Christian rapper KJ-52 is back with MENTAL

MENTAL, the latest release by six-time Dove Award Winning Christian rap/hip-hop artist KJ-52, has taken off, reaching the number 1 spot on its October 21 release date on the iTunes Christian chart. Perhaps more notably, the album achieved the #23 spot on the overall iTunes Top 100, and is holding steady in the top 10 on the Christian chart throughout this release week. Despite being released as KJ’s first project as an independent artist, MENTAL debuts as the fastest selling album in his fourteen-year career.

The excitement behind the album was given extra fuel with the announcement of the single “Tonight” being tapped as a theme song for Monday Night Football.  Launched on the eve of MENTAL’s release, “Tonight” is receiving unprecedented support from the ESPN network, and will be heard on the broadcast throughout the regular season

MENTAL is a project that returns KJ to his musical roots that launched him as one of the most respected names in the genre. Produced by Soul Glow Activatur (AKA Solomon Olds – FF5, David Crowder Band, Andy Mineo, Lecrae) and KJ-52, MENTAL features guest appearances by an all-star cast, including Lecrae, Propaganda, FLAME, Social Club, SPZRKT, Tedashi, KB and Soul Glow Activatur.  With MENTAL, KJ hopes to instill a desire for listeners to renew their minds, to find calm in the chaos and to seek God for guidance in our daily lives.

KJ-52 is hitting the road this fall primarily as solo dates where he will be sharing his new music and message. Additional tour announcements and tour dates to follow in the coming weeks.

October 26 – Navarre, FL
October 28-29 – Hendersonville, TN
November 1 – Myrtle Beach, SC
November 9 – Everett, WA
November 11 – Roseville, CA
November 20 – Bluffton, OH
November 21 – Melbourne, FL
December 6 – Joplin, MO
December 12 – Gladewater, TX
December 13 – Toledo, OH

KJ-52 MENTAL is available in stores and online digital outlets. MENTAL is released via the Paradigm Collective and distributed by Central South and Gotee Records digitally.

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Casting Crowns to play Carnegie Hall

Casting Crowns received its sixth career American Music Awards nomination this week for the “Favorite Artist – Contemporary Inspirational” category, in which fans can log on to AMAvote.com to cast their ballots.  The group’s current release, THRIVE, hit #1 on the Billboard Contemporary Christian Albums Chart and #6 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart.  Casting Crowns is currently on the fall leg of its highly successful Thrive Tour with nine sellout dates announced so far, including the famed Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colo. The Thrive Tour continues through 2015, in which the band will perform at New York’s famed Carnegie Hall on January 24.

Casting Crowns is one of the most successful Contemporary Christian artists, also crossing over onto the mainstream charts, with one double Platinum album (CASTING CROWNS), three Platinum albums (THE ALTAR AND THE DOOR, LIFESONG, CASTING CROWNS) and six Gold albums (COME TO THE WELL, UNTIL THE WHOLE WORLD HEARS, PEACE ON EARTH, THE ALTAR AND THE DOOR, LIFESONG and CASTING CROWNS).  Having also released four Gold DVDs and four RIAA Gold certified digital singles, the band currently holds the position as Billboard’s top selling act in Christian music since 2007.

The AMA, GRAMMY and Dove Award winning group, features Mark Hall, Melodee Devevo, Brian Scoggin, Megan Garrett, Juan Devevo, Chris Huffman and Josh Mix, who have been recording and touring for more than 10 years — when they heard their first single on the radio in 2003.  Casting Crowns has been honored with two American Music Awards (six nominations), a GRAMMY Award for its 2005 album LIFESONG (six nominations), 17 GMA Dove Awards and two Billboard Music Awards (four nominations).

Thrive Tour dates through January 2015 are as follows:

