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Southern Gospel Times News Item

2013 Absolutely Gospel Music Award Nominees Announced

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – (January 21, 2013) – The administrators and staff of are proud to announce the nominees for the 2013 Absolutely Gospel Music Awards. As in years past, the nominees were chosen by the staff of and select media representatives. Starting on February 1, 2013, the fans will get a chance to vote for their favorites in certain categories.

“We are so excited about this year’s awards program,” mentioned Deon Unthank, President/CEO of “Our site has seen such tremendous growth over the last two years, and we cannot wait to produce another awards show. Each year, things just get bigger and better, and this year’s show will be no different!”

Chris D. Unthank, Editor-In-Chief of said, “We applaud our staff and those other media representatives who voted for thinking outside of the box this year and really embracing what our awards program is all about. These nominations really represent the best of last year, and we can tell that our staff and the other voters really took this year’s nominations process seriously.”

As far as nominations go, Southern Gospel favorites The Perrys landed a stellar nine nominations this year, more than any other artist. The group earned nods for Song of the Year and Traditional Song of the Year (for “Blue Skies Coming”), Album of the Year and Traditional Album of the Year (for Through the Night), Mixed Group of the Year, and Special Event Project of the Year (for the Celebrate Me Home DVD release). In addition, reigning Female Vocalist of the Year Libbi Stuffle earned her third consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year nomination. Speaking of consecutive nominations, The Perrys’ lead vocalist/songwriter Joseph Habedank claimed his fifth consecutive nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year and sixth nod for Songwriter of the Year (Artist) (after winning the award in 2011).

Last year’s big winner The Isaacs and reigning Female Group of the Year Sisters followed behind The Perrys with an impressive eight nominations each. Sisters earned their very first nod for 2013
Pacesetter, the awards’ most prestigious honor, this year. The Isaacs’ Ben Isaacs also landed a 2013 Pacesetter nomination for his production work in 2012.

Following behind those artists was Karen Peck & New River with seven nods. In addition, Karen Peck’s solo record How You Walk the Miles earned an Album of the Year mention. Brian Free & Assurance, Mark Trammell Quartet, and the Booth Brothers all landed six nominations. Three artists received five nominations – Tribute Quartet, Collingsworth Family, and Jeff & Sheri Easter.

Triumphant Quartet and Three Bridges both earned four nominations, while several artists received triple mentions, including The Talleys, Canton Junction, Gaither Vocal Band, The Hoppers, Michael English, and The Nelons. Soul’d Out Quartet, Greater Vision, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Beyond the Ashes, the Bowling Family, The Browders, The Williamsons, and Guy Penrod were each nominated for two awards.

For the fourth consecutive year, songwriter, producer and Signature Sound’s pianist Wayne Haun
earned the most individual nominations this year. In addition to landing in the Producer of the Year
(Artist) category, Wayne earned an impressive eight nominations for his songwriting and production work this year – including separate nominations in the Song of the Year category (for co-writing The Perrys’ “Blue Skies Coming” ) and Album of the Year (for producing The Perrys’ Blue Skies Coming).

The Isaacs’ Ben Isaacs, Sonya Isaacs Yeary, and Jimmy Yeary, producer/songwriter Ricky Free, and Talleys patriarch Roger Talley all earned an impressive five mentions.

The Booth Brothers’ Jim Brady received four nominations this year. Scott Inman, Joel Lindsey, Melissa Brady, Madison Easter, Lari Goss, and Jeff Collins all landed three individual nominations for their work in 2012. Double nominations were earned by Lee Black, Daryl Williams, Becky Isaacs Bowman, Tim Parton, Jeff Easter, Sheri Easter, Karen Peck Gooch, Mark Trammell, Rick Sandidge, Joseph Habedank, Dianne Wilkinson, Michael Sykes, Scott Godsey, Donna King, and Gerald Wolfe.

The Pacesetter Award is awarded to any artist, individual, or organization that has shown great strides in the industry and has raised the bar for others. This year’s nominees for the 2013 Pacesetter are previously mentioned Sisters and Ben Isaacs, forward-thinking record label Crossroads Music Group, multi-award winning trio the Booth Brothers, and marketing innovators Godsey & Associates.

More information on the 2013 Absolutely Gospel Music Awards Celebration will be forthcoming,
including hosts, performers, and sponsors, etc. The date for this year’s Absolutely Gospel Music Awards Celebration is Tuesday, April 9, 2013. The event will again take place at the River of Life Church in Smyrna, Tennessee and is free to the public.

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