Today’s Artist News

          TobyMac premiered the official music video for his new song Feel it on ESPN this week. The song is from his new CD This Is Not A Test which also is available nationwide for the first time today. Check out the video on the ESPN music site by clicking here:

          Matt Hammitt has released his latest Lead me Lifecast. As part of Episode 6 of the show, Matt is again joined by his wife Sarah to answer questions and share comments from the listeners. He also talks about the start of his solo shows and his son Lewis breaking his leg. Listen to Lead Me Lifecast here:

          Laura Story is giving you a sneak peek of her new book “When God Doesn’t Fix It”. The book takes an honest look at Laura’s life after her husband, Martin, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Right now you can download a free chapter here! Click on the link at

          A special accomplishment recently for Kutless front man Jon Micah Sumrall. He and his son summited Mt McLoughlin in Southern Oregon. Jon Micah said: It’s been a long time since I’ve made this climb and it was much harder than I remembered, but it was really special seeing Caleb make it to the top of his first mountain. So proud of him!

          The members of Casting Crowns are encouraging you to join them for a special road race on August 1. The Super Hero Sprint 5k and 10k will be held in McDonough, GA to benefit the Children’s Organ Transplant Association in honor of Silas Huffman. You can either run in person or, if you can’t make it to Georgia, you can participate as a virtual runner. Silas is the son of Casting Crowns bass player Chris Huffman. He had a heart transplant soon after his birth.

          Tobymac, The Newsboys, and Third Day will all be joining Luis Palau this week in New York City. The New York City fest will be held at several locations throughout the week. Third Day and the Newsboys joined Luis at Radio City Music Hall last night. And Tobymac and Mandisa will take part in events in Times Square on July 10 on Central Park on July 11. The New York City fest will also be broadcast online for those who can’t attend in person. The free broadcasts will be available at or by clicking on this link:

          More stories behind the songs from Josh Wilson. During July Josh is leading up to the release of his new CD That Was Then, This is Now by recording a video telling the stories behind each of the 11 songs on the new project. From the title track that kicks off the CD to a special surprise hidden in track 6, Josh shares all the details through the series of videos. Check them all out here:

          Fans of DC Talk are proposing a special reunion show. One fan started a petition online asking Tobymac, Michael Tait, and Kevin Max to reunite as DC Talk in a special concert for Charleston. The fan posted: We need to build on the momentum that has begun bringing white and black people together in the only way is has been proven successful: through Christ. You can sign the petition here:

          Sanctus Real front man Matt Hammitt talks about his decision to leave the band in his latest “The Lead Me Lifecast”. Matt and the band announced the decision to part ways earlier this week. Matt will remain with Sanctus Real through the end of the year, wrapping things up with one final tour this fall. To hear more from Matt about his decision download Episode 1 of his new podcast. Click on this link:

          NeedtoBreathe is using the music web site Shazam to give you the chance to win a trip to one of their shows. The NeedToBreathe fly away is underway right now. You can win tickets, air fare, lodging and a rental car for their Red Rocks show just by shazaming the word brother online. Sign up today by clicking on this link:

          Brandon Heath has recorded a video tutorial for his song Behold Our God. The tutorial is designed to help worship leaders in the local church play the new worship song he wrote with Matt Maher. Check out the video tutorial here:

          David Crowder was taking this week about the social role of music and art. The worship leader told Relevant Magazine that what we sing about changes the way we think. Crowder said: Worship and justice go hand in hand. If what you’re singing doesn’t change what you do, what’s the point of singing? When you help people sing about Jesus and model their lives after Jesus, it’s going to change the way they interact with their neighbors. Read the entire discussion by clicking on this link:

          Steven Curtis Chapman is ministering to the people of Charleston in the best way he knows how. The long time Christian artist wrote a song simply titled Charleston after hearing about the tragedy. He released the song on YouTube with what he called a heavy, but hopeful heart. Steven said: They chose to love…and Love never fails…Love always has the last word! Watch the video of the song Charleston, from Steven Curtis Chapman, here:

          Mark Hall took a quick break from this weekends Casting Crowns concert to record a video for his daughter Reagan. In the middle of the show, while the band was still playing in the background, Mark recorded the short clip telling his daughter just how special she is.

