Thoughts on the Fan Awards Top 10

Let’s start with the big stuff. Triumphant Quartet walked away with the most nominations (seven). That’s an impressive accomplishment, but they are less likely to ace the top 5 ballot because two of their nominations (for Eric Bennett and David Sutton) are in the highly competitive Male Singer category. Conventional wisdom would hold that if Kingdom Heirs fans will split their votes between the two, this could keep both out of the top 5 in this category. Nonetheless, it’s still an impressive accomplishment for a group this new to walk away with the most first-round nominations.

The Perrys are still undeniably one of the hottest acts around, picking up six nominations and getting a nomination in virtually every category in which they were eligible. I think the only reason they didn’t tie with Triumphant Quartet for seven is that Perrys fans split their votes in the Male Singer category between Joseph Habedank and Tracy Stuffle. Tracy Stuffle has been the group’s usual nominee in this category, I think, but Joseph Habedank is wowing audiences with his voice and charisma, and is moving into the spot where he’ll be a serious contender in this spot if he stays with the group for a few more years.

Honorable mention goes to Brian Free & Assurance, who also received six nominations, in virtually the same categories as the Perrys did (with the exception of Male for Female vocalist).

Kudos to the Ball Brothers, nominees for Horizon Group. My initial feeling, roughly six months out, is that this award is going to be between the Ball Brothers and the Tribute Quartet. I like Tribute, but all but one of that group’s members picked up a Horizon Award last year as Monument Quartet. It’s virtually the same group under a new name, so I’ll almost definitely go with the Ball Brothers all the way in this category.

The Big News in the musician category was that Kim Collingsworth, pianist for the Collingsworth family, picked up a nomination this year. If a woman has ever won this award, it’s been decades. But obviously, she was nominated not because she was a woman, but because she is one of the best pianists out there. And that’s why I’m hoping she makes it to the final round.

The Mark Trammell Trio must have an extraordinarily strong fan base, because the “Once Upon a Cross” song and album got top-10 nominations before most fans would have heard either. I’ve heard the song (in live concert), but not the album yet. (The album will probably be the next CD I purchase, though, now that it is available as of last week.)

In the category of surprisingly weak showings we find Gold City, the Kingsmen, and the Palmetto State Quartet, all of whom got only one nomination each. They’ve all seen better years, but each group has been hurt by the departure of their most popular members. In the cases of Gold City and Palmetto State Quartet, we can add “recent departure.”


By the numbers, the top nominees were:

  • 7: Triumphant (Male, Male, Songwriter, Triumphant Quartet, Song, Album, Musician, Group)
  • 6: Perrys (Female, Young Artist, Song, Horizon Individual, Album, Musician, Group)
  • 6: Brian Free & Assurance (Male, Young Artist, Song, Horizon Individual, Musician, Group)
  • 5: Greater Vision (Male, Songwriter, Song, Album, Group)
  • 5: Legacy Five (Male, Song, Album, Musician, Group)
  • 4: McKameys (Female, Young Artist, Song, Musician)
  • 4: Inspirations (Song, Album, Musician, Group)
  • 4: Mark Trammell Trio (Young Artist, Song, Horizon Individual, Album)
  • 4: EHSS (Male, Album, Musician, Group)
  • 3: Hoppers (Female, Female, Group)
  • 3: Talley Trio (Female, Female, Young Artist)
  • 3: Crabb Family (Male, Young Artist, Musician)
  • 3: Kingdom Heirs (Song, Album, Musician)
  • 2: Mark Bishop (Male, Songwriter)
  • 2: KP& NR (Female, Young Artist)
  • 2: Booth Brothers (Songwriter, Group)
  • 2: Young Harmony (Horizon Individual, Horizon Group)

Groups and individuals with only one nomination:

  • 1: Collingsworth (Musician)
  • 1: Ball Brothers (Horizon Group)
  • 1: Gaither Vocal Band (Song)
  • 1: Gold City (Album)
  • 1: Kingsmen (Horizon Individual)
  • 1: Palmetto State (Horizon Individual)
  • 1: Jeff & Sheri Easter (Female)
  • 1: Greenes (Female)
  • 1: Whisnanats (Female)
  • 1: Tribute Quartet (Horizon Individual, Horizon Group)
  • 1: Dixie Melody Boys (Horizon Individual)
  • 1: Ivan Parker (Male)
  • 1: JBIF (Young Artist)
  • 1: TK & McRae (Young Artist)
  • 1: Mercy’s Mark (Horizon Individual)
  • 1: Poet Voices (Songwriter)
  • 1: Austins Bridge (Horizon Group)
  • 1: Browns (Horizon Group)
  • 1: Crist Family (Horizon Group)
  • 1: Crystal River (Horizon Group)
  • 1: Dills (Horizon Group)
  • 1: Paid In Full (Horizon Group)
  • 1: Soul’d Out (Horizon Group)
  • 1: Mike Bowling Group (Horizon Group)
  • 1: Gerald Crabb (Songwriter)
  • 1: Sheryl Farris (Songwriter)
  • 1: Ronny Hinson (Songwriter)
  • 1: Kyla Rowland (Songwriter)
  • 1: Dianne Wilkinson (Songwriter)
  • 1: Sharron Kay King (Horizon Individual)

I don’t do this every year or every round, but I think I’ll also guess which nominees will make the top 5. But that’s another post.

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4 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Thanks for counting all of these up so we don’t have to!! I think it will be interesting to see how the numbers change when the voice part nominations are added in.

  2. you forgot one with triumphant that’s “young artist” so that would be “8”

  3. Hey Daniel, just a correction observation: the Monument quartet did not pick up the Horizon Group award last year. The Mike Lefevre Qt did. Nice blog, btw.

  4. Thanks, Ty! At some point, someone reminded me that, but I forget to edit this particular post. Sorry!