  • 10/23/2014 Oklahoma City, OK     Cox Convention Center
  • 10/24/2014 Belton, TX                   Bell County Expo Center
  • 10/25/2014 Arlington, TX              College Park Center, Univ. of Texas Arlington
  • 10/26/2014 San Antonio, TX          Freeman Coliseum
  • 10/28/2014 Russelville, AR            The Center For The Arts
  • 10/30/2014 Evansville, IN              Ford Center
  • 10/31/2014 Springfield, MO           JQH Arena
  • 11/1/2014 Cordova, TN                Bellevue Baptist Church
  • 11/6/2014 Jacksonville, FL           Veterans Memorial Arena
  • 11/7/2014 Woodstock, GA           First Baptist Church
  • 11/8/2014 Greensboro, NC           Greensboro Coliseum
  • 11/13/2014 Pensacola, FL              Pensacola Bay Center
  • 11/14/2014 Estero, FL                    Germain Arena
  • 11/15/2014 West Palm Beach, FL   Cruzan Amphitheatre
  • 11/20/2014 Baton Rouge, LA         River Center Baton Rouge
  • 11/21/2014 College Station, TX      Reed Arena
  • 11/22/2014 Tulsa, OK                    Bok Center
  • 11/28/2014 Birmingham, AL          Boutwell Auditorium
  • 11/29/2014 Bossier City, LA          CenturyLink Center Arena
  • 12/4/2014 Fairfax, VA                 Patriot Center
  • 12/5/2104 Reader, PA                  Santander Arena
  • 12/6/2014 Providence, RI             Dunkin’ Donuts Center
  • 12/7/2014 Pittsburgh, PA              Consol Energy Center
  • 1/13-17/2015 Miami, FL                    KLOVE Cruise
  • 1/24/2015 New York, NY            Carnegie Hall

Christmas Miracle by Joshua Mills

joshuamills

Most Christmas albums are recorded within a span of weeks in one studio. But when you’re Joshua Mills, a 15-year veteran worship leader and recording artist, it’s difficult to find the time to be in one studio or city for very long.

His new album, Christmas Miracle, came about in Los Angeles, Orlando, Tampa, Vancouver, London, Ontario and Nashville. Christmas Miracle has a diverse-yet-familiar vibe to it. In particular, I like hearing “Christmas Vacation,” an update of the theme song from the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation film.

The album’s first single, “It Snowed,” was done using the same mic Frank Sinatra used at Capitol Records in L.A. If you like the beautiful tone of Michael Buble’s voice, you need to hear fellow Canadian Joshua Mills. Hear samples of his engaging Christmas Miracle album at his website. –Mark Weber

 

Laura Hackett is now Laura Hackett Park

lauramarriedOctober 2014 is proving to be a significant month for Dove-nominated singer/songwriter and accomplished worship leader Laura Hackett Park. Not only is her new, 5-star-acclaimed album, Love Will Have Its Day, releasing today from Forerunner Music, the official record label of the International House of Prayer of Kansas City (IHOPKC), but Laura also “tied the knot” during an October 4th wedding ceremony with fellow worship leader and labelmate Jonas Park.

Married during a private ceremony for family and friends in Kansas City, MO, home to IHOPKC, the songs from Laura’s Love Will Have Its Day are quite personal, born of the events of people in Laura’s life. “Got Something Going On” was written for her new husband as a testimony to their collective perseverance, while “Beautiful Heart” was written for a singer friend who had a vocal injury and “Lift Up Your Head” was inspired by a friend suffering from chronic pain. Drawing the title of the album from “Lift Up Your Head,” Laura sings, “Breathe, darling, breathe. It’s not yet time for you to leave. Love will have its day. Lift up your head. Turn your face to the rising sun while you wait, while you wait for redemption to come.”

The full, 12-track album, armed with strong, thematic songwriting and emotional vocals that finds Laura exploring a much broader range of music than ever before, uses a full musical palette to convey the truth of its theme: if we can walk through this life anchored in Christ, then in every situation we know that love will have the final word, and we live with hope. 

Produced by legendary, multiple GRAMMY and Dove Award-winning producer Brown Bannister in collaboration with noted producer/songwriter Ben Shive (Brandon Heath, Bebo Norman, JJ Heller, Andrew Peterson), Laura is already garnering significant media attention. Outlets such as Worship with Andy Chrisman, Charisma Magazine’s SpiritLed Woman, LeSEA Broadcasting’s The Harvest Show, CBA Retailers+Resources, CCM Magazine, Cross Rhythms Magazine and others have already covered Laura and her new recording.

Growing up in the house of prayer, Laura was surrounded by music. Songwriting came naturally for her, and she wrote her first song at the age of eight. She later attended the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City to develop her songwriting skills and graduated with a degree in music theory. Laura now teaches voice classes at the Forerunner Music Academy, which is part of International House of Prayer University, and continues to lead worship at IHOPKC’s 24-hour prayer room each week, which is streamed LIVE to over 175,000 people a month. Her motivation for music and songwriting comes from a desire to draw people back to God. Laura’s songs and vocals have been featured on many different albums in the IHOPKC community. Her first full-length solo album released in the fall of 2009, followed by her single “I Put On Christ (The Battle Is Raging),” which gained recognition through the International House of Prayer’s Onething young adult conferences. Visit Laura’s website at www.laurahackett.com.laurah

Hillsong’s No Other Name DVD now available

When the team at Hillsong Church launched “No Other Name” – the title of their recently released album and theme of the 2014 Hillsong Conference – they knew those simple but powerful three words would hit home.

