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2016 Absolutely Gospel Music Award Nominees Announced

2016 AGM Awards Jim Brady Trio and Karen Peck & New River Named Most Nominated Artists; Producer Wayne Haun and Songwriter Jim Brady Score Most Individual Nominations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 5, 2016) The administrators and staff of AbsolutelyGospel.com are proud to announce the nominees for the 2016 Absolutely Gospel Music Awards. As in years past, the nominees were chosen by the staff of AbsolutelyGospel.com and select media representatives. Starting on January 15, 2016, the fans will get a chance to vote for their favorites in a dozen categories.

“This time of the year absolutely flies by as we prepare for our annual awards celebration,” mentioned Deon Unthank, President of AbsolutelyGospel.com. “We are so excited about this year’s group of nominees and cannot wait to celebrate with them in April!”

Chris D. Unthank, Editor-In-Chief of AbsolutelyGospel.com said, “Once again, we are elated with the nominees this year. The staff and media did such an amazing job of recognizing not just massively popular artists but also those on the rise and making their mark on our industry by creating high quality music and experiences.” amberandjoseph2

As far as nominations go, new artist Jim Brady Trio scored the most nods among performing artists this year. The group landed an astonishing 10 nominations, setting a record for the most nominations by a new artist in a single year. The group took spots in the Song of the Year (“Steppin’ Out In Faith”) and Album of the Year (A New Chapter) categories and landed in the Breakthrough Artist of the Year category. In addition, group founders Jim and Melissa Brady each scored nominations for Male and Female Vocalist of the Year, respectively.

Karen Peck & New River, a perennial favorite in this awards program, also scored an impressive nine nominations for their work in 2015. The group landed in Song of the Year (“Pray Now”) and Album of the Year (Pray Now) in addition to multiple other nods. Group member Matthew Gooch scored his first ever Musician of the Year mention this year as well.

Next in line were the Bowling Family, 11th Hour, and The Talleys with six nominations apiece. Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Wilburn & Wilburn, and Tribute each scored five mentions. Taking four nominations each were Triumphant, The Browders, The Williamsons, Joseph Habedank, Amber Nelon Thompson, Goodman Revival, Booth Brothers, and Michael English.

The Erwins, The Nelons, HIGHROAD, and Jeff & Sheri Easter all landed three nods. Several artists earned double nominations, including Canton Junction, Gold City, Steve Ladd, TaRanda Greene, Zane & Donna King, and Gordon Mote.

Another perennial favorite, producer/songwriter Wayne Haun was the most nominated individual this year, taking a strong 12 nominations for his work this past year, including three separate Album of the Year mentions for his production work this year. Jim Brady followed behind with nine mentions for his songwriting and production work in 2015. agmgeron2

Songwriter Michael Farren earned an impressive five nods as well – including two mentions in the Song of the Year category. Karen Peck Gooch and Lee Black landed four nominations. Multiple people earned three nominations including Melissa Brady, Tony Wood, Lauren Talley, Roger Talley, Jason Clark, Ben Isaacs, Michael Sykes, and Kenna West.

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 2016 Pacesetter are progressive trio 11th Hour, event production company Abraham Productions, the Brotherhood Tour (featuring Ernie Haase & Signature Sound and the Booth Brothers), the Heritage of Gold Tour (featuring Gold City, Jay Parrack & Vocal Event, Steve Ladd, LeFevre Quartet, and Wilburn & Wilburn), and event production company IMC Concerts.
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More information on the 2016 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 12, 2016. The event will take place at a brand new location. That announcement is forthcoming.

