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Pop / Rock 22/11/2005

Guryel Ali,, Former-Muslim & Australian Idol Star Receives Gospel Awards

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(AUSTRALIAN GOSPEL MUSIC ASSOCIATION) - Guryel Ali, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity received the coveted Yamaha Best Gospel Song Gold Award at the Australian Gospel Music Awards presented in Canberra overnight. The London-born Australian citizen commented upon receiving the award "My life has been good to me and shows what can be done. I am blessed."

Amongst some 26 awards for best music video and new artist, Ali was clearly a crowd favourite with his infective reggae based tune called "Every Little Thing"

Best New Artist was awarded to Australian Idol vocal coach, Erana Clark who released her debut CD "Erana" to industry acclaim and sales to match. The Best New Artist award is based on the highest sales and radio airplay over the preceding 12 months. Originally from New Zealand, Erana is active in training numerous stars around the world, including Sun from Singapore, Guy Sebastian and virtually all Australian Idols finalists.

As expected, Best Independent Gospel Artist Award went to Hillsong Church (second year in a row) due to their massive recording sales worldwide.

The lifetime achievement Yamaha Golden Gospel Award went to the Queensland trio "Family" who released some 20 albums during the 1970s-80s. Signed to M7 records, Family still holds the record for selling out the Sydney Entertainment Centre. Previous Yamaha Golden Gospel Award winners have included Jimmy Little, Sister Janet Mead and Francine Bell.

Other winners included Best Gospel Music Video - "Where I Belong" by Sydney band Revive, Outstanding Gospel Music Award for "Arise" by Karina Difabio (WA) and Bob Ricketts (QLD) for Best Gospel Song Lyrics for the Country Gospel classic "Angel of The Skies".

The Australian Gospel Music Awards are presented every November in Canberra by the Australian Gospel Music Association. The awards cover industry performance (sales/airplay), songwriting, genre and lifetime achievement and are the highpoint of recognition within the Australian Christian music industry.

Commenting on the Award results, Australian Gospel Music Association president, Kelvin Fahey, said "The awards have shown tremendous diversity this year, with country Gospel making inroads as have the non-Anglo-Saxon performers. With total sales accounting for almost 6 percent of the Australian music industry and growing, the Christian music sector is coming of age."

All Australian Gospel Music Award 2005 winners are listed on the website of the Australian Gospel Music Association at

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