NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Veteran Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman capped an emotional year by winning artist of the year during the Gospel Music Association's Dove Awards.

Chapman took home Thursday night's top honor for the seventh time in his two-decade career. He has collected five Grammy Awards and 56 Dove Awards.

Chapman's 5-year-old daughter, Maria Sue, was killed last May when she was accidentally hit by a vehicle driven by her older brother in the driveway of the family's home.

The singer say the tragedy allowed the family to communicate their hope and their faith.

Natalie Grant won the female vocalist trophy for the fourth year in a row. Brandon Heath won male vocalist and song of the year for "Give Me Your Eyes."