The nominees for the 2016 Absolutely Gospel Music Awards are listed below:

SONG OF THE YEAR
“Happy People” – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (E.Haase, W.Haun, J.Lindsey)
“He Took the Nails” – The Browders (M.Browder, M.Upright)
“Jesus Is In the House” – 11th Hour (K.Gillespie, R.McCutcheon)
“Living In Harmony” – Triumphant (J.Bumbardner, S.Inman)
“One Glorious Moment of Faith” – Bowling Family (J.Austin, K.Rowland)
“Pray Now” – Karen Peck & New River (D.Clark, M.Farren, K.P.Gooch)
“Shout” – The Williamsons (L.Black, G.Boe)
“Sometimes It Takes a Mountain” – Gaither Vocal Band (G.Gaither, M.Mathes)
“Steppin’ Out In Faith” – Jim Brady Trio (J.Brady, M.Brady)
“The Beauty of the Blood” – Joseph Habedank (M.Farren, J.Habedank, T.Wood)

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
A New Chapter – Jim Brady Trio (J.Brady, T.Parton)
After All This Time – The Talleys (L.Talley, R.Talley)
Every Hallelujah – Canton Junction (G.Jones)
Happy People – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (W.Haun)
Just Sing – Amber Nelon Thompson (J.Clark)
Pray Now – Karen Peck & New River (W.Haun)
Ready to Sail – The Erwins (W.Haun)
Shoulders – Wilburn & Wilburn (B.Isaacs, J.Wilburn, J.Wilburn)
Songs In the Key of Happy – Goodman Revival (J.Minick, M.Sykes)
Still – Booth Brothers (M.Booth, R.Booth, J.Brady, L.Goss, J.Webb)

PACESETTER
11th Hour
Abraham Productions
Brotherhood Tour (Booth Brothers and Ernie Haase & Signature Sound)
Heritage of Gold Tour (Gold City, Jay Parrack & Vocal Event, LeFevre Quartet, Steve Ladd, Wilburn & Wilburn)
IMC Concerts

BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST
Goodman Revival
The Guardians
Jim Brady Trio
The Littles
Southern Raised

MALE VOCALIST
Mike Bowling (Bowling Family)
Jim Brady (Jim Brady Trio)
Michael English
Riley Harrison Clark (Tribute)
Joseph Habedank

FEMALE VOCALIST
Melissa Brady (Jim Brady Trio)
Amber Eppinette (11th Hour)
Karen Peck Gooch (Karen Peck & New River)
TaRanda Greene
Lauren Talley (The Talleys)
Amber Nelon Thompson (The Nelons)

MALE GROUP
Booth Brothers
Canton Junction
Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
Tribute
Triumphant
Wilburn & Wilburn

FEMALE GROUP
HIGHROAD
Red Roots
Sisters
Sweetwater Revival

MIXED GROUP
11th Hour
Bowling Family
The Erwins
Jim Brady Trio
Karen Peck & New River
The Talleys

SONGWRITER (ARTIST)
Jim Brady (Jim Brady Trio)
Amber Eppinette (11th Hour)
Joseph Habedank
Daryl Williams (Daryl Williams Trio)
Lisa Williamson (The Williamsons)

SONGWRITER (PROFESSIONAL)
Lee Black
Marcia Henry
Rebecca J. Peck
Dixie Phillips
Sue C. Smith
Kenna West
Dianne Wilkinson

PRODUCER (ARTIST)
Jason Clark (The Nelons)
Michael English
Ben Isaacs (The Isaacs)
Donna King (Zane & Donna King)
Michael Sykes (Goodman Revival)
Roger Talley (The Talleys)

PRODUCER (PROFESSIONAL)
Nick Bruno
Jeff Collins
Ricky Free
Wayne Haun
Kevin Ward

ENGINEER
Van Atkins
Blake Bennett
Terry Thompson
Kevin Ward
Woody Wright

MUSICIAN
Kelly Back
Matthew Gooch (Karen Peck & New River)
Gordon Mote
Josh Singletary (Tribute)
Jeff Stice

TRADITIONAL SONG
“Battle Cry” – Kingsmen (L.Black, J.Lindsey, S.C.Smith)
“I Will Rise” – Tribute (R.J.Peck)
“One Glorious Moment of Faith” – Bowling Family (J.Austin, K.Rowland)
“Shout” – The Williamsons (L.Black, G.Boe)
“Steppin’ Out In Faith” – Jim Brady Trio (J.Brady, M.Brady)

