The Dove Awards were founded in 1969 by the Gospel Music Association, the purpose being to recognize accomplishment in the genre of Gospel/Christian music.
The original ceremony in 1969 saw awards in 11 categories while today's list has broadened to include 42 categories.
Gospel/Christian music crosses many styles including (but
not limited to) rock, pop, contemporary, southern gospel, country, urban, bluegrass, and praise/worship.
Some artists have stayed within the area of Gospel/Christian music while others have become more mainstream. A few of the artists who have stayed within the genre are Sandi Patty, Bill Gaither, and Casting Crowns. Others winners who have had substantial careers outside the genre include The Oak Ridge Boys, Amy Grant, and Aretha Franklin.
The Dove Award program for the year 2008 will be held April 23, 2009, the venue being the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tn. The program will be shown live on the Gospel Music Channel.