2010 Singing News Fan Awards: The Results
This year, the Singing News Fan Awards was held at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for the first time; as another first, it was also streamed online via UStream. The UStream statistics showed an average of about 850 watching throughout the show, with a peak of 1150.
There were few surprises in this year’s Fan Awards; in most cases, last year’s winner and/or the expected front-runner won. A complete list of winners is here.
As expected, veteran singer Tony Greene’s relatively sudden passing Tuesday afternoon provided several of the evening’s most emotional moments. Most notably was the quiet but striking statement of faith offered by Tony’s niece Karlye Hopper as she accepted the Favorite Female vocalist award on behalf of her mother, Kim Hopper. She closed by saying she wanted to “thank our Lord for everything He gives us . . . and everything he takes away.”
Little Jan Buckner Goff and Connie Hopper also provided special moments in their Hall of Fame Acceptance speeches. Goff told how she had become an orphan as a child, living in ten different places in the two years after her mother’s passing. She expressed what an honor it was to go, literally, “from an orphanage to the SGMA hall of fame, what an honor.”
Connie Hopper shared how inadequate she felt to be receiving awards and honors, and standing on that stage, expressing how often she felt that she should be in the audience as other, more talented individuals performed and received the honors. She said it was an honor to be in the SGMA Hall of Fame, though she felt unworthy of it, and added: “Hebrews Chapter 11 talks about Heaven’s Hall of Fame – that’s the one I strive for.”
The oddest moment of the night was provided by a third Hopper, Claude: In an apparent Fan Awards reference, Hopper, who is a National Quartet Convention board member, began his acceptance speech for the Hoppers’ Mixed Group award by stating that this would be his last chance to “do this” until next September, in Louisville at the National Quartet Convention.
“If You Knew Him,” co-written by Joseph Habedank and Rodney Griffin and performed by the Perrys, was both the Song of the Year and the de facto song of the night. Based on the low-resolution video/audio feed, it was the song that appeared to get the strongest response (and a standing ovation) when it was performed, and there was also a standing ovation when it was named song of the year. This win, the Perrys’ first for Song of the Year, is sure to cement the song as a signature song both for the group and for its co-author and featured vocalist, Joseph Habedank.