Singing News announces Top 10 nominees for 2013 Fan Awards

Singing News announced the top 10 nominees for the 2013 Fan Awards yesterday afternoon. Among the most notable narratives to emerge this year are the emergence of the Old Paths and, carried over somewhat from last year, Tribute Quartet as new leaders in the genre. Also notable are the new names we see by Songwriter being split into two categories and Horizon Group category being broken into four.

Here’s a 2012/2013 comparison of all the categories (except for radio DJs):

Favorite Artist
2013: Collingsworth Family, Mark Trammell Qt, McKameys
2012: Hoppers, Inspirations, Legacy Five
Both: Booth Brothers, Brian Free & Assurance, Greater Vision, Kingdom Heirs, Ivan Parker, Perrys, Triumphant Quartet

Traditional Quartet
2013: Old Paths
2012: Blackwood Brothers
Both: Brian Free & Assurance, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Gold City, Inspirations, Kingdom Heirs, Legacy Five, Mark Trammell Qt, Tribute Qt, Triumphant Qt

Mixed Group
(no change)
Both: Browns, Collingsworth Family, Crist Family, Diplomats, Hoppers, Isaacs, McKameys, Perrys, Talleys, Taylors

2013: Red Roots, Three Bridges
2012: HisSong, Pfeifers
Both: Booth Brothers, Bowling Family, Greater Vision, Jeff & Sheri Easter, Karen Peck & New River, Nelons, Sisters, Whisnants

2013: Michael Combs
2012: Janet Paschal
Both: Mark Bishop, Adam Crabb, Jason Crabb, TaRanda Greene, Marshall Hall, Ivan Parker, Squire Parsons, Guy Penrod, Charlotte Ritchie

Favorite Male Singer
2013: Eric Bennett, Guy Penrod
2012: Scott Fowler, Mark Trammell
Both: Michael Booth, Ronnie Booth, Jason Crabb, Brian Free, Joseph Habedank, Ivan Parker, Arthur Rice, Gerald Wolfe

Favorite Female Singer
2013: Connie Hopper
2012: Charlotte Ritchie
Both: Lauren Talley Alvey, Peg McKamey Bean, Sheri Easter, Karen Peck Gooch, TaRanda Greene, Kim Hopper, Libbi Perry Stuffle, Debra Talley, Susan Whisnant

Young Artist
2013: Daniel Ashmore (Old Paths), Michaela Brown, Olivia Collingsworth
2012: Adam Brown, Phil Collingsworth, Luke Vaught
Both: Riley Clark, Morgan Easter, Eli Fortner, Trey Ivey, Amber Thompson, Austin Whisnant, Jordan Wilburn

2013: Riley Harrison Clark, Jeremy Peace
2012: Ernie Haase, Jodi Hosterman
Both: Chris Allman, Michael Booth, Brian Free, Gus Gaches, Jerry Martin, David Phelps, Eric Phillips, David Sutton

2013: Nick Trammell
2012: Dustin Sweatman
Both: Ronnie Booth, Gary Casto, Scott Fowler, Joseph Habedank, Clayton Inman, David Ragan, Arthur Rice, Bill Shivers, Gerald Wolfe

2013: Mark Lowry
2012: Steve French
Both: Jim Brady, Jon Epley, Rodney Griffin, Scott Howard, Scott Inman, Derrick Selph, Josh Singletary, Mark Trammell, Bryan Walker

2013: Matt Fouch
2012: Glenn Dustin
Both: Pat Barker, Eric Bennett, Jeff Chapman, Anthony Davis, Mike Holcomb, Jeremy Lile, Ray Dean Reese, Tim Riley, Tracy Stuffle

2013: Kelly Bowling, Shelly Brown, Mary Jane Carter
2012: Jackie Crist, Kim Ruppe Lord, Jessica Trammell
Both: Lauren Talley Alvey, Brooklyn Collingsworth, Connie Fortner, Karen Peck Gooch, Kim Hopper, Amber Thompson, Sonya Isaacs Yeary

Both: Peg McKamey Bean, Kelly Nelon Clark, Courtney Collingsworth, Sheri Easter, Sheryl Farris, Connie Hopper, Susan Peck Jackson, Libbi Perry Stuffle, Debra Talley, Susan Whisnant

2013: Bryan Elliott, Matthew Holt
2012: Dennis Murphy, Stewart Varnado
Both: Kim Collingsworth, Roger Fortner, Trey Ivey, Gordon Mote, Josh Singletary, Jeff Stice, Andy Stringfield, Kevin Williams

