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Local band nominated for national awards with online vote will determine winner

BEMIDJI – The public is invited to support a local musician who has been nominated for national awards.

Kent Dudley and his band Bended Knee have been nominated in four categories for Christian Voice Magazine’s 2012 Country Gospel Music Fan Awards.

Dudley is nominated as Favorite Male Vocalist of the Year, Favorite Songwriter of the Year and Favorite Musician of the Year; Bended Knee is nominated as Favorite Band of the Year.

“We were just honored to have been recognized,” Dudley said Wednesday from his Solway home.

Fans nominated their favorites in November. Christian Voice Magazine announced the top 10 earlier this month.

Throughout January, fans are invited to vote online for their favorite nominees. To vote, go online to

After voting is complete, the nominees will be reduced from the top 10 to the top 5, which will be voted on by fans in March to determine the eventual winners.

“It’s quite an honor to just get into that top 10,” Dudley said. “Fans have … recognized us for what we’re doing. We’re just really honored by the response we’re getting.”

Dudley and Bended Knee now are scheduled to travel to Pigeon Forge, Tenn., just east of Nashville, to perform in Fan Fest leading up to the CGM awards ceremony.

“It’s pretty exciting, to just be able to go down there and be part of all of that,” he said. “It’s just an honor that they’re interested in us.”

Additionally, a promoter has asked to meet with him and Bended Knee while they are in the area. The promoter, Dudley said, works with multiple artists to book them in venues that Dudley himself does not have contacts with.

Dudley, former pastor at Faith Bible Chapel in Clearwater County, left his position at the end of 2011 to focus on his musical career. He signed in summer 2012 with Tate Records.

“(The year) 2012 was really our launching point of when we took to the road and went and stepped out onto the water, not knowing what would come,” Dudley said. “But the Lord opened a lot of doors for us.”

To learn more about Dudley and Bended Knee, go online to A Facebook page, Kent Dudley and Bended Knee, also has available some of the band’s songs and videos, including “Christmas in Bemidji,” which was included on the album, “Downhome Country Christmas,” released in November.