NASHVILLE, TN (JUNE 9, 2020) — The Southern Gospel Music Association (SGMA) has revealed its 2020 Hall of Fame inductees. Dorothy Leonard Miller, founder, president, and chief executive officer of New Day Christian Distributors and Daywind Music Group; and Dianne Wilkinson, Daywind’s renowned, award-winning songwriter, are among those named in the 2020 SGMA Hall of Fame class.
Dorothy Leonard Miller launched New Day Christian Distributors on March 1, 1981, with a background of sales and radio promotions at Calvary Records and Windchime Records. She started by selling Gospel music to Christian retailers across the United States from the garage of her home. Her distribution business developed rapidly and contributed in a significant way to the the growth of sheet music, accompaniment tracks, Southern Gospel music, and unique Christian products. With New Day firmly established, Leonard Miller expanded in 1987, by creating Daywind Music Group, the multi-faceted publishing, recording, and marketing company that has become a vital part of the Christian products industry. Countless singers have used Daywind soundtracks as a ministry tool to share the latest Christian song or standard of the church, and millions more have been touched through the ministries of Daywind’s family of artists and songwriters. Leonard Miller belongs to a small group of pioneering female independent business owners and executives to be honored at this level in any genre of the music industry.
“I am incredibly honored to be included among these wonderful inductees,” said Leonard Miller. “I accept this honor as a vessel through whom God has performed His works.”
Dianne Wilkinson has been sharing the message of the Gospel through inspired lyrics and memorable music for more than 40 years. Her songs have been recorded by virtually all Southern Gospel quartets and many other artists during the span of her songwriting career. Many of her songs have reached the #1 position on the Southern Gospel charts. Her songs have received numerous nominations and awards including many Singing News Fan Awards, NQC Awards, BMI Awards, and IBMA Awards. The Cathedrals’ classic hit song, “We Shall See Jesus,” penned by Wilkinson was honored at the 1984 GMA Dove Awards for Southern (Gospel) Song of the Year. Wilkinson was recognized by the Southern Gospel Music Guild in 2013 for lifetime achievement, a designation she also shares with Leonard Miller.
Dorothy Leonard Miller and Dianne Wilkinson will be inducted into the SGMA Hall of Fame alongside fellow 2020 honorees Melvin Klaudt and Meurice LeFevre at a ceremony to be held during the 2020 National Quartet Convention in Pigeon Forge, TN.