Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Jeremy Camp launches "Speaking Louder" Ministries

Staying true to his heart and passion with the recent release, "Speaking Louder Than Before," BEC Recordings Artist Jeremy Camp launches new ministry aptly titled "Speaking Louder Ministries." The debut of this ministry is a direct correlation to the November 2008 release, which has already sold more than 120,000 units. In addition, digital downloads exceeding 100,000 singles of the emotional radio hit song "There Will Be a Day," which resonated strongly with listeners. This week the song remained at No. 1 for the 13th week at AC Indicator. It also stayed at No. 1 for 9 weeks at CHR.

The purpose behind "Speaking Louder Ministries" is two-fold: Bringing a raised awareness to the local outreaches in the cities that Jeremy Camp performs. Secondly, helping equip the church body and local community to get involved in ministry together impacting the needs of their community.

Last weekend marked the first outreach in the local markets for Speaking Louder Ministries. Jeremy performed concerts in Sioux Falls, SD, Minneapolis, MN, and Fargo, ND. At each local level, the partners with Speaking Louder promoted the concert and a local organization to meet the needs of the community. Through the site, volunteers were recruited and greeted concertgoers collecting the goods that were requested for the organization.

In Sioux Falls, SD, the Speaking Louder Ministries raised awareness for the McCrossan Boys Ranch. This boys' ranch houses more than 60 young men ranging from ages 10-17 years old, who have been displaced by family or lost a parent. After visiting the ranch, Camp and the volunteers gathered winter clothes for the boys at the concert that evening.

The following night in Minneapolis, MN, the ministry joined with the Minneapolis Children's Hospital. Camp visited with the children and families as well as performed songs at the hospital. The community was asked to bring Valentines of some form (stuffed animal, card, candy, etc). The overwhelming response generated in more than 30,000 Valentine's items being donated. Such a huge amount collected that the local radio station KTIS was able to take items to needy schools and daycares. Finally in Fargo, ND, Churches-United Homeless Shelter received more than 1,000 pounds of food donated through the concert.

This ministry will be an ongoing outreach to the communities Jeremy Camp visits throughout the year and specifically as he tours in the fall. Beginning March 17th in Billings, MT, Jeremy will be touring on The Rock & Roll Worship Roadshow featuring MercyMe, Hawk Nelson and Tenth Avenue North and Addison Road. Tour dates found on Jeremy's site.

Speaking Louder Than Before: The pinnacle of 2008 for this male vocalist was releasing his fifth studio album co-produced by himself and Brown Bannister. The album debuted on Billboard 200 at No. 38 along with the No. 1 new release on the Billboard Christian chart after street week. Digital purchases shot "Speaking Louder Than Before" to No. 11 on the overall iTunes chart and No. 1 on the Christian albums chart. Billboard also labeled this album as his "best work to date," which clearly fans agree as it has moved his career sales to over three million units.

About Jeremy Camp: Since his debut BEC Recordings' project in 2002 (Stay), Jeremy Camp has made a definitive mark in the industry with his ability to compose hit songs and capture audiences of all ages selling more than three million records. Following his Gold-selling debut, Camp has released four additional studio projects (Carried Me: The Worship Project, Restored, Beyond Measure and Speaking Louder Than Before), which have garnered a total of three RIAA Gold-Selling albums. With 17 career No. 1 radio hits under his belt, Jeremy Camp is clearly a powerhouse on the radio waves nationwide across all formats (CHR, AC, INSPO, and Rock). Jeremy is now the artist with the most consecutive No. 1 singles at AC Monitored since 2003 when R&R began their Christian chart. He also received the No. 2 Song of the Year in 2008 with "Let it Fade," which remained in that No. 1 position for more than 10 weeks. His most recent single "There Will Be A Day" hit the top on three formats on AC Indicator, CHR and AC Monitored. Jeremy Camp has also been honored with multiple Dove-nominations and five awards, a 2007 American Music Award nomination, and three-time ASCAP Christian Music Awards "Songwriter of the Year" (2008, 2006, 2005) winner including "Song of the Year" (2006). In 2008, Jeremy Camp was voted for the fifth consecutive year in a row by readers on Christianity Today's music site as the "Best Male Artist."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

For the first time---cast your vote for the Dove Awards!

Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman, Fireflight, Marvin Sapp, Third Day, TobyMac and Chris Tomlin have been nominated by the Gospel Music Association (GMA) membership for Artist of the Year at the 40th Annual GMA Dove Awards on April 23, 2009 in Nashville.

Those artists were among the Dove Award nominees announced at a press conference today at the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau Visitor Information Center. The GMA Dove Awards, gospel music’s biggest night of the year, featuring artists from every style of gospel/Christian music coming together for a night of music and celebration, will be broadcast nationwide live on the Gospel Music Channel from 8 – 10 p.m. (ET/PT) on Thursday, April 23, 2009.

