Gospel singer TobyMac scooped the big prize at the 2013 Dove Awards on Tuesday when he was named artist of the year for a second time.
The star, who has been nominated for the prestigious award seven times and won it in 2007, saw off competition from Chris Tomlin, Francesca Battistelli, Lecrae and Tamela Mann to earn the accolade at the Christian music ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee.
The singer has been hailed as one of the best-known Christian rappers and found fame after becoming only the third Christian artist to have a number one debut on Billboard’s Top 200 chart with his album Eye On It in 2012.
He says, “I’ve always come from hip-hop roots albeit I’m a pop artist… I’ve always thought, man, if you’re talking about hope, if you’re talking about faith, you can’t limit it to one style of music… Gospel hip-hop has always existed, it just has never had the platform it’s finally getting.”
Other top winners include singer-songwriter Matt Redman, who scooped six trophies, including songwriter of the year and song of the year for 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord), and Ed Cash, who was named producer of the year.