22nd Sep, 2016

The Gospel Guru Interviews Jackie Patillo


The Gospel Guru recently caught up with industry veteran, Jackie Patillo. Ms. Patillo is the driving force behind the GMA Dove Awards, and with the 47th annual GMA Dove Awards around the corner, what better time than now to chat with Ms. Patillo.

Without further delay get into my candid interview with Jackie Patillo below where we discuss everything from the upcoming Dove Awards to the screening process for Dove awards nominees and performers.

TGG: Ms. Patillo, again thank you so much for joining me today to discuss the upcoming Dove Awards. I just want to know, um. First of all, what is it like every year … It’s that time of year again to put together one of the biggest nights, if not the biggest night in Christian and gospel music. What is that process like?


Jackie Patillo: What is it like to put together the Dove Awards? Hmm. Some days it’s overwhelming, some days it’s really gratifying. Um, but I think most of all, for me, it’s such an honor to be able to showcase our artists to the world and to carry on a legacy. This is going to be our 47th annual GMA Dev Awards.


TGG: Wow.


Jackie Patillo: So, this is a part of history for Christian and gospel music.


TGG: Wow, awesome. You know, every year we, we look forward to some of the greatest performances from the Christian side as well as the traditional gospel side. What is that like merging and blending the 2 genres to put together a great show? How do you go about the selection process?


Jackie Patillo: Well, you know, the selection process is really dependent upon the nominees.


TGG: Okay.


Jackie Patillo: Once we see who our nominees are then we’re committed to represent all of the genres. This is the only stage that has all genres of Christian and gospel music on it and so, to me, it’s the body of Christ. It’s Gods’ diverse kingdom and I don’t dictate, um, who God chooses.


TGG: Right.


Jackie Patillo: I just “Go where God is moving and join him,” so, to me, the process of, um, artists coming onto the Dove Awards stage is, um, me just facilitating the work that God’s already done.


TGG: There’s been two new categories added to the Dove Awards. How did the new categories come about being added?


Jackie Patillo: Well, um, we have a screening process, um, where every year we gather people from the industry to review the product that has been submitted for consideration.


TGG: Okay.


Jackie Patillo: And more and more, the gospel committee was seeing that we had urban worship that really didn’t really have a home and so it was their recommendation that we add this category, and it was upon their recommendation that we did.


TGG: Wow, awesome. So, I want to know what has been some of your most memorable moments of producing the show?


Jackie Patillo: My career, professionally, has been steeped in Christian and gospel music and so highlights for me have been everything from Whitney Houston performing on the Dove Awards to when my son … My oldest son was 10 years old, and he performed with DC Todd –


TGG: Wow.


Jackie Patillo: – on the Dove Awards, and so, um, I’ve got memories and, um, of all different types of … Like last year, for me to see, um, Matt Maher wanted to meet Bill Gaither and when I saw them meet, and how moved Matt Maher was, it was like, “Okay, this is why I do this,” you know, because I get to introduce one another. I sat, um, Tamela Mann next to Bart from MercyMe –


TGG: Wow.


Jackie Patillo: – at a dinner table at a presidents dinner and she didn’t know that she was sitting next to Bart and it was right when she had released the song I Can Only Imagine.


TGG: Oh, wow.


Jackie Patillo: And so, for me to tell her, “This is the songwriter of I Can Only Imagine,” it was, like, magical. It was a divine appointment, you know?


TGG: Wow, wow.


Jackie Patillo: And so, yeah. There’s just all kinds of, um, special moments for me.


TGG: Okay. Well, 


Jackie Patillo: Of course, last year the most memorable moment is 2 days before the Dove Awards, when I went to check on the stage when it was being built, – I fell off the last step – backstage. I broke my ankle, all 3 bones, had to go through the Dev Awards in a wheelchair with my whole leg wrapped up, and I had surgery. I had to wait to have surgery until all of my duties were done.



TGG: Wow. Now that’s commitment.


Jackie Patillo: Right? [laughs]


TGG: [laughs] You are the epitome of commitment. [laughs]


Jackie Patillo: So I’ll never forget last years Dove Awards.


TGG: Wow.


Jackie Patillo: ‘Cause I’ve got the scars to prove it.


TGG: Right, right. Wow. And so, Ms. Patillo, I remember you from your days at, um, I guess Verity or Zomba – how did those days of, you know, working in the label ranks come to you now being a part of the GMA?


Jackie Patillo: That’s a really good question. Well, when I’d been on the label side I had always been on the GMA board. I’ve always been a member of GMA and, um, a participating member by being on the board and, um, so when I came back to Nashville, um, the Lord opened the door for me to be the executive director here. I really didn’t understand it at first and then He showed me that it’s because of my relationships in the CCM world and the gospel world that I’m able to rebuild the foundation of the Gospel Music Association.


TGG: Each year, what is your approach with the Dove Awards? I know each year you strive to make it the best show possible.


Jackie Patillo: Well, you know, I’m just a facilitator. What makes the Dove Awards great every year is the songs and the talent that have been impacting our culture this year. I got to tell you I had no idea when I asked for King & Country to be a co-host on the Dove Awards this year that they had a movie coming out at the same time. I had no idea when I asked Tye Tribbett if he would be a co-host for the Dove Awards this year that he was gonna have a show called Joyful Noise starting just a couple weeks before.




TGG: Right.


Jackie Patillo: Um, so, my approach is very [laughs] prayerful and, like I said, the talent speaks for itself, uh, which the majority of the performances are nominated artists.


TGG: Mm-hmm


Jackie Patillo: Um. Production-wise, uh, we push a production team to make it better and better every year, um, because I believe in [glory] to glory. [laughs] You know?


TGG: Right. Right.


Jackie Patillo: You know, we just care about the community. There’s always new technology for us to, uh, explore and, um, you know, we wanna use everything that we can for the kingdom.


TGG: Ms. Patillo, just looking at your career over the years I would like to say that you have had a successful career. There’s so many people that are always looking for knowledge on how to become a part of the music industry and, you know, whether it’s the Christian side, the gospel side, or the music industry at large. What advice would you give to someone who’s aspiring to be a part of the music industry?


Jackie Patillo: Let’s see. I would say show up every day ready to serve – because, um, artist development is all about serving an artist and helping them be the very best they can be. On the executive side, showing up every day and serving the Christian-gospel community, looking for ways that we can be a resource, looking for opportunities to further expand the gospel music industry. It’s about serving.



The Dove Awards will take place on Tuesday, October 11th, live from Allen Arena on the campus of Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN and will air exclusively on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) on Sunday, October 16th at 9:00 p.m (CST).

About Guru

DeVante Arbet successfully garnered the title of The Gospel Guru; being widely sought out as the ‘in-the-know’ guy when it comes to the Gospel music industry. After years of honing his passion for Gospel music from an early age ‘the guru’ became a brand.

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