By JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr., Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) — Singer Jason Crabb grabbed eight nominations for the Dove Awards, leading the way for the gospel and Christian music show that will be held in Atlanta for the second year in a row.
Laura Story had six nominations and rapper LaCrae got five nods for the show, which has run for 43 consecutive years. The show will take place April 19 at the Fox Theatre.
Kirk Franklin, Chris Tomlin, Natalie Grant and Jamie Grace each received four nominations.
Franklin, who recently collected two Grammys and two NAACP Image Awards, hasn't won a Dove Award since 2007. He'll seek his first male vocalist of the year with Crabb, Christ August, Chris Tomlin and Steven Curtis Chapman.
Franklin said he was surprised because he doesn't consider himself as a singer. He's known for talking during songs, leaving the singing to his choir.
"It's funny to me because I can't sing," said Franklin, whose album "Hello Fear" has sold more than 415,000 copies.
"These other guys in the category can really sing," he added. "But I'm thankful to be nominated in any category."
Crabb will also compete for artist of the year against Casting Crowns, Story, LaCrae and The Issacs.
One singer absent in the artist of the year category is Francesca Battistelli, who won the show's top award last year. She is looking for her third straight female vocalist of the year against Mandisa, Kari Jobe, Story and Grant — who had previously won the award four years straight before Battistelli.
"I'm still blown away to be named among some of the best in this industry," said Grant, who has won a total of four Dove Awards since she released her first album in 1999. "It's cool that I'm nominated and people still think I'm relevant."
The Dove Awards held its first show in Atlanta last year after being held in Tennessee for more than four decades.
GMA Dove Awards: http://www.doveawards.com
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