          This summer marks 20 years since Brandon Heath went to a Young Life camp and started following Jesus. To celebrate, Brandon says he want to send 20 kids to camp so they can hear about Jesus too. His goal is to raise $5,000 that will then be passed along to Young Life leaders to help kids get to camp who can’t afford it, just like Brandon’s leaders did for him. To help click here:

          Matthew West is giving you the chance to win one of his Limited Edition Story Trilogy Box Sets. The sets include all three of Matthews Story CDs, a pocket watch, a journal, books, DVDs, tickets to an upcoming concert, and more. To be entered simply share the lyric video for Matthew’s latest CD Live Forever. Find out more by clicking on this link:

          The former lead singer of the group Sixpence None the Richer is going to her fans for help in creating a new CD. Leigh Nash wrote an open letter to fans early this month announcing her Pledge Music campaign. In the letter Leigh said that, over the past decade her son was born, her father died, and her marriage failed. She said Each of those events have helped to teach her: “how to be all kinds of great things I never thought I could.” The result, according to Leigh Nash, is a collection of songs that she hopes to record for a new album. What do Lecrae, Tobymac, Rend Collective and For King and Country all have in common? They are all featured on the latest ConGRADulations CD. Over the past decade more than 1.3 million ConGradulation packages have been given to high school and college graduates. This years package includes a CD with 20 songs and over one hour of video content including artists, speakers, greetings from fellow graduates, and advice. Check it out here: Passionate about worship? The Web site Worship Central is out with an Online Course designed for worship leaders in any sized church anywhere in the world. The seven session course looks at some of the big theological and practical issues around leading worship in the 21st Century. It’s designed to equip, empower and encourage worship leaders and teams to be as effective as they can be. And best of all, it’s free. Find out more here: Casting Crowns is out with an update on Mark Hall, the lead singer of the group who earlier this month had a kidney removed due to cancer.  His wife Melanie says slow and steady has been their goal but she adds that she and Mark don’t always agree on what that means.  Mark is a youth pastor and member of the church worship team in addition to leading Casting Crowns.  Melanie says he’s not the type that takes a break very often so being cooped up in the house for a month isn’t something he is very thrilled about.  She says healing is coming, it’s just going to be slow and steady instead of overnight. Find out more here: Natalie Grant recently offered a sneak peak of a brand new design coming to her clothing and jewelry web site soon. Natalie says it is based on Psalm 91:4 and is a perfect reminder for her as she sits on a plane struggling with fear. The shirt says Under His Wings You Will Find Refuge. Leading up to NeedToBreathe’s Tour De Compadres, the band is giving away a six song sampler to give just a taste of what to expect from the upcoming shows. In addition to a couple of NeedToBreathe songs, the sampler also includes music from Switchfoot, Colony House, and Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. Access the free download by clicking on this link: Jamie Grace is out with week two of the Jamie Grace Show. Jamie says this week’s episode of the Jamie Grace show is a special LIVE episode with a bunch of spontaneous special guests and random topics. Jamie set her mic up in the dressing room and chats with my drummer, her sister and a bunch of the girls from the Roadshow Tour including I Am They’s Stephanie and Sarah of Group 1 Crew. Listen to the show here: A 5-year-old confined to a sterile hospital room for more than half his life is asking everyone on the Internet to wear his favorite color for just one day. According to the Huffington Post, Seth Lane has severe combined immunodeficiency, sometimes referred to as “bubble boy disease.” He recently recorded a youtube video asking everyone to wear yellow on March 27 and then post a picture on facebook, twitter or instagram #wearyellowforseth. Leading up to Easter, Matt Maher is introducing a new series focused on his latest song Because He Lives. Matt has broken the song down into 10 parts and each day he will discuss a different lyric and the meaning behind each lyric, including scripture reading and a devotional thought. You can sign up to receive the daily emails by clicking on this link: Want to hear the group NeedtoBreathe in concert? They are auctioning an acoustic show and the proceeds will go to help fund the Palmetto Medical Initiative. Members of the band say they will play just about anywhere the winning bidder chooses. They tweeted: We will play an acoustic show in your backyard, at your wedding, at your private party, etc. Find details: The Sidewalk Prophets have opened up the vault and are giving you free access to a never before released Sidewalk Prophet’s song. At the Sidewalk Prophets web site just unlock six categories and you’ll be able to access the new song and also will be entered in their drawing for the chance to win “a Great Big Prize”. Check out details by clicking on this link: It’s easy to have all the answers when life is good. But Melanie Hall is out with a blog titled: When it happens to you, where do you turn? Just last week her husband, Casting Crowns front man Mark Hall, found that he has kidney