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Rules & Definitions

2021-2022

Rules & Definitions

Eligibility Period: May 1, 2021 – April 30, 2022


SONG of the YEAR
DIVISION I / Category 1

Rules and Definitions: Candidates for Song of the Year will be determined using data provided by CCLI, BDS, Nielsen Music Connect and SoundScan to calculate the most impressions/audience impact across a songwriter’s body of work based on sales, airplay and church performance during the eligibility period.

A song is ineligible for Song of the Year if it has been in the top 10 nominated songs the past two consecutive years or won the previous year.

This category will not appear on the first ballot. A craft committee composed of music publishers, producers, radio experts, and label representatives across the CCM, Southern Gospel and Gospel genres will be selected to review the final 10 nominees to ensure qualitative (the character of the music) and quantitative (the number of impacting single) credibility of the outcome. Final nominees will be submitted for voting on the final ballot only.

Dove Awards are presented to the songwriter(s) and publisher(s).


ARTIST/NON-ARTIST
SONGWRITER of the YEAR
DIVISION I / Categories 2-3

Rules and Definitions: The Songwriter of the Year categories will be determined using data provided by CCLI, BDS, Nielsen Music Connect and SoundScan to calculate the most impressions/audience impact across a songwriter’s body of work based on sales, airplay and church performance during the eligibility period.

Category 2 Songwriter (Artist) – A songwriter who is actively recording their own material and came to prominence as a performer.

Category 3 Songwriter (Non-Artist) – A songwriter who came to prominence as a non-performing songwriter.

This category will not appear on the first ballot. A craft committee composed of music publishers, producers, radio experts, and label representatives across the CCM, Southern Gospel and Gospel genres will be selected to review the final five nominees to ensure qualitative (the character of the music) and quantitative (the number of impacting single) credibility of the outcome. Final nominees will be submitted for voting on the final ballot only.

Dove Awards are presented to the songwriter.


CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN/ SOUTHERN GOSPEL/GOSPEL
ARTIST of the YEAR
DIVISION I / Categories 4-6

Rules and Definitions: An artist is a soloist or group whose preponderance of music performances and recordings are in Christian/Gospel music. Submitted artists must meet the following criteria:

  1. Eligible artists must have attained prominence as demonstrated by consumption, radio and touring.
  2. Minimum of one single must be released during the current eligibility period.
  3. An artist may be submitted a maximum of one time by a GMA professional member.
  4. The 25 artists receiving the most entries will appear on the first ballot.

Category 4 Contemporary Christian Artist – A soloist or group in the Contemporary Christian genre whose preponderance of music performances and recordings are in Christian/Gospel music. (Includes: Pop/Contemporary, Inspirational, Rock, Worship, Rap/Hip Hop)

Category 5 Southern Gospel Artist – A soloist or group in the Southern Gospel genre whose preponderance of music performances and recordings are in Christian/Gospel music. (Includes: Southern Gospel, Bluegrass, Country)

Category 6 Gospel Artist – A soloist or group in the Gospel genre whose preponderance of music performances and recordings are in Christian/Gospel music. (Includes: Traditional, Contemporary/Gospel)

Dove Awards are presented to the artist and record label.


ARTIST of the YEAR
DIVISION I / Category 7

Rules and Definitions: An artist is a soloist or group whose preponderance of music performances and recordings are in Christian/Gospel music. The top 20 artists determined by Nielsen Music Connect will appear as eligible entries on the first ballot.

  1. The top 20 will be determined as the top selling artists (based on consumption) of up to two albums released within the last three years.
  2. At least one single must have been released during the current eligibility period.
  3. Prior to the first ballot, a craft committee will review all entries to identify any egregious omissions. 

 Dove Awards are presented to the artist and record label.


NEW ARTIST of the YEAR
DIVISION I / Category 8

Rules and Definitions: A new artist is a soloist or group whose first album (or minimum of five singles) to attain a breakthrough or prominence in this configuration was released for general distribution within the last two eligibility periods and who has not previously been a nominee within this category. Screening Committee will determine when the artist attained prominence by examining consumption, radio and touring.

A preponderance of the artist’s music performances and recordings:

  1. Must be in Christian/Gospel music.
  2. Must be in the configuration (soloist or group) in which the artist is entered in the submission process
  3. The 25 artists receiving the most entries will appear on the first ballot

Dove Awards are presented to the artist and record label.


PRODUCER of the YEAR
DIVISION I / Category 9

Rules and Definitions: In consideration of impact across a producer’s body of work, individuals must have produced or co-produced at least six recorded songs on product eligible in the current year’s Album of the Year categories. Recorded songs where the entrant is considered the artist do not qualify for this category. 

  1. To be eligible as a Production Team, the exact configuration of team members must have produced all eligible songs.
  2. Any song on which any member of the Production Team is also an artist cannot be counted as an eligible song.

This category will not appear on the first ballot. Final nominees will be determined by a craft committee and will be submitted for voting on the final ballot only.

Dove Awards are presented to the producer or production team.


RECORDED SONG of the YEAR
DIVISION II / Categories 10–20

Rules and Definitions: This division takes into consideration the performance/production of a recorded song, as well as the writing. Submitted songs must meet the following criteria:

  1. Its first week of sales recorded by SoundScan must fall within the eligibility period or,
  2. It may be released during the eligibility period as a national promotional release for radio airplay (in which case the release date of the single must be listed).
  3. Any previous nominee in any Song of the Year category is ineligible.
  4. Entering a song in more than one category in Division II will invalidate that entry in both categories.
  5. For recordings with multiple versions (including with featured artists), only one version/mix of the recording qualifies in an eligibility period.
  6. Lyrics and vocals are required in order to determine Christian worldview.