"Christian and gospel music expresses itself in many different ways and we applaud all nominated artists for their unique contributions to the music landscape,” said John W. Styll, president of the Gospel Music Association (GMA). “The powerful messages of redemption, hope and joy found in the music of our Dove nominees come during a season in history when our country and the world need inspiration and encouragement.”

For the first time, fans will become stakeholders in the Dove Awards with an opportunity to vote for the winner of Artist of the Year along with New Artist of the Year, which includes nominees Addison Road, Francesca Battistelli, Fee, Jonathan Nelson, Remedy Drive, Chris Sligh and Tenth Avenue North. Fan voting, which will be conducted through the Gospel Music Channel website ( and at, will open on February 26, the same day online voting opens for GMA members. The cumulative fan vote, which will continue through the live Dove Awards broadcast, will account for one-third of the total vote in those two categories.

The 40th Annual GMA Dove Awards will be handed out at Nashville’s famed Grand Ole Opry House. Tickets to the 40th Annual GMA Dove Awards are on sale now at or by calling 615-242-0303.

While the awards are the purpose of the show, music performances will definitely share center stage at the Dove Awards, showcasing some of gospel music’s hottest and most diverse artists. In addition to the exclusive live broadcast, Gospel Music Channel will present back-to-back encore broadcasts that night and additional re-airings following. Gospel Music Channel’s rapid growth has made it the fastest growing network in television for the past two years and GMC is now available in more than 43 million homes in all major markets on the major cable systems as well as on DIRECTV on Channel 338.

The top artist nominee for Dove Awards is current three-time Male Vocalist of the Year Chris Tomlin, whose seven total nominations include Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year for “Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone).” His latest CD Hello Love was nominated for Praise & Worship Album, while “Jesus Messiah” from that project earned a nomination for Worship Song of the Year. Tomlin was also included in the Special Event Album category for his participation on the Passion: God of This City compilation album and in the Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song category for gospel artist LaRue Howard’s recording of Tomlin’s “How Great Is Our God,” which was the 2006 Song of the Year recipient.

Two female artists have the next biggest impact, with Natalie Grant and newcomer Francesca Battistelli each receiving five nominations. Grant, the current three-time Female Vocalist of the Year recipient, receives another nomination in the category, along with a nod for Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for Relentless, while the No. 1 radio hit from that record, “I Will Not Be Moved” was nominated for Song of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year. The Grant-penned “Breathe on Me” rounds out her five nominations in the Worship Song of the Year category.

Battistelli, the New York-born singer songwriter and now Dove Award Female Vocalist and New Artist of the Year nominee, burst on the Christian music scene with her summer 2008 hit “I’m Letting Go.” That song has now received Dove Award nominations for Song of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year, and her debut CD My Paper Heart was nominated for Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year.

Four-time Group of the Year Dove Award winners Casting Crowns will go for five with another Group of the Year nomination in 2009. The worship band’s total of five nominations includes Artist of the Year and Christmas Album of the Year for Peace on Earth. Casting Crowns also earned nods for Short Form Video for “Slow Fade” and for Long Form Video for “The Altar and the Door Live.”

Among the other Artist of the Year nominees, Steven Curtis Chapman has previously won this award seven times, the last one in 2000. Chapman, who has been touring with Michael W. Smith on the United Tour, has had renewed spotlight this past year centered on the Song of the Year nominee “Cinderella” which became an anthem for fatherhood not only on Christian radio, but worldwide. “Cinderella” is also nominated for Pop/Contemporary Recorded song and Chapman’s co-write of Bart Millard’s “You Reign” is another Song of the Year nominee.

Fireflight is recognized as Artist of the Year in the first year they have received any Dove Award nominations. The female-fronted (Dawn Richardson) rock band received national exposure as a favorite of TV networks like NBC, ABC and ESPN which have licensed their songs. Fireflight was also named one of the winners of Taco Bell's first "Best of the Beat" fan-voted contest and was named Gospel Music Channel's first "Listen Up Artist" last year. Now, they have four Dove Award nominations including Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year for Unbreakable, Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song for “Unbreakable” and Rock Recorded Song of the Year for “The Hunger.”

Artist and Male Vocalist of the Year nominee Marvin Sapp made history last year when his single "Never Would've Made It," from the gold-selling CD Thirsty, became the longest-running No. 1 single ever across all radio formats, spending a staggering 47 weeks at the top of the gospel radio charts. Earlier this year, Sapp was honored with eight Stellar Awards.

TobyMac, the current Artist of the Year recipient, finds himself nominated again this year. The headliner of the popular Winter Wonder Slam concert series, TobyMac recently won his first solo GRAMMY Award for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album with Alive and Transported. The concert DVD of that CD is also nominated for a Dove Award for Long Form Video of the Year.