cancer and will be undergoing surgery on Wednesday. In the blog Melanie wrote: Mark and I seemed to be in a bit of a fog for several days while the news was sinking in. Yet the whole time, the verse that kept running through my head over and over was “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.” -Isaiah 26:3. So that’s what we are trying to do in the waiting.Keep our minds steadfast on Him. After a seven year break, the Band Tree 63 is hoping to release a new independent record and they are asking for your help. When band members John, Daniel and Darryl got together in Johannesburg, South Africa, early last year for a series of concerts they realized there was a lot of unfinished business. So after years of pursuing individual projects, Tree63 is hoping to put together their seventh album as a band. They have a kick starter project underway to cover the 20-thousand-dollar cost of the project. Find out more by clicking on the link at Jamie Grace was featured on the NBC show “The Doctors”, on Wednesday, 2/18/15.  She talked about everything from dealing with Tourette syndrome to her I’m a Fighter web site. Hear her inspirational story and learn more about the disease and the struggles that have brought Jamie to the place she is today. You can see the interview segment right here: Multiple videos from the online broadcast celebrating 40 years of Christian Contemporary music are now available on YouTube. You can either watch the entire broadcast or view a variety of clips from the event that featured more than 30 artists including Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Mark Schultz and many more. Access section one from the evening by clicking here: Warner Brothers is backing out of plans for a documentary on Hillsong Church. According to a report in Variety, Warner Brothers pulled the Christian music documentary “Hillsong – Let Hope Rise” from its April 1 slot. The debut was set last July when Alcon Entertainment bought rights to movie. It was to focus on the Australia-based Christian worship band Hillsong United. But a rep for Alcon said that the company was unable to close the rights deal for the movie. The band Tenth Avenue North was recently featured on a Fox News report. Titled Beyond the Dream, the reported featured band members Mike Donehey and Jeff Owens shining the light on human trafficking. It’s part of their effort to encourage their social media followers to use the platform they have to help end human trafficking in our day and age. Tenth Avenue North also released a music video for their song For Those Who Can’t Speak. Brandon Heath’s media team recently asked those who follow Brandon to send in their questions. And they say the got big response. Questions included Brandon’s favorite color, weirdest interactions with fans, and moments he saw God at work in his life. Other’s just wanted to know who he was named after. Now the videos of Brandon answering the questions are available in one location. And representatives say more are being added each week. Check out the videos by clicking on this link: The organization started to honor Danny Gokey’s late wife is helping to keep families together. A recent video details the work with homeless families being done by Sophias Heart. And according to the video the organization has already helped 75 homeless families in the Nashville area in the past two years. Find out more about the work being done by the Sophias Heart, the organization founded by Danny in 2008. Click on the link here for info: Louie Giglio will usher in the Advent season this fall with a new devotional. The founder of the Passion Movement says the book is titled Waiting Here For You: An Advent Journey of Hope. It will be available starting in early September. The devotional encompasses the mind set of “waiting” during Advent season, and will remind readers that waiting is not wasting when you’re waiting on the Lord. The web site We Are Worship is out with the first segment of a four part series on “Understanding Worship in the New Testament,” The first segment is now available online and is titled So did Jesus even like singing? Read part one by clicking on the link at Registration for all three of the Passion 2015 conferences are now available. Conferences will be held in Atlanta both on January 2-4 and January 16-18. A third conference is scheduled for Houston January 30 through February 1. Find out more here: The latest Matthew West song, titled Do Something, tells the story of Andrea and her work in Uganda. And now Matthew is helping to spread the word about her ongoing ministry. Matthew this week tweeted a link to the ministry started by Andrea. It’s called Musana. And you can find out more about the work being done there by clicking on this link: Good news for those of you who couldn’t attend a Dare To Be event with Natalie Grant and Charlotte Gambill earlier this year. Natalie announced plans this week for a Dare To Be World Premier Simulcast Event. The two hour event will be broadcast to churches world wide at 7:00PM on Nov 8. For more information: While easy to blame Facebook for feeling disconnected, a new article in the Relevant Magazine says quitting social media altogether might not be the answer. According to the article, social media didn’t invent Jealousy or time-wasting. The problem isn’t facebook. The problem is us. Read more by clicking here: The Worship Initiative Vol. 1 is now available on iTunes. The first cover CD put together by Shane and Shane as part of their Worship Initiative web site is available for download. It includes worship favorites like In Christ Alone, 10,000 Reasons, This is Amazing Grace, and Oceans (Where Feet May Fail). Find out more by clicking on this link The Christian music web site Hear It First Dot Com is giving you the chance to win a Mercyme Music Prize Pack. Included is a t-shirt, autographed copy of the bands latest CD Welcome to the New and a complete Mercyme library made up of all nine of their past CDs. Register online here: Another faith based film is in the works. According to Breaking Christian News, filming will begin soon on the movie ‘David and Goliath’. And with a 50-million dollar budget, director Tim Chey says: we’re going to have thousands of extras, A-list special effects, and it will exceed the epic-look of ‘Noah. But there will be one difference. Chey says he is committing to provide a Biblically-accurate film about one of the most incredible stories in the Bible. ‘David and Goliath’ is set for an early-2015 nation-wide theater release. It’s been 12 years since the group Out of the Grey last produced an album. But after more than a decade off, group members Scott and Christine Dente say they want to head back to the studio to produce another project. And they are asking for your help. The Dente’s hope to raise 35-thousand dollars through a kickstarter project. And one week into the effort, they are making good progress. So far nearly 15-thousand dollars has been raised. Find our more about the resurgence of Out of the Gray here: The 2014 Billboard Music Award Nominees have been announced. Artists in the running for the top Christian Album award include: Chris Tomlin, Third Day, Skillet, Alan Jackson, and the WOW Hits CD.  Up for top Christian artist are Mandisa, Skillet, Tobymac, Chris Tomlin, and Matthew West.  Top Christian song nominees are We Won’t Be Shaken by Building 429, Overcomer by Mandisa, Help Me Find It by the Sidewalk Prophets, Whom Shall I Fear by Chris Tomlin, and Hello, My Name Is by Matthew West. The Winners will be announced live on ABC on May 18. Two weeks ago Tenth Avenue North sold their 1 millionth album. A fan named Cody made the purchase and received the surprise of his life. His purchase was greeted by confetti, music, and an appearance by the band members themselves. And Cody clearly didn’t know what to do with his new found fame. Watch the video of the sale by clicking on the link here: Kari Jobe recently released a live CD and DVD combo titled “Majestic.” And now you can check out a video giving a behind the scenes look into the making of the album. Watch the music video here: Christian artist J J Heller and her husband David have released a children’s book. The book is titled The Golden Feather. And you can hear the book read by the Heller’s five-year-old daughter Lucy. Check it out: Natalie Grant was recently on ABC’s Nightline. Watch the news report on the hoax Natalie was caught up in several years ago and the good that came out of the hoax. Click on the link here: Nearly a decade after the death of her infant baby inspired Natalie Grant’s song Held, Vaneetha Demski is out with a blog telling her story and how God has showed her first hand the impact the song has had. Read the story by clicking on this link: A Bible Study based on the song Just Say Jesus by the group 7eventh Time Down is featured on the Interlinc web site. Interlinc is a site focused on using music and media in student ministry. The theme of the Just Say Jesus devotional is Hoping in God and web site writers say the goal is that students will understand that despite what they are facing, there is hope in Jesus. Check out the devotional by clicking on the link at The members of the Irish band Rend Collective have released a new 7-day devotional based on the songs on their latest CD The Art of Celebration. The devotional is available on the You Version Bible App. Access a free copy of the 7-day devotional by clicking on this link: Another song from the new Mercyme CD is now available for download. The members of the band announced this week that the song Greater is the third song to be released from their upcoming project. Although the album Welcome to the New won’t be available until April 8, you can download all three early releases on iTunes and Amazon. A video telling the story behind the latest Mercyme song is also available. Check out the video here: Mission Network News is hoping to help your church get more involved in missions. As part of their Pray, Give, Go campaign, Mission Network News is offering a wide variety of free items to help churches tell the missions story and to help Christians everywhere become an active part of that story. Check out more by clicking on the link at: Many Christian artists are standing with the End It campaign and they are encouraging you to do the same. Today is the 27th of February and The End It Movement is asking you to use this 27th day of the month to shine a light on the 27 million people world wide who are still enslaved. They’re asking you to draw a red x on your hand as a way of making a statement that slavery still exists and you won’t stand for it. Find out more by clicking on this link Jason Gray’s new CD Love Will Have The Final Word will be available nationwide next Tuesday. But between now and then Jason is giving you the chance to listen to the full CD online. Check it out here: The latest song from Kari Jobe is titled Forever. Check out a recording of her live performance of the song by clicking on this link: Want to learn how to play Broken Hallelujah on the guitar? The Afters are out with a video tutorial for the song. Check it out here: A book based on Thrive, the latest CD from Casting