ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County native Dante Bowe is included in five nominations in three categories for the upcoming 64th annual Grammy Awards in the Gospel and Contemporary Christian Music division.
Bowe, originally from Rockingham, has three songs nominated in the Best Gospel Performance/Song category for the tunes “Joyful,” “Voice of God” and “Wait on You.”
The 2011 Richmond Senior High School graduate said he was inspired to co-write “Joyful” with his friend Ben Schofield after losing his grandfather in 2020.
“I wanted to write something that would lift people’s spirits,” Bowe recalled.
Last October, “Joyful” was named Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of the year at the 52nd Gospel Music Association Dove Awards — when Bowe was nominated for New Artist of the Year — in Nashville, Tennessee. “Joyful,” from Bowe’s second album “Circles,” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Gospel Digital Song Sales and No. 22 on the Hot Gospel Songs chart, peaking at No. 3 on the latter.
“Voice of God,” which Bowe co-wrote with Tywan Mack, Jeff Schneeweis and Mitch Wong, also features vocals by Steffany Gretzinger and Chandler Moore. It was also nominated for a Dove Award.
In addition to being a solo artist, Bowe is also affiliated with Maverick City Music, which was nominated — in collaboration with Charlotte-based Elevation Worship — for “Wait on You,” written by Bowe, Moore, Chris Brown, Steven Furtick, Tiffany Hudson and Brandon Lake.
The idea for Maverick City Music, Bowe said, came about through a group chat.
“In a group text message, we decided to go to Atlanta, Georgia, to write for other artists,” Bowe said. “After the songs were written, we decided to start Maverick City Music and sing for ourselves. We also collaborate with other artists.”
Bowe is one of multiple singers featured on Maverick City Music’s albums “Jubilee: Juneteenth Edition,” nominated for Best Gospel Album, and “Old Church Basement” — a live recording with Elevation Worship — which is nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music album.
The two groups are also nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for the collaboration “Jirah.”
The music awards ceremony was originally planned for Jan. 31 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, but was postponed until spring due to COVID-related health and safety concerns. It is rescheduled to be held April 3 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Things were not always glamorous for Bowe. In his early childhood, his parents had limited resources, but were always there to support him in all he did, including contributing to his love for singing.
“I remember growing up with my parents playing music all the time, which was a major influence in my love for music,” he said. “We had lots of get-togethers, and my family really encouraged me — even when I didn’t believe in myself.”
Bowe’s grandparents, who were Christians, took him to church on a regular basis. They also encouraged him in his singing.
“They would stand me on a cinder block to sing for them,” he recalled.
Bowe has one brother, Montez Graham, who is his biggest fan.
Bowe’s life definitely had its share of rough times: at one point, he faced trauma and homelessness.
“My faith pulled me through the tough times”, he said. “I remember one day being in my bedroom when I was 16 years old, I had an encounter with God which ended up with me being a whole-hearted Christian. After this encounter, my mother and father were also saved through my faith.”
In spring of this year, Bowe will begin touring with the Australian Chistian pop duo for King and Country in the “What Are You Waiting For” tour, which comes to Charlotte April 16.
“They will be all new songs; probably the best I’ve done so far,” said Bowe.
Bowe also served as the worship pastor at Addereth Church in Columbus, Georgia, and has had many other successes in his life.
“I’ve worked really hard, it’s cool to see it recognized,” he said. “God is the reason for all of it. I’m very grateful and humbled. In the future, I want to do something special for the community where I was raised.”
Not only is Bowe breaking records in the music world, but he is also working with big names in the fashion world.
New York Fashion Week kicked off on Feb. 11, 2022 in which Bowe is walking his first New York runway fashion show. He said he was “honored” to be personally chosen to model for Tommy Hilfiger in The Blue Jacket Fashion Show. This is the sixth year of the fundraiser show which honors men who have had prostate cancer while bringing awareness.
Humbled and grateful, Bowe credits his success to his personal relationship with God.
William R. Toler contributed to this story.