Singer Chris Tomlin is leading the nominations at this year's (06) Dove Awards, with nine nods at the forthcoming Christian music ceremony.

Tomlin has been nominated for Artist Of The Year and Male Vocalist Of Year at the Gospel Music Association's annual awards, which will take place at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, on 5 April (06).

Following close behind, bands Relient K and the David Crowder Band and singers Natalie Grant and Joy Williams have six nods each.

Meanwhile, Switchfoot, Jeremy Camp, Casting Crowns, Crabb Family, Barlowgirl, Third Day and Israel Houghton are up in five categories each.

Last year's (05) American Idol winner Carrie Underwood has received a Dove nomination for her song Jesus Takes The Wheel.