The 43rd Annual GMA Dove Awards will return to the historic Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA for the second year in a row to host the 2012 event. Mitchell Solarek, chairman of the board of The Gospel Music Association (GMA), made the announcement at a Dove Awards kickoff reception hosted by CCM Magazine held earlier this week in Nashville.

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The GMA Dove Awards is Gospel music’s biggest night of the year, featuring top artists from the many different genres of Gospel and Christian music. The event will be an evening of music and celebration held at the Fox Theatre on Thursday, April 19, 2012, and will be televised nationally on GMC ( on Sunday, April 22, 2012.

Mitchell Solarek, speaking to record label executives, recording artists and other industry VIPs, said, “Following last year’s outstanding event, we are excited to return to the Fox Theatre for another diverse program showcasing the most talented group of artists from within the Gospel and Contemporary Christian music genres.”

The decision last year to move the industry event to Atlanta marked the first time ever the GMA Dove Awards had been held outside of Nashville in more than four decades. The sold-out show at the Fox Theatre also garnered the highest ratings for the event to date on GMC, with more than 1.5 million viewers tuning in to watch Sherri Shepherd host the broadcast and to see an array of leading artists perform and take home honors at the annual awards show — including Female Vocalist of the Year Francesca Battistelli, Male Vocalist of the Year Chris August, and stars such as Third Day, Casting Crowns, Natalie Grant, Chris Tomlin, Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp and Kenny Rogers.

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