The story lines are boundless when you gather together a who’s who of gospel music and faith based entertainment into one room for a one night only celebration. But when the three gentlemen who have been entrusted with facilitating the proceedings have a combined four GRAMMY’s® and five Dove Awards (with an additional slew of Stellar, Billboard Music, and K-LOVE awards), that is a great place to start.
Gospel music stalwart Tye Tribbett can barely contain his excitement…and he’s co-hosting. “I love for KING & COUNTRY!” Launching his professional career some eleven years before his co-hosts, Tribbett was leading choirs and releasing albums while his Australian cohorts were mere lads in school.
“To see their stage…it’s cluttered with instruments,” says an almost-giggly Tribbett as he recalls his “garage band” days growing up with his brother in New Jersey. “How they seamlessly go from instrument to instrument while still maintaining their musicianship—I’m like, ‘Oh, my goodness, what are they going to play next? Why is that gong over there? Who’s going to hit that bongo?”
The respect goes hand in hand. While Tribbett admittedly (still) dreams of the opportunity to run around the stage and play or hit every item of musical gear available, Joel and Luke Smallbone are hosting rookies (Tribbett is a prior Stellar Awards host). “We thought it was pretty bold [of the Gospel Music Association] to ask, so that alone was the initial attraction in wanting to do it,” says Luke. “I think any time you’re presented a challenge, there’s something really interesting about that.”
Two days prior to the Dove Awards, Tribbett will launch Joyful Noise on BET, which will take over for the 36-year staple Bobby Jones Gospel show; Luke is the lead actor in the feature motion picture Priceless, which premieres in theatres three days after the Dove Awards—all culminating into what could provide for a very memorable on-stage atmosphere this year at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena. The taped live show will broadcast worldwide on TBN, October 16, 2016.
Boosting the theme of this year’s show, Love. Amplified., the hosting contingency is a microcosm of diversity in unity: Aussie-Jersey, white-black, gospel-rock ‘n roll… Being surrounded by events like the Dove Awards and Christian music most of his life, Luke Smallbone has come to realize, “We need great bluegrass music. We need great gospel music. We need great jazz, country…whatever. We need all of those things. All of us have a part to play.”
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