TRADITIONAL RECORDING
Living In Harmony – Triumphant (W.Haun)
Sing – The Perrys (W.Haun)
Songs In the Key of Happy – Goodman Revival (J.Minick, M.Sykes)
That Day Is Coming – Collingsworth Family (W.Haun)
Walk of Faith – The Whisnants (T.Ivey)

PROGRESSIVE SONG
“Another Time, Another Place” – Amber Nelon Thompson & Michael English (G.Driskell)
“Jesus Is In the House” – 11th Hour (K.Gillespie, R.McCutheon)
“Power of the Cross” – Gold City (K.Getty, S.Townsend)
“Pray Now” – Karen Peck & New River (D.Clark, M.Farren, K.P.Gooch)
“The Beauty of the Blood” – Joseph Habedank (M.Farren, J.Habedank, T.Wood)

PROGRESSIVE RECORDING
A New Chapter – Jim Brady Trio (J.Brady, T.Parton)
After All This Time – The Talleys (L.Talley, R.Talley)
Just Sing – Amber Nelon Thompson (J.Clark)
Pray Now – Karen Peck & New River (W.Haun)
Still – Booth Brothers (M.Booth, R.Booth, J.Brady, L.Goss, J.Webb)

COUNTRY SONG
“Good Lord Willing” – Jim Brady Trio (J.Brady, B.Weeks, T.Wood)
“He Took the Nails” – The Browders (M.Browder, M.Upright)
“I Am Blessed” – Karen Peck & New River (M.Farren, K.P.Gooch, K.West)
“Jesus Loves You” – Jeff & Sheri Easter (S.Easter, K.West)
“That’s What I Miss the Most” – Bowling Family (C.Davis, J.Yeary)
“You Asked Him to Leave” – Wilburn & Wilburn (G.Crabb, D.Morgan)

COUNTRY ALBUM
Beautiful Ashes – John Bowman (J.Bowman, T.Engle)
Hymns & Songs of Inspiration – Gordon Mote (W.Haun, P.Johnson, G.Mote)
Moments Like These – Bowling Family (M.Bowling)
Shoulders – Wilburn & Wilburn (B.Isaacs, J.Wilburn, J.Wilburn)
Small Town – Jeff & Sheri Easter (J.Easter, M.Easter, S.Easter, G.Ritchie)

SPECIAL EVENT PROJECT
Acoustic – Triumphant (Triumphant)
Live at Daywind Studios – Tribute (S.Godsey)
Merry Christmas – The Browders (J.D.Rowsey, The Browders)
Spirit of Christmas – TaRanda Greene (W.Haun)
The Inspiration of Broadway – Ernie Haase & Signature and J. Mark McVey (W.Haun)

MUSIC VIDEO
“Don’t Weep For Me” – HIGHROAD
“Hidden Heroes” – The Talleys
“I Choose To Be a Christian” – The Erwins
“Monday” – The Williamsons
“Waiting For You to Get Home” – The Browders

FAN FAVORITE ARTIST
HIGHROAD
Jeff & Sheri Easter
Jerry Salley
Karen Peck & New River
Kingdom Heirs
Michael English
The Nelons
Steve Ladd
Three Bridges
Zane & Donna King

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Absolutely Gospel Music
Formed over 19 years ago by Deon & Susan Unthank originally as SoGospelNews.com, the site was birthed from an email discussion group by the same name. The SoGospelNews email discussion list was created by the Unthanks after the Singing News shut down its extremely popular discussion list. SoGospelNews started as a simple webpage listing artists, fans, individuals, etc. that were avid supporters of the newly formed SoGospelNews talk list. The site eventually took on printing news for Southern Gospel artists, and eventually took on reviewing the latest recordings from both signed and independent artists within the small genre. SoGospelNews became the most viewed Southern Gospel website on the Internet with over 4,000,000 hits per month.

The Unthank family are now involved in the site, as well as the addition of over two dozen staff writers. The website is based out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In April 2010, SoGospelNews changed its name to AbsolutelyGospel.com. The name change allows them to cover news items of not only Southern Gospel, but also Country Gospel, Inspirational, and Black Gospel.

On January 5, 2011, Susan Unthank passed away, leaving the website in control of Deon, their son, Chris, and their daughter Amy.

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