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23 April 2010

With winners announced last night for the 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards, Casting Crowns nabbed the evening’s highest honor, Artist of the Year. After scoring five consecutive Group of the Year titles from the Gospel Music Association, this top-selling act in Christian music since 2007 receives top recognition for the first time in this fan-voted category.

“To me, it’s extra special because the fans were voting,” Casting Crowns lead singer and songwriter Mark Hall reported the Associated Press. “It really wasn’t anywhere on our radar.”

Performing its ninth smash No. 1 radio hit, and title track from the band’s latest project, “Until the Whole World Hears,” on the award show, Casting Crowns was joined on stage and in the aisles of the Grand Ole Opry House by a 200-voice children’s choir from New Hope Academy in Franklin, Tenn. By the end of the song, the packed audience was singing the song’s powerful gospel message in unison. The televised show will air nationwide on gmc Sunday, April 25, from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. EST.

Casting Crowns’ fourth album, Until the Whole World Hears, certified RIAA Gold in four weeks, spanning another chart-topping hit for the platinum-selling supergroup. The project’s title track was also nominated for Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year. Selling 167,000 first-week copies, the historical debut of Until The Whole World Hears set a sales record for the group as the highest debuting Christian Music artist in SoundScan history (week ending 11/22/09).

Additionally, Hall received a Dove for his participation on Glory Revealed II: The Word of God In Worship, winner in the Special Event Album of the Year category.

The RIAA Gold certification of Until The Whole World Hears adds a third Gold album to the band’s collection. To date, all of the Atlanta-based band’s projects are RIAA certified, with a monster tally of two RIAA Platinum Albums, two RIAA Platinum DVDs, now three RIAA Gold Albums and a Gold DVD, further establishing its unprecedented six-year career.

The band is currently headlining its highly-successful “Until The Whole World Hears” Tour with Tenth Avenue North, who won Song of the Year last night for “By Your Side.” The powerhouse tour rounds out the final segment of shows in April and May. The spring leg of the “Until The Whole World Hears” Tour follows a well-received, 41-city run of fall dates on which Casting Crowns played multiple sell-out performances.

About Casting Crowns:

Christian music’s GRAMMY, AMA and five-time Dove Award-winning Group of the Year Casting Crowns is headed by frontman/principal songwriter Mark Hall. The platinum-selling band’s recent fourth album, Until The Whole World Hears, continues to perform in the top of the sales charts since its Nov. 17 release. The album’s title track marks a ninth career No.1 radio single.

Despite an unprecedented six-year career with Casting Crowns, the seven band members remain active in student ministry in the Atlanta area and tour part-time around their local church duties. Serving his 18th year in youth ministry, Hall is the student pastor at Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in Atlanta. As a remarkable occasion, Casting Crowns performed for a second time in North Korea in April 2009, in partnership with Global Resource Services, as the band continues to forge invaluable relationships with the people in the D.P.R.K.

For more information, visit www.providentpress.com, or www.castingcrowns.com. Follow the band on Mark Hall’s Twitter at: http://twitter.com/markhallCC. Millions of fans can now stream the band’s entire catalog of music and video from the fan-centric web site, www.crownsfans.com.

About the 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards:

The GMA Dove Awards is Christian/Gospel music’s biggest night of the year, where top artists from every style of gospel music come together for a night of music and celebration as the GMA bestows the industry's highest honor -- the Dove Award. Please visit gospelmusic.org for more information.

The 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards will be televised nationwide on gmc (http://www.gmclife.com), Sunday, April 25, 2010 from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. EST. While the awards are the purpose of the show, music performances will definitely share center stage at the GMA Dove Awards, showcasing some of gospel music’s hottest and most diverse artists. Dove Awards will be handed out in 43 categories. Dove Awards nominations go to recordings released during the eligibility year November 1, 2008 through October 31, 2009 and voted on by the members of the GMA. The complete list of winners is available at both www.gospelmusic.org and www.doveawards.com

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