When Francesca Battistelli was handed her first Dove Award of the night, the one for female vocalist of the year, the 25-year-old Atlanta transplant could barely sputter a response.

“This is amazing. I don’t know what to say. Thank you to the Lord. He’s the reason we’re all here. Thank you guys for supporting Christian music,” she said and then slightly hoisted the trophy. “Yay!”

So it was no surprise that when the burgeoning princess of contemporary Christian music scored the prestigious artist of the year Dove – with some help from fan voting – she was equally astounded.

“I know fans voted in this category, so thank you, everyone who voted for me. I’m speechless,” Battistelli, clad in a sparkly dress purchased earlier in the day at Nordstrom, said.

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