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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 September, 2004, 08:28 GMT 09:28 UK
Rap record upsets gospel groups
Kanye West
Kanye West's album has sold more than two million copies
Gospel groups have voiced concern that Kanye West's album has been put forward for a best gospel album award.

The rapper-producer's debut album, The College Dropout, was included on a Stellar Awards ballot in the US for best gospel rap album.

The album features one explicitly Christian rap, Jesus Walks, but gospel groups say other tracks have lyrics that might offend a congregation.

Final nominations for the award will be announced on 26 October.

Ballot mistakes

The Stellar Gospel Music Awards, now in their 20th year, honour the best gospel artists and performers.

West's album was included on the ballot by a committee from the Stellar Awards Gospel Music Academy.

Award nominees willl be selected from the ballot.

Academy member Jadda Gunn said: "It just seems that it shouldn't have gotten through.

"For this to be the Stellar Awards they should have known Kanye West, Roc-A-Fella records, that's not a gospel album."

Academy officials have admitted there were mistakes on the ballot and that a new ballot would be sent to members, but would not say if West would be removed.

Music charts

Erma Davis, president of Central City Productions, which produces the Stellar Awards, said: "Some entries have been added and one has been removed because it didn't fit the criteria."

The College Dropout has sold more than two million copies, has been hailed by critics and fans.

Davis said West was selected because the committee often picks artists who have popular albums on the music charts.

Other artists on the ballot are all explicitly Christian groups, including God's Little Soldiers, Tonex and Ziklag.

West, who has been nominated for seven Music of Black Origin (Mobo) awards in the UK, was unavailable for comment.

The awards themselves will be presented in Houston on 15 January.

Kanye West dominates Mobo list
24 Aug 04  |  Entertainment

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