Both: Dove Brothers, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Gaither Vocal Band, Inspirations, Isaacs, Jason Crabb Band, Jeff & Sheri Easter, Kingdom Heirs, McKameys, Primitive Quartet

2013: Sheryl Farris
2012: Dianne Wilkinson (but see non-performing songwriter; this category isn’t quite an apples-to-apples comparison)
Both: Mark Bishop, Jim Brady, Gerald Crabb, Phil Cross, Rodney Griffin, Joseph Habedank, Ronny Hinson, Scott Inman, Kyla Rowland

2013 artists represented: Perrys, Hoppers, Mark Trammell Quartet, Brian Free & Assurance, Gaither Vocal Band, Old Paths
2012 artists represented: Legacy Five, Inspirations, Libbi Perry Stuffle, Gold City, Triumphant Quartet, Kingdom Heirs
Both: Booth Brothers, McKameys, Greater Vision, Tribute Quartet

Non-Performing Songwriter
2013: Chris Binion, Lance Carpenter, Ricky Free, Marty Funderburk, Marcia Henry, Barbara Huffman, Joel Lindsey, Mosie Lister, Rebecca Peck, Dianne Wilkinson

New Traditional Quartet
2013: Canton Junction, Carolina Boys, Common Bond Qt, Keepers of the Faith, Old Paths, Paul’s Journey, Providence Qt, Rebels Qt, Sanctuary Qt, Union Street

New Mixed Group
2013: Allen Family, Bontrager Family, Harper Family, Heaven’s Mountain Band, Littles, Mylon Hayes Family, Southern Raised Bluegrass, Sneed Family, Taylors, Williamsons

New Trio
2013: 11th Hour, Barry Rowland & Deliverance, Beyond the Ashes, Declaration, Erwins, Freedom Trio, Hyssongs, Porter Family, Promise Trio, Red Roots

New Soloist
2013: Anita Davis, Bethany Ellis, Randall Garland, Chris Hester, Billy Hodges, Steve Ladd, Michael Lee, Tim Livingston, Abby Paskavan, Angela Primm

Song of the Year
2013 artists represented: Whisnants, Kingdom Heirs
2012 artists represented: Inspirations, Kingsmen, Karen Peck & New River, Gold City (12 nominees in 2012 due to three-way 10th-place tie)
Both: Tribute Quartet, Greater Vision, Perrys, Brian Free & Assurance, Legacy Five, Booth Brothers, McKameys, Triumphant Quartet

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26 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. To me the biggest miss was in the album category, where the Talleys’ Love Won should have been a strong contender for album of the year.

    • I agree. That was a huge miss on the part of the voters.

  2. Glad to see Jeremy Peace getting a vote in the Favorite Tenor category. Also interesting to see Nick Trammell replacing Dustin Sweatman and Matt Fouch replacing Glen Dustin in the voting. So the same groups are still represented, just now the current lead singer for the MTQ and the current bass for Legacy Five. Either way, as with every year, in the main categories I think we will still see the same people/groups win. As has been mentioned many times before on this blog and various other places, there is a reason these awards are called the Singing News FAN awards. 🙂

    • Yep, it would surprise me if the Booth Bros and Triumphant didn’t take home most of the major awards. And that’s OK.

    • While the award winners may be quite predictable, I find analyzing the top 10 and top 5 to be a fascinating exercise. It’s one of the surest ways to see trends indicating who may well be winning a couple of years from now.

    • Yeah, glad to see Jeremy get the nod. I heard him in California 10 years ago with the Relations, and I knew then that he’d be one of the top tenors one day. Glad to see it finally happen.

  3. On a side note, maybe it’s just me, but there seems to me to be too many categories here. Especially with the Horizon Group category being broken into four. Of the New Soloists, the only ones I really know anything about are Steve Ladd and Billy Hodges. And how do the Old Paths fit into the “New” Traditional Quartet Category? Seems to me that they have been around for enough years that they aren’t new anymore. Maybe I don’t understand the criteria.

    • It might be an attempt to direct more attention to emerging artists, which is an admirable cause.

    • Eligibility is based on how many years you’ve been nominated for a particular award. In our genre, artists like the Old Paths quite often gain a regional following for years before breaking through at the national level. That’s a big part of why the overall award used to be called “Horizon.”

      I’ll admit, the new soloist award had me scratching my head, too. Most years, there aren’t many new major debuts from a soloist.

  4. Wow Ive never heard of some of those non-performing songwriters! For example Chris Binion. What’s he written, it’s cool that these people are getting recognized.

    • Chris Binion has been a major writer in our genre for years. He won the Songwriter of the Year (Professional) award in the Absolutely Gospel Music Awards back in 2007, I believe it was.

