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Yamaha Artist Chris Tomlin Earns Leading Nominations for 2009 Dove Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 4, 2009) — Yamaha artist Chris Tomlin is the top artist nominee for the 40th Annual Dove Awards set to take place at Nashville's Grand Old Opry House on Thursday, April 23. The three-time Male Vocalist of the Year is nominated for a total of seven awards, including Artist of the Year, and Song of the Year.

Four-time Group of the Year Dove Award winners Casting Crowns, featuring lead vocalist and Yamaha artist Mark Hall, received an impressive five nominations, including a potential fifth Group of the Year award. Other Yamaha artists who could walk home with the prestigious award include Michael W. Smith, Jack Mooring of Leeland, Marvin Sapp and Aaron Shust.

The GMA Dove Awards, gospel music's biggest night of the year, featuring artists from every style of gospel/Christian music coming together for a night of music and celebration will be broadcast nationwide live on the Gospel Music Channel from 8 – 10 p.m. (ET/PT).

A complete list of Yamaha nominees includes:

Chris Tomlin: Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year ("Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)"), Artist of the Year, Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song ("How Great Is Our God") Worship Song of the Year ("Jesus Messiah"), Special Event Album of the Year (Passion: God of This City), Praise and Worship Album (Hello Love),

Casting Crowns/Mark Hall: Group of the Year, Artist of the Year, Christmas Album (Peace on Earth), Short Form Music Video ("Slow Fade"), Long Form Music Video ("The Altar and the Door Live"),

Michael W. Smith: Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year ("A New Hallelujah"), Worship Song ("A New Hallelujah"), Special Event Album of the Year (Billy: The Early Years), Praise and Worship Album (A New Hallelujah)

Marvin Sapp: Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year

Leeland (Jack Mooring): Praise and Worship Album (Opposite Way),

Aaron Shust: Special Event Album of the Year (Your Name)

Ed Cash: Producer of the Year, Praise and Worship Album (A New Hallelujah) and (Hello Love), Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song ("How Great Is Our God" with Chris Tomlin), Worship Song of the Year ("Jesus Messiah" with Chris Tomlin), Inspirational Album (Great God Who Saves)

For the first time, fans will become stakeholders in the Dove Awards with an opportunity to vote for the winner of Artist of the Year and New Artist of the Year. Fan voting, which will be conducted through the Gospel Music Channel website (www.gospelmusicchannel.com) and at www.doveawards.com, will open on Feb. 26, the same day online voting opens for GMA members. The cumulative fan vote, which will continue through the live Dove Awards broadcast, will account for one-third of the total vote in those two categories.

While the awards are the purpose of the show, music performances will also share center stage at the Dove Awards, showcasing some of gospel music's hottest and most diverse artists.

For more information on Yamaha artists, please visit ycaa.com.

Yamaha Artist Chris Tomlin Earns Leading Nominations for 2009 Dove Awards
— Winners will be announced and broadcast live on April 23 —