The Singing News Fan Awards were held Wednesday afternoon at the National Quartet Convention. It was part of the live stream included in the webcast, but I was at work. I did try to listen to some of it, but only caught bits and pieces.
I have mixed feelings about the fan awards each year. It's nice to see consistency, but at the same time sometimes it's very predictable. That being said, there were a few surprises this year or at least some changes.
We knew there would be a change with baritone because Jim Brady was in a new category this year. I thought it would be one of two people - Scott Inman or Mark Trammell - and I remember having trouble deciding myself between the two. Mark has to be the most consistent in the business and has been the best in the industry for decades now, so I was thrilled to see him win it! I did get to hear his speech! Very touching, all glory to God!
It was good to see Trey Ivey win for young artist. Honestly, not because he looks it, but because of what all he's accomplished with his arrangements and producing I thought he might have aged out of the category already. Well deserved!
Connie Hopper winning favorite alto was a switch, but with the year the Hoppers have had, it's no surprise. Fans definitely know how to show their support to artists who need encouragement. It was a beautiful moment and so sweet that Karlye and Claude were the ones who announced it!
The pairings of the presenters was interesting. It seemed to be a younger artist and, well, a more established artist. Not sure how they paired who went with who there except for the pairing of Karlye and Claude, the others seemed a bit random. In the past, it's been siblings or parent/child, so they seemed less random.
I think it's very ironic that Triumphant Quartet won best album with a project that is full of praise and worship songs. I think Eric even mentioned that as he accepted it. I have to say it was one of my favorite projects from last year, and Triumphant is one of the top groups in the industry, so overall it's no huge surprise. However, it is very ironic!
I'll say no matter how many times an artist wins, it's cool to see how they never take it for granted. I feel like speeches get more humble with the number of times in some cases. I did get to hear part of Rodney's speech where he shared his demo tape with Kirk Talley at a concert. It was neat hearing how now if aspiring songwriters so that to him, he takes time to listen.
For the first time, the awards were split into two different events. All the radio DJs and new categories were awarded in a ceremony on Tuesday. The new categories weren't big surprises to me with the Jim Brady Trio winning trio and Pat Barker winning soloist. Both were well deserved as they have branched out into new ministries. Also, I was glad to see the Erwins recognized!
Here's a full list of the winners -
Favorite Small Market DJ - John Whisnant
Favorite New Soloist - Pat Barker
Favorite Medium Market DJ - Lottie Squires
Favorite New Trio - Jim Brady Trio
Favorite Large Market DJ - Daniel Britt
Favorite New Mixed Group - The Erwins
Favorite New Traditional Quartet - The Carolina Boys and Freedom Quartet (tie)
Favorite Bass - Eric Bennett
Favorite Young Artist - Trey Ivey
Favorite Soloist - Ivan Parker
Favorite Male Singer - Ronnie Booth
Favorite Baritone - Mark Trammell
Favorite Alto - Connie Hopper
Favorite Lead - Ronnie Booth
Favorite Band - Kingdom Heirs Band
Favorite Tenor - Michael Booth
Favorite Mixed Group - Collingsworth Family
Favorite Trio - Booth Brothers
Favorite Musician - Kim Collingsworth
Favorite Female Singer - Kim Hopper
Favorite Soprano Singer - Kim Hopper
Favorite Non-performing Songwriter - Dianne Wilkinson
Favorite Performing Songwriter - Rodney Griffin
Favorite Male Quartet - Triumphant Quartet
Favorite Album - Awesome God by Triumphant Quartet
Favorite Song - "For All He's Done" - Greater Vision
Favorite Artist - Booth Brothers