He Knows My Name video

The video above is a song by Francesca Battistelli, in conjunction with Mercy Ministries, featuring personal testimonies of graduates woven into the song.


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Kathy Troccoli brings Hope’s Alive to TN

Kathy Troccoli will makes a rare appearance in the Nashville area as she brings her national women’s gathering, called Hope’s Alive, to Franklin, the Nashville suburb that happens to be the epicenter of Christian music.

Troccoli, a beloved CCM artist whose 1990s hits include “My Life Is In Your Hands” and “Go Light Your World,” will sing and speak, offering scriptures, stories, laughter and an imaginatively presented dramatic portrayal.

The gathering is set for November 7-8 at Grace Church in Franklin, Tenn. Women will also have the opportunity to enjoy Kathy’s pianist and guitarist, Michelle Margiotta. She is an accomplished worship leader having served at David Wilkenson’s beloved Times Square Church in New York City.

For tickets and more information, visit beamongfriends.com or call 615-478-0247.

For more information about Kathy Troccoli, visit kathytroccoli.com.

Christian singer Kathy Troccoli
Kathy Troccoli

Gospel artist James Fortune arrested

Grammy-nominated gospel artist James Fortune was arrested on Friday, October 24, for aggravated assault of a family member and released on $20,000 bond, according to staffers at the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s office in Texas. This isn’t the first offense…In 2001, Fortune burned his 4-year-old stepson leaving the boy disfigured with 2nd and 3rd degree burns. Um, this is not the kind of behavior that’s acceptable for a Gospel singer.

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.

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


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

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News about Christian and Gospel music from Mark Weber


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