Hosts and Performers Announced for 2018 Absolutely Gospel Music Awards Celebration

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (February 8, 2018) – The administrators and staff of are proud to announce the hosts and first list of performers for the upcoming Absolutely Gospel Music Awards Celebration. This year’s celebration will feature performances from many of the top nominated artists. Hosting this year’s Awards Celebration are talented vocalists Joseph Habedank and Amber Nelon Thompson.

Dove Award-winning vocalist and songwriter Joseph Habedank has swept the Gospel music community by storm with his latest release Resurrection. Joseph has experienced an impressive solo career over the last few years that resulted in a 2018 Grammy Award nomination and 2017 Dove Award win for his sophomore recording. Joseph is a two-time AGM Award winner including 2011’s Songwriter of the Year (Artist). He is the most nominated artist in this year’s program.

Amber Nelon Thompson is the acclaimed soprano vocalist for GMA Hall of Fame inductee’s The Nelons. Her debut solo recording, Just Sing, earned her nominations in multiple awards programs including the 2016 AGM Female Vocalist of the Year honor. As a part of The Nelons, Amber is nominated again for Female Vocalist of the Year this year as well as multiple other nominations. Amber, along with Joseph, hosted the AGM Awards in 2015 to much acclaim.

“Amber and Joseph had such great chemistry as hosts, that we knew in a year as big as it was for these two, we had to ask them back,” mentioned Deon Unthank of “They bring warmth and humor to our stage, and we are so happy to have them back this year.”

The Awards Celebration will feature performances by some of the industry’s most beloved artists including Michael English, Karen Peck & New River, Tribute, 11th Hour, Joseph Habedank, The Freemans, The Nelons, Michael Combs, New Legacy Project, and the Griffith Family. The event will also feature a debut performance from the New Speer Family. Additional performers are currently being confirmed.

“We have a long history of debuting new artists on the scene at our awards show – such as last year’s breakout performance from the Bowling Sisters. We are so excited to debut the New Speer Family to an industry eager to hear them perform,” said Deon Unthank.

In addition to hosts and performers, site administrators are proud to announce the location for the event. This year’s Awards Celebration will take place at Nashville First Church of the Nazarene in downtown Nashville on Tuesday April 10th.

Tickets are now on sale for program. For more information on that, visit or email

Absolutely Gospel Music

Formed over 25 years ago by Deon & Susan Unthank originally as, the site was birthed from an email discussion group by the same name. became the most viewed Southern Gospel website on the Internet with over four million hits per month. The website is based out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In April 2010, SoGospelNews changed its name to, allowing the site to cover 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. Deon passed away on December 17, 2022 right after arranging the sale of the site to good family friend Bev McCann. The site is now rain by Bev McCann and the Nashville 37201 media group. Deon & Susan's son, Chris Unthank, is the site's editor-in-chief.
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