Category 19 Spanish Language Recorded Song – A song must contain at least 51% lyrics in Spanish to be eligible. Translations and artists outside the Spanish Language platform will be eligible.

Dove Awards are presented to the artist, featured artist(s) and songwriter(s).


ALBUM of the YEAR
DIVISION III / Categories 21-31

Rules and Definitions: An album is defined as a collection of five or more songs in any recorded form other than video. Submitted albums must meet the following criteria:

  1. Its first week of sales recorded by SoundScan must fall within the eligibility period.
  2. A preponderance of the tracks on the album must fit in the musical style of the category entered.
  3. Must have a minimum of five previously unreleased recorded performances.
  4. Entering an album in more than one category in Division III and Division IV will invalidate the entry in both divisions.

Category 30 Spanish Language Album – An album must contain at least 51% tracks in Spanish to be eligible. Translations and artists outside the Spanish Language platform will be eligible.

Dove Awards are presented to the artist (if prominent on the album) and the producer(s).


ALBUM of the YEAR
DIVISION IV / Category 32-33

Rules and Definitions: An album is defined as a collection of five or more songs in any recorded form other than video. Submitted albums must meet the following criteria:

  1. Its first week of sales recorded by SoundScan must fall within the eligibility period.
  2. A preponderance of the tracks on the album must fit in the musical style of the category entered.
  3. Must have a minimum of five previously unreleased recorded performances.
  4. Entering an album in more than one category in Division III and Division IV will invalidate the entry in both divisions.

Category 32 Children’s Album – Children’s Albums contain music especially produced and totally designed for children’s listening or performing.

Category 33 Christmas/Special Event Album – Special Event Albums are all albums on which no single artist or group are featured on more than 50% of the recorded performances. A Christmas Album is defined as an album with a preponderance of the recorded material related to Christmas.

Dove Awards are presented to the artist (if prominent on the album) and producer(s).


MUSICAL/
CHORAL COLLECTION of the YEAR
DIVISION IV / Categories 34

Rules and Definitions: This category takes into consideration works used in the church for music based performances by members and/ or choir. Musicals are works with a conceptual theme and intended for performance in its entirety. Choral Collections are music arranged for choir in multiple parts and do not contain a storyline. Submitted musicals and collections must meet the following criteria:

  1. Entering a Musical or Collection in more than one category in Division IV will invalidate the entry in both categories.
  2. Musicals or collections DO NOT have to be tracked by SoundScan. ​

Dove Awards are presented to the creator(s), arranger(s), and orchestrator(s).


RECORDED MUSIC PACKAGING of the YEAR
DIVISION V / Category 35

Rules and Definitions: Recorded Music Packaging recognizes package design, photography and/or graphic art for both physical and digital-only releases. Only one design of a project qualifies. Designs with minimal variation should select one entry for the eligibility period.

This category will not appear on the first ballot. Final nominees will be determined by a craft committee and will be submitted for voting on the final ballot only.

Dove Awards are presented to the art director(s), graphic artist(s), illustrator(s), and photographer(s).


SHORT FORM/LONG FORM
MUSIC VIDEO of the YEAR
DIVISION V / Categories 36-38

Rules and Definitions: The video categories recognize the artistic and technical presentation of song(s) in combination with video; i.e. camera technique, set design, lighting, and editing. Significant changes in either music or video constitute a new music video. A preponderance of the song(s) or medley used in video must be consistent with the worldview outlined in the Policy and Procedures manual.

Category 36 Short Form Music Video (Concept) – A video designed to present a single complete song or medley in narrative or story form. This video has a clear beginning, middle and end which can be portrayed in a variety of ways; i.e. animation, docu-style, abstract or combination of these styles and techniques. Lyric videos are ineligible.

Category 37 Short Form Music Video (Performance) – A video designed to present the artist performing a single complete song or medley. The video has no storyline and the artist is performing to the camera directly or indirectly, either by one shot/scene, or various shots/ scenes. For videos submitted as part of a music film in the long form category, only one song of the film qualifies in an eligibility period. Lyric videos are ineligible.

Category 38 Long Form Music Video – A film designed to present more than one complete song or medley. Video samplers, programs used only for broadcast, films with a preponderance of non-music content (interviews), and videos in which more than half of the content qualified in a previous eligibility period are ineligible.

Video categories will not appear on the first ballot. Final nominees will be determined by a craft committee and will be submitted for voting on the final ballot only.

Dove Awards are presented to the artist, featured artist(s), director(s), and producer(s).


INSPIRATIONAL FILM/ SERIES of the YEAR
DIVISION V / Category 39

Rules and Definitions: Inspirational Film/ Series content must be consistent with the worldview outlined in the Policy and Procedures manual. Submitted Inspirational Films/ Series must meet the following criteria:

  1. Entries must have been released through either television, streaming service or theaters.
  2. Initial release, or Nielsen SoundScan sales in the US Christian Retail market, during the eligibility period.

Ineligible for Inspirational Films/ Series are: Music, preaching or teaching videos, or videos in which more than half of the content was eligible in any previous eligibility period.

Dove Awards are presented to the director(s) and producer(s).


Contact us at dove@gospelmusic.org.