New Artist of the Year is always one of the most significant awards of the evening. More times than not, a New Artist win indicates the next buzz-worthy act and is an accolade that has propelled the careers of many well-known artists. Case in point? Through the years, this award has been given to artists as diverse as Take 6, Point of Grace, Jars of Clay, Jaci Velasquez and Avalon. Recent years have seen The Afters, Brandon Heath and Tenth Avenue North nab the award. Last year, Sidewalk Prophets carried home the trophy. So who will leave with the New Artist bird tomorrow night? We have our opinions… There’s still time to make your opinion heard. This is one of two categories open to fans. So head on over to www.watchgmctv.com/fanvote and vote for your favorite new artist!

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR NOMINEES

  • Audrey Assad
  • Chris August
  • forever JONES
  • John Mark McMillan
  • No Other Name
  • Kerrie Roberts
  • Kristian Stanfill

Audrey AssadSHOULD WIN: AUDREY ASSAD

Audrey is one of the most poetic, thoughtful female singer/songwriters to come along since Nicole Nordeman. She writes in the vein of cherished female counterparts like Nordeman, Sara Groves, Jill Phillips and Brooke Fraser. Her lyrics are eloquent, and her lilting voice envelops the listener in sunny warmth. Above all, her smart debut, The House You’re Building (Sparrow), was a superb introduction to a timeless artist who has a long career ahead of her. Unfortunately, Assad stayed a bit under the radar this year. While everyone from Jars of Clay to Natalie Grant and Chris Tomlin raved about her, some of the other nominees experienced far more commercial success, which will put this year’s New Artist Dove just out of reach for Assad.

Chris AugustWILL WIN: CHRIS AUGUST

“Starry Night” (also nominated for Song of the Year) details a turning point in the life of newcomer Chris August. It also tells our story. August’s debut, No Far Away (Fervent), is filled with other chapters of the human condition and the bigger story God is authoring. Honestly, August was one of the biggest surprises of the year. He’s poised to run in the big leagues with fellow pop singer/songwriters Brandon Heath, Matthew West and Jeremy Camp. He’ll win the New Artist Dove by a landslide.

Tooth & Nail RecordsWHO’S MISSING: TOOTH & NAIL ARTISTS
For fans of harder rock, it comes as no surprise that Tooth & Nail Records isn’t represented in the list of New Artist nominees. In fact, they aren’t really represented in any of the major categories. Although Tooth & Nail prides itself on being an indie, under-the-radar label, they introduce more new artists each year than all the major labels combined. If nothing else, they should be recognized for continuing to seek out and champion new artists and for consistently being a pioneer in signing hard rock acts.

You can check out a full list of nominees for the 42nd Annual GMA Dove Awards here.

Artist of the Year Predictions

Song of the Year Predictions

Male Vocalist of the Year Predictions

Female Vocalist of the Year Predictions

Group of the Year Predictions

Who do you think will win the Dove for New Artist of the Year? Who do you think should have been nominated who wasn’t? Leave your comments below.