    • Chris Binion is a great songwriter whose credits include “The Answer Is Christ” (Talleys), “God Is Faithful” (Karen Peck and New River), “King Jesus is Coming” and “God’ Bigger Than That” (Whisnants), “My Past Has Passed” and “Justified” (Kingsmen), and many more. If you go to, you can get acquainted with his music.

    • Here’s a sampling of songs I like that Binion has had a part in writing: Every Question Will Be Answered, The Blood and Its Power, I Don’t Wanna Go Back, I Want You to Know, Show Me the Cross, King Jesus Is Coming. He’s done quite a lot, and for lots of different artists.

    • Thanks all!

    • Alleluia to the Lamb by the Nelons back in the 80s. One of the best songs ever.

  5. Bethany Ellis…Is AWESOME!!!!! Seriously go check her out. I’ve got a couple videos of he stuff on my page and theres a lot more online.

  6. As awesome as Eric Bennett is, I just don’t see how Pat Barker has yet to win the Favorite Bass award.

    • It’s actually quite simple: It’s a fan-voted award. It takes the fans several years to decide they like someone.

      • Only in Southern Gospel. Secular music has new favorites quite often.

      • Some genres. Other genres are more stable.

      • Very true. If I have a favorite singer/group who has been been my favorite for years, it’s probably going to take me quite some time to change my opinion when it comes to voting for somebody else, even if the “new kid on the block” is quote unquote better.

  7. Strange to see the Hoppers and L5 fall from the Top 10 artists. I get that L5 dropped as personnel changes can kill fan enthusiasm, but the Hoppers have been stable and producing some great albums. Didn’t expect to see the McKameys knock them off.

    My big problem with the industry is that it comes down to which group/artist has the most Singing News subcribers as fans. Jason Crabb could probably whoop every artist on the above list, but how many of those fans are subscribers? And so he loses to Ivan every year, which truly makes me wonder at the validity of this whole award show.

    And I’d love to see the real best album and real best song win instead of the song and album of the current fan favorite winning despite the quality of the product. There’s been some #1 albums that have been real stinkers. But then again, I’m a middle-aged, part-time, gone-nowhere singer from the West … so what do I know.

    • If you really boil it down, all the Singing News Fan Awards represent are the favorites of the subscribers of the Singing News. No more, no less. It may be unfair to project those favorites onto a larger population. But in this genre, this set of awards probably covers a larger swath of fans than any other.

      So maybe we shouldn’t say Ivan Parker is southern gospel fans’ favorite soloist. Really, he’s Singing News subscribers’ favorite soloist. But it’s still fun and interesting.

      I guess my point is…take these awards for what the are, and nothing more. They’re not something to get too concerned about.

      • That’s exactly how I see it. Good way of putting it.

  8. I would like to add to the point that the awards are voted on by Singing News subscribers. Now considering, that if 12 people vote for Artist of the year, it does not mean that the winner gets ALL the votes. Artist A-3 votes, Artist B-3 votes, Artist C-6 votes. Point is, the winner has only received a MAJORITY of votes. Not ALL the votes.

    Bottom line is The Booth Brothers were only the Artist of year (last year) for the majority of Singing News subscribers that voted for the awards. NOT the favorite artist of the all Singing News subscribers,much less, the entire field. Also SN subscribers have a very wide spectrum of support for SG groups. Though an individual will vote for one artist they will most certainly support many others with attendance, product purchases, prayers and so on.

    We are VERY grateful for the awards but we and followers of this music must keep it all in perspective. Nothing wrong with celebrating an award but I just fear some are putting too much value in them.

    Now before someone say, easy for you to say, we went a long time without receiving awards and the day will also come when we will again, be where we do not receive awards again…… 🙂

    Michael Booth

    • I’ve always put value into the awards, and maybe too much. We used to show up at NQC on Thursday so we could catch the awards and then the rest of the week’s lineup. I remember being excited as I listened over my dad’s celphone when GV won favorite trio for the first time. I was there, and one of a handful of fans standing and hollaring when L5 won group of the year for the first time in 2004. And I was there in 2006 when “He Saw It All” won song of the year. I’m always excited to hear the winners every year.

      And just like being excited for “my” team when we win, I’m ticked when “my” team doesn’t win. It’s like lumping SG with sports. I get excited the same way, and I think that’s the idea for the awards. I guess my beef is when an album or song wins when there’s clearly something better. That’s where I wish we were more like the Dove’s or the Grammy’s – where something new and/or innovative and/or fantastic wins each year.