Rounding out the Artist of the Year nominees, Third Day earns its nomination after a successful year with the release of Revelation, which is nominated for Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year. That CD debuted at No. 6 on The Billboard 200 chart in July, landing the band on the cover of Billboard magazine. Third Day also toured with Switchfoot, Jars of Clay and Robert Randolph & The Family Band on the "Music Builds Tour" for Habitat for Humanity and performed on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

Other artists receiving four nominations include Brandon Heath, Mary Mary, Laura Story and Michael W. Smith.

Producers and songwriters also enjoyed big nomination success this year with Ian Eskelin (Francesca Battistelli, Remedy Drive) and Wayne Haun (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, HisSong) each receiving eight nods while Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Laura Story) came in with six and Jason Ingram (Brandon Heath, Meredith Andrews) and Warryn Campbell (Mary Mary, Kierra Sheard) each received five nominations.

Announcing the nominations today were Dan and Jackie Evans, the son and mother team from season five of NBC’s reality show “The Biggest Loser.” Additionally, Dan’s debut CD, Goin’ All Out, bowed at #7 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart when it was released last fall. They were joined by Lisa Kimmey, former member of Out of Eden and currently a host/reporter for Gospel Music Channel.

Dove Awards will be handed out in 43 categories. The Songwriter of the Year nominees were not announced today, but will be revealed prior to the GMA Dove Awards. Dove Awards nominations go to recordings released during the eligibility year November 1, 2007 through October 31, 2008 and voted on by the members of the GMA. The complete nominations list is at

The American Bible Society ( is official charity of the GMA.

About GMA:
Founded in 1964, the Gospel Music Association serves as the face and voice for the gospel/Christian music community and is dedicated to exposing, promoting and celebrating the gospel through music of all styles including pop, rock, praise & worship, black gospel, R&B, hip hop, southern gospel, country, and more. The GMA community consists of more than 3,000 members including agents, artists, church leaders, managers, promoters, radio personnel, record company executives, retailers, songwriters and other industry visionaries. The GMA produces the GMA Dove Awards, GMA Music Week and the GMA Academy. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Michael Tait to join Newsboys!

After 22 years and more than 2000 shows, newsboys frontman Peter Furler will no longer front the band in concert. Michael Tait will be touring with the band as lead singer with Peter making special appearances throughout the year.

Peter will continue with the band and his trademark songwriting and production will remain as he focuses his professional career toward future newsboys recordings.

Michael has been on the road with the band over the past weeks working alongside Peter in what has been a positive and enjoyable experience for both parties. It has been a graceful process that both Peter and Michael have worked through as they prepare to make the change in the coming weeks.

Peter states “newsboys to me has always been a mission, and I entrust Mike, Jeff, Jody and Duncan to continue all that is in store for us as a band. I’m looking forward to focusing on the band’s studio career and spending time in my own bed after many years in a tour bus and hundreds of thousands of miles on the road.”

Wes Campbell, newsboys manager explains, “While the decision to replace Peter on the road was a painstaking one, when the idea of dc Talk vocalist Michael Tait was presented it was a no-brainer to all of us. No one can replace Peter, but we know Michael will bring a new attitude, energy and vocal style that will thrill our audience. To be able to continue a world class show and still have Peter behind the scenes guiding the career and making of newsboys music is a huge opportunity for all of us. It’s amazing that after many years of touring with dc Talk in the 1990s that in 2009 our paths would cross once again. It’s an exciting time for all of us.”

“For years, dc Talk and newsboys have been family and thus shared the same loyal and adoring fans, says Michel Tait. “When I received the initial call from newsboys to consider joining the band as lead singer, I was speechless! I immediately sought wise counsel and flooded the heavens with endless prayers for insight and vision, and I soon received a clear and definite peace. Last weekend, I had the opportunity to perform my first show as newsboys’ frontman to an audience of 12,000 people. I was completely wrapped in love and support by newsboys’ fans, who are clearly the best fans on the planet. Now I know this is exactly where I belong in this new and wonderful moment in my life’s history. This is a definite highlight of my career and for my 20+ years of walking with Jesus, and I am humbled, proud and privileged to call myself a newsboy.”

In the coming days Peter will be releasing a personal statement on the band’s website in more detail.

The band has recently finished recording its new studio album, In The Hands Of God, which features Peter as lead vocalist on the entire album. Street date for this record is May 5th.

With five gold albums, sales exceeding six million units, more than 20 No.1 radio hits, and a mantle of Dove Awards as well as Grammy nominations, newsboys has achieved phenomenal success in its two decades together. Known for its amazing live performances and groundbreaking tours, the band continues to sellout festivals and concerts worldwide, satisfying diehard fans and winning new ones in the process.