Yet the impact and reach of the message went beyond their expectations, with the album remaining in the top 10 on iTunes Christian & Gospel genre in 20 countries three months after its release.

Hundreds of thousands of people across the world live streamed the conference and the Hillsong Worship Twitter account received almost 14 million impressions when No Other Name was launched.

The church’s global creative director Cass Langton said the team was “in awe of the profound impact that such a declaration was making on believers and even many without a faith”.

“It’s more than a music project or a conference – it’s Christians across the world declaring the salvation message.

While the ‘No Other Name’ album has already made an impact across the globe, the deluxe version featuring the DVD – recorded live at this year’s Sydney conference – is now available.

Langton called the DVD “a unique experience that showcases the power and unity of corporate worship”.

“If you have not experienced the passion of over 20,000 people from 62 countries worshipping in one auditorium, this DVD will take you there,” she explained.

She said the live recording from the week of conference was “the closest thing to being there” and suggested that the deluxe version and DVD would be a great gift for people who have never been to a Hillsong Conference.

“We believe anyone who watches this will be blessed by experiencing the message of this album.”

The DVD features translations in 15 languages as singable subtitles and bonus content on the deluxe version includes conference openers and a message from Hillsong’s senior pastor Brian Houston.

New music from Tenth Avenue North

Tenth Avenue North
Tenth Avenue North

Tenth Avenue North will release its fourth studio album on Reunion Records (a division of Sony Music) on November 10 titled Cathedrals, with a deluxe version also available, containing four additional bonus tracks.  Tenth Avenue North’s first Christian radio single from the album, titled “No Man Is An Island,” debuted in the Top 20 on the National Audience Chart and is currently in rotation in key markets and networks including K-LOVE/Air1, The Fish, SiriusXM, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Tampa, Cincinnati, Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Seattle, among others.

In anticipation of the full-length project debut, Provident Label Group surprised fans with a special Islands EP featuring four bonus tracks, including the single “No Man Is An Island” which was released digitally in July. Coinciding with the EP, an exclusive music video for “No Man Is An Island” also debuted on K-LOVE. Throughout the year, the band has also offered fans exclusives and insider content every tenth day of the month (#Tenthonthe10th), culminating with the month of October. Aptly renamed ‘Tenthtober,’ Tenth Avenue North will be sharing fan-focused content every day of the month.

The Dove Award-winning band’s fourth studio album is a collection of well-crafted songs that inspire community, encourage accountability and celebrate the fact we are not alone.

“So many of us live in isolation and we really don’t have to,” says lead vocalist Mike Donehey. “So the idea is: ‘Hey get in the boat with us, sail by the stars of God’s promises and reach the shore of community.’  We realize that when we start to live together, we become the cathedrals on earth. We are the place where the sprit resides. It no longer dwells in buildings but in each of us.”

Produced by John Fields, known for his work with the Switchfoot, Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato and Pink, Cathedrals was written while the band was out on the Winter Jam Tour, setting up make-shift recording spaces in locker rooms and green rooms around the country.

The group made its national debut in 2008 on Reunion Records with Over and Underneath, which spawned the hits “Love is Here,” “By Your Side” and “Hold My Heart.”  Tenth Avenue North won the Gospel Music Association Dove Award in 2009 for New Artist of the Year and in 2010 “By Your Side” was named Song of the Year.  The band gained  further momentum with 2010’s The Light Meets the Dark and The Struggle in 2012, which  continued to populate radio and the church with such memorable songs as “Healing Begins,” “You Are More,” “Losing” and “Worn.”

Donehey, drummer Jason Jamison, bassist Ruben Juarez, keyboardist Brendon Shirley and guitarist Jeff Owen have forged a unique sound that has made them one of the Christian music’s most successful young bands. In the spring of 2014, Tenth Avenue North crossed the one million mark for records sold and continues to build its strong fan base by achieving more than one million likes on Facebook.

Christian songs for kids

kids

Star Song Music has several albums of Christian music for kids…the music is made to be sung in the car, in church, and at home. Featuring the voices of their peers, tweens can enjoy singing along to songs like “Speak Like,” “We Believe,” “Mighty To Save,” “How Great Is Our God,” and even Christmas songs, like “Jingle Bells” and “The First Noel.” Visit http://www.capitolkidsmusic.com for more info.

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News about Christian and Gospel music from Mark Weber

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