Third Day's Live Revelations: On Stage, Off Stage, Backstage recently earned a Gold sales certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. The project also earned a Grammy nomination and a Dove Award nomination for Long Form Music Video of the Year.
The Afters' single "Never Going Back to OK," from the album of the same name, will be featured on the upcoming soundtrack of the family-friendly film "Secrets of the Mountain." The song was handpicked for the soundtrack by Grammy-Award winning producer and American Idol judge Randy Jackson, who is the music supervisor for the film and soundtrack. Also included on the soundtrack are artists like Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, American Idol contestant Brooke White and American Idol season six winner Jordin Sparks.
American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle shares her personal story in her new book, "Beyond Me." The humble singer, who won the hearts of Idol fans but fell short of taking the big prize on season six, talks in her book about growing up tone deaf, being raised by a single mother, and finally achieving her dreams of being a recording artist. The book includes a foreward by Jordin Sparks.
On Friday, May 14, Show HOPE, the organization founded by Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman, will present a unique concert production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella." The Nashville event will celebrate the life of Maria Sue Chapman, the couple's daughter who was killed in an accident in 2008. The musical event is produced by Steven Curtis Chapman and directed by Matt Logan, and features an all-star cast, including Jodi Benson (the voice of Ariel from Disney's "The Little Mermaid") as The Queen, BeBe Winans as the King, Heather Headley as the Fairy Godmother, and Alli Mauzey as Cinderella. You can learn more at www.showHOPE.org.
Online classes begin May 3 for the new Integrity Worship Institute's Online School of Worship, an online educational program designed to provide leadership training for men and women in worship and pastoral ministry. Since the 1990s, Integrity Worship Institute has organized around the world, providing "pastors, worship leaders and worship team members with sound biblical teaching on the subject of worship," says Integrity Media's president Mike Coleman. You can learn more about the new online school at www.integrityworshipinstitute.com.
The 2010 SGN Music Awards were handed out in April. Karen Peck & New River, who tied with the most nominations this year, walked away with Song of the Year and Country Song of the Year ( "I Want to Thank You"), Progressive Southern Album of the Year (No Worries), and Fan Favorite Artist of the Year. The Booth Brothers won their sixth Male Group of the Year award this year, as well as Progressive Southern Song of the Year ("What Salvation's Done For Me"), Best Live Performer, and Special Event Project of the Year (Jubilee!). For a complete list of winners, visit the Southern Gospel News Web site at www.southerngospelnews.com.
Kingsway Music recently released The Best Hymns Album in the World…Ever, a three-CD, 50-song set featuring recordings of today's best-loved hymns from such world-acclaimed writers as Charles Wesley, Isaac Watts, John Newton, Fanny J Crosby, and many more. The hymns feature the St. Michael's Singers, conducted by Paul Leddington Wright; The Celebration Choir, conducted by Jackie Williams; The Scottish Festival Singers, conducted by Ian McCrorie; and Daily Service Singers. Songs included on the project include "All Things Bright and Beautiful," "Blessed Assurance," "To God Be the Glory," "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory," "Nearer My God to Thee," "The Old Rugged Cross," and dozens more.
On May 4th MercyMe will release The Generous Mr. Lovewell. The album garnered a No.1 Billboard Christian AC and No.1 iTunes Top Christian Song four weeks before the album was released. Mr. Lovewell is a fictitious character, described by Mercy Me lead vocalist Bart Millard as "Buddy the Elf meets Forrest Gump," who spreads a message of "extravagant selflessness and faithful optimism" not only in the songs, but also via his own Twitter and Facebook pages.
The video game Rock Band recently released six new songs for download, all of them from bands with strong followings in the Christian market. The six songs, from Hawk Nelson, Switchfoot, Skillet, Superchick, Anberlin and Thousand Foot Krutch, are available for Xbox 360, Wii and PlayStation 3 systems.
Bryce Avary, better known as The Rocket Summer, heads out on tour opening for the Goo Goo Dolls through May 19. Avery then headlines a string of shows in Europe and finishes out the summer with a coveted spot on the 16th Annual Vans Warped Tour.
The summer Christian music festival season is under way. With dozens of festivals across the U.S., from Spirit West Coast in San Diego to Kingdom Bound in Buffalo, N.Y. to Creation Fest to the 15th anniversary of Purple Door, chances are there's a festival in your back yard. For more information about festivals, visit the Christian Festival Association Web site www.christianfestivals.org.
Gospel artists CeCe Winans, Israel Houghton and Patty Griffin were featured in April on "CBS Sunday Morning" in a special Easter segment about gospel music.
Singer and author Ginger Millermon was featured in the magazine First For Women in an Easter feature about readers and their bunnies. She was front and center with a lovely photo of her and her rabbit, Mr. Buns, engaging in some "bunny therapy." Millermon's new album, Rescued, released in April.
For more Christian music news, visit Joanne's Gospel Soundcheck blog at Beliefnet.com, www.blog.beliefnet.com/gospelsoundcheck