Singing News Fan Awards announced: Live Blog
The Singing News Fan Awards are being presented this afternoon in Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
- Favorite Musician: Jeff Stice. No surprises there!
- Favorite Young Artist: Courtney Collingsworth. Brooklyn took the award home last year; this year, it was her equally talented sister’s turn. Unlike last year, when the family was not present and booking agent Michael Davis had to step forward to accept on Brooklyn’s behalf, Courtney was present in person to accept. Best tweet: Joseph Habedank’s “The 2011 Favorite Young Artist of the year is… Courtney Collingsworth. She should join the Booth Brothers. CONGRATS!”
- Favorite Tenor: Michael Booth. No surprises there! Classic Michael: “You should at least be high enough to sing lead for Brian Free & Assurance to hold this trophy!”
- Horizon Group: Ball Brothers. It’s well-deserved. They have taken the slow and steady course to get here, and their patience and persistence has paid off.
- Favorite Baritone: Jim Brady. No surprises there!
- Favorite Soprano: Kim Hopper. No surprises there! She dedicated it to her little brother, Tony Greene, who passed away a year ago today: “This is for you … I want you to take it and lay it at the feet of Jesus.” Emotional moment for sure!
- Horizon Individual: Courtney Collingsworth. This is the first time any individual has won Horizon Individual and Favorite Young Artist in the same year. Wow! Courtney’s acceptance speeches must be the production team’s dream: Heartfelt, but also to the point.
- Favorite Male Singer: Ronnie Booth. No surprises there! He told a story of an eight-year-old boy who was dying of cancer; one of the final things he told his father was, “Daddy, tell Mr. Ronnie and Mr. Jim and Mr. Michael to look for me at Jesus’ feet.” Ronnie said, “That’s why we do what we do.” Another emotional moment!
- Favorite Bass: Eric Bennett. No surprises there!
- Favorite Lead Singer: Ronnie Booth. No surprises there!
- Favorite Alto: Libbi Perry Stuffle. She’s won four times in the last decade, as has Sheri Easter. Debra Talley has won twice. So it’s not a huge surprise, but was slightly less a lock than some of the other categories.
- Favorite Mixed Group: Hoppers. No surprises there!
- Favorite Female Singer: Kim Hopper. No surprises there!
- Favorite Traditional Quartet: Triumphant Quartet. No surprises there!
- Favorite Soloist: Ivan Parker. No surprises there!
- Templeton-Norcoss Award: Peg McKamey Bean. Well-deserved!
- Favorite Trio: Booth Brothers. No surprises there!
- Favorite Band: Gaither Band. This is intriguing; evidently the fans voted for the band with whom they connected on the personality level. Gaither’s guitarist (Kevin Williams) and pianist (Gordon Mote) are both technically superb musicians. But, in all likelihood, fans voted for them because they like the way Gaither works them into his comedy routines.
- Favorite Songwriter: Rodney Griffin. No surprises there!
- Favorite Song: “Love Came Calling,” Triumphant Quartet. Slight surprise; some didn’t expect them to win, since they had two songs up.
- Favorite Album: Love Came Calling, Triumphant Quartet. Another slight surprise.
- Favorite Artist: Booth Brothers. No surprises there!
- This is Kim Hopper’s fifteenth consecutive favorite soprano win. This brings her into a tie with Roger Bennett for most wins at a position.
- As noted above, this year is the first year an artist won both Horizon Individual and Young Artist.
Now I thought I was being relatively concise in my coverage, but Jared Stuffle has me beaten fair and square. He managed to list (virtually) all the winners in five words: “Awards are over…nothing different.”