Doves a New Spotlight for West Michigan Artist

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Malcolm S perf at 2017 Doves w HollynSteve Malcolm (center) performs at the Oct. 17 Dove Awards in Nashville Grand Rapids native and hip-hop/rap artist Steven Malcolm didn't win any of the three Gospel Music Association Dove Awards for which he was nominated.

But the experience of the Oct. 17 award ceremonies and surrounding activity left a strong impression.

"Last night was like a dream," he posted to Facebook followers the day after the Dove festivities.

"This music career is so REAL, yet still surreal," said the Wyoming Park High School alumnus.

Malcolm's self-titled debut album was nominated for a Dove Award as was one of its songs, "Party in the Hills."

He performed the song with guest vocalist Hollyn at the ceremonies in Allen Arena at Lipscomb University in Nashville.

He was also nominated for New Artist of the Year, but that Dove was taken home by singer-songwriter Zach Williams ("Chainbreaker").

Before the show, Malcolm and fiancé Teaira Simpson were able to join fellow nominees and other celebrities walking the "red carpet" in front of the media on the way into the arena.

The Dove ceremonies will be re-broadcast at midnight Sat. Nov. 11 on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).


Before he was signed by his record label (4 AGAINST 5, an imprint of Word Records), Malcolm was a regular worship leader at the Urban Edge Fellowship, a "hip-hop" church on Grand Rapids' southwest side. But since his self-titled album was released in January, he's had to spend much of his time in Nashville or out on concert tours.

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One of those was the Winter Jam tour which stopped at Van Andel Arena last winter. It provided Malcolm, 26, fulfillment of a lifelong dream to perform on the big stage in his hometown.

"He's gone a lot but we always look forward to him coming home," said his mother Kimberly Ellin, who was not able to attend the Dove Award ceremonies.
Malcolm has issued a new light-hearted video for a song on his album. It's called "Cereal," and features guest Sadie Robertson with whom he is currently on tour (watch the video online)


Noteworthy winners of the 2017 Doves include the inspirational-pop band MercyMe. The band won what's considered the top overall honor, Artist of the Year. Lead singer Bart Millard was named Songwriter of the Year and the bands' latest album ("Lifer") won as the year's top pop/contemporary release.

NeedToBreathe (coming to 20 Monroe Live for a Nov. 11 concert) won two awards in the rock/contemporary categories for "Hard Love."

Singer CeCe Winans is the new Gospel Artist of the Year and her album "Let Them Fall In Love" also won an award. The Gaither Vocal Band won multiple awards in Southern gospel categories.

A note for country music fans: Reba McEntrie won her first ever Dove Award for her album "Sing It Now: Songs of Faith and Hope." Like many of the Dove-winning artists, McEntire performed during the ceremonies.

The Hillsong Worship ensemble performed its multiple Dove-winning worship song, "What A Beautiful Name" and "The Shack" was named the year's top inspirational film.

Worship music artist Kari Jobe was one of the co-hosts of the awards ceremonies. She is coming to Grand Rapids for a concert Nov. 12 at 20 Monroe Live.

(See the entire list of winners at


In addition to Malcolm, several of the artists at the Dove Awards have Michigan connections.

Rap-hip/hopper NF (Nate Feuerstein, originally from Gladwin, Mich.) won a Dove for his song "Oh Lord," from his album "Therapy Session."

Incredibly, NF's brand new album "Perception" exploded out of the gate debuting at No. 1 in sales of all album categories in mid October. (His tour is coming to 20 Monroe Live in Grand Rapids on Feb. 5).

Meanwhile, producer of several of NF's albums and a singer-songwriter in his own right – Tommee Profitt – was nominated for a Dove as Producer of the Year. Profitt moved to Nashville from West Michigan last summer. He's worked with Christian artists such as Britt Nicole, Nichole Nordeman and Colton Dixon. (The Dove producer category was won by Bernie Herms).
Author Information
Terry DeBoer
Terry is journalist who writes for newspapers, magazines, newsletters and websites. His most frequented “beat” is arts and entertainment. He is married with two children and lives in Grand Rapids.

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