword Records/ Wind-Up Records
Worship Song of the Year 
  • “Blessed Be Your Name”; Matt Redman, Beth Redman; Thankyou Music, Songs
  • ”Healing Rain”; Michael W. Smith, Martin Smith, Matt Bronleewe; Word Music, SmittyFly Music, Curious? Music UK, Songs From the Farm
  • ”Here I Am to Worship”; Tim Hughes; Thankyou Music * ”I Bless Your Name”; Elizabeth Goodine; Wayne Goodine Music
  • ”Who Am I”; Mark Hall, Juan DeVevo, Melodee DeVevo, Hector Cervantes, Megan Garret, Andy Williams, Chris Huffman; Club Zoo Music, SWECS Music
Short Form Music Video of the Year 
  • ”American Dream”; Casting Crowns; Karl Horstmann; Triple Horse Entertainment; Beachstreet Records/Reunion Records
  • ”Bring Me Down”; Pillar; Randy Brewer; Roman White; Revolution Pictures; Flicker Records
  • Dare You To Move”; Switchfoot; Nina Grossman Warner; Robert Hales; HIS Entertainment; Sparrow Records
  • ”Letters From War”; Mark Schultz; Craig Miller; Marc Dobiecki; Craig Miller Productions; Word Records
  • ”Light Up Ahead”; Further Seems Forever; Plates Animation; Tooth & Nail Records
Long Form Music Video of the Year 
  • !Hero The Rock Opera; Michael Tait, Mark Stuart, Rebecca St. James, T-Bone, Paul Wright, Billy Buchanan, Michael Quinlan, Donnie Lewis, Shannon Bain, Bob Farrell, Edward DeGarmo, Eric Welch; Broken Poet Productions; Meaux Records
  • Fernando Ortega Live in St. Paul; Fernando Ortega; Carl Diebold, Ken Conrad; Michael Sacci, Mitch White; Jupiter Project; Curb Records 
  • Live From Atlanta; Casting Crowns; Karl Horstmann; Karl Horstmann; Triple Horse Entertainment; Beachstreet Records/Reunion Records
  • Live; MercyMe; Eric Welch; Tameron Hedge; Broken Poet Productions; INO Records 
  • Switchfoot Live In San Diego; Switchfoot; Dwight Thompson; Dwight Thompson; New Revolution Entertainment; Sparrow Records



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