Crowns, is now available. The book by Mark Hall titled Thrive-Digging Deep, Reaching out was released by Zondervan this week. It’s Mark’s fourth book and discusses the critical inner challenge that we are meant to do more than just survive life – we are called to thrive. Read more here: Think you have what it takes to be a Christian Artist. Record producer Andrew Patton is giving you a shot. He tweeted over the weekend that he’d accept video demos that are 60 seconds or less. Load them on youtube and then send the link to: Andrew added that you only get one shot so make it count. Mandisa is dedicating this week that celebrates love to her single sisters and brothers. The Christian artist released a blog on Monday titled Single Appreciation Week-Day 1. In the blog she talks about the difficulties of being single, especially during Valentines week, and the things God has taught her. Read the entire blog here: NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — University of Connecticut professor Bradley Wright has all types of questions for his research: Did you pray in the last 24 hours? To what extent are you feeling nurtured or angry with God? Do you feel a sense of purpose right now? And he’d like the answers in real time, launching a website that sends text messages to participants’ smartphones that it’s time to take the twice-daily survey. It’s part of an ambitious look by Wright and other researchers into the role of spirituality in the daily lives of Americans and its links to well-being. The associate sociology professor is overseeing to gather data for researchers to study. He says SoulPulse is the first research project to use cellphones to measure spirituality as it unfolds over time in natural settings. Shout Praises Kids is unveiling a kids coloring contest. Download the two pages and have your kids color them. Then return them on the web site and your kids will be eligible for a Shout Praises Kids party pack and a $200 visa gift card. Check out more by clicking on this link The Christian band VOTA is inviting you to join them on a trip to Nepal. A year ago, VOTA and Tiny Hands International launched the Love Found Me campaign with the goal to raise $150,000 to support and staff five border monitoring stations along the Nepal/India border to help stop human trafficking. The goal was reached and, to celebrate, the band is offering the opportunity for one Love Found Me campaign supporter to win an expense paid trip to Nepal with VOTA this fall courtesy of Taylor University. To be eligible for the Nepal trip, simply download Vota’s latest album before February 1st. Find out more at: Casting Crowns is undertaking a special promotion leading up to the release of their new CD Thrive. They will randomly select one person each day prior to the CD’s release on January 28 from the comments on their facebook page. And members of the band say they fan will get whatever they ask from the band. Check out more about the giveaway by clicking here: A new CD from Casting Crowns and a new book from lead singer Mark Hall will soon be available. The CD Thrive will release on January 28. And Marks new book Thrive-Digging Deep, Reaching Out is scheduled to be available on February 11. You can preview the new Casting Crowns album and also pre-order your copy of the project by clicking on the link: – preview – preorder The adoption organization Show Hope is inviting you to join them as part of a trip to Haiti or China late this Spring. The organization started by Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman will sponsor a student trip to Haiti in late May and two trips to China in June. But the sign up deadline is Friday, January 10. Find out more about serving orphans by clicking on the link at Matt Redman is reaching out to aspiring song writers. The long time worship leader is releasing a songwriting tutorial on the web site Worship Leader. “A Songwriting Journal: Part One – Creating” is now available. You can check it out by clicking on the link at Mark Schultz has released his first Children’s book. The book is titled Remember Me and features illustrations set to the lyrics of Mark’s song by the same name. Proceeds from the sale of the children’s book will benefit the Remember Me organization started earlier this year by Mark and his wife to fund creative projects benefiting women and orphans. Find out more about the new Children’s book from Mark Schultz by clicking on this link Want to support businesses that share your political views? There’s an app for that. The new free mobile app, called 2nd Vote, was launched at the Values Voter summit in October. It’s designed for shoppers who don’t want their money even indirectly supporting liberal agendas. Find out more by clicking on the link at Passion 268 Generation is helping you to know what Passion 2014 is all about. They’ve recorded a video explaining the conferences that will take place in Atlanta in January and Houston in February. Check out the video here Good Morning America is launching their Overcomers series. The series title is based on the latest song from Christian artist Mandisa. And the first edition of the series focus’ on three individuals who overcame great odds. Watch the first edition of Overcomers by clicking on this link: LifeLight is giving away music. The organization is raising money for their outreach in Ethiopia. They are giving away free downloads of music from Building 429, the Newsboys, and more on the Noisetrade website. And while you’re there you can also leave a tip for the Love Ethiopia outreach. Access your free downloads by clicking on the link at