2016 SoCal Harvest Musician Bios
Named Billboard's year-end Top Male Christian Artist of 2015 and third overall, Chris Tomlin is one of today's leading and most-sung artists in contemporary Christian music. Chris is a singer and songwriter who inspires his listeners with worship music that points people to God. Winning 21 Dove Awards, including several for Male Vocalist of the Year and Artist of the Year, Chris has also won a Grammy Award for his album And If Our God Is for Us in 2012. In 2014, the release of Tomlin's tenth studio album, Love Ran Red, featured the hit singles "Waterfall" and "Jesus Loves Me" earning him a 2016 Grammy nomination for Christian Album of the Year. His song "Good, Good Father" has scaled Billboard's Christian charts and debuted on Christian Digital Songs at No. 1 with 8,000 first-week downloads sold, according to Nielsen Music. Chris' desire is to write songs that are special to the church and that convey worship and love for God.
Formed by two brothers from Australia, Joel and Luke Smallbone, this Grammy and Dove Award winning duo was named one of Billboard Magazine's Artists to Watch In 2012. Their debut album, Crave, hit No. 2 on the iTunes top Christian & Gospel Albums on the day it released. Their first single, "Busted Heart (Hold On To Me)," released in 2011, peaked at No. 3 on Billboard's Most Popular Christian Songs chart, and was inspired from a conversation on the brokenness that every person feels at some point in life. Their sophomore album, Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong., won for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album at the Grammy Awards in 2015. As their band name indicates, for King & Country consistently conveys their message of believing in something much bigger than oneself.
One of Christian rock's most popular bands, Skillet is a two-time Grammy Award nominee and Billboard Music Award winner for their album Awake, which was certified Platinum. Awarded with multiple Dove Awards in both the Rock Song and Rock Album of the Year categories, Skillet has released eight albums. The band has charted nine titles on Mainstream Rock charts and multiple songs on the Christian Rock chart, including eight in the No. 1 position. Their eighth studio album, Rise, sold 60,000 copies in the US in its first week of release, debuting at No. 4 on the Billboard 200, and No. 1 on both the Rock Albums and Christian Albums charts. According to lead singer John Cooper, these accomplishments don't mean anything compared to the testimony of Christ in their lives or in their ministry.
After obtaining a Theology degree, rapper Kevin Burgess, now better known by his stage name, KB, dove into Christian hip-hop, releasing a mixtape, a widely successful debut album, and a Dove award-winning EP (for Rap/Hip Hop Song of the Year, "100"). He shows no signs of slowing down—his recently released second hip-hop studio album, Tomorrow We Live, has earned media praise as "a straight masterpiece" and "KB's first classic." The artistry of Tomorrow We Live has brought both critical acclaim and commercial success, debuting on the Billboard charts at No. 1 on Top Christian Albums, No. 4 on Top Rap Albums, and in the top 20 on the iconic Billboard 200. KB has also achieved industry recognition as a Recording Academy featured artist on Grammy.com. His talent in the studio is matched by his high-octane live shows—he has toured with Lecrae, Tenth Avenue North, and top Reach Records artists, and is currently touring nationally in support of Tomorrow We Live.
Singer, songwriter, and worship leader Phil Wickham is no stranger to Harvest Crusades. Having grown up in Southern California, Phil attended this annual event held at Anaheim Stadium for many years. Phil began writing songs and leading worship when he was 12 years old. His song "This Is the Day" serves as the intro track for Greg Laurie's radio broadcast, A New Beginning, as well as his television program, GregLaurie.tv. Phil's single "This Is Amazing Grace" topped charts for weeks on end and continues to inspire spontaneous worship in hearts all over the globe.
With 18 GMA Dove Awards, 7 Grammys, 2 Billboard Music Awards, and an American Music Award, tobyMac is one of the top Christian recording artists of his time. Toby McKeehan, better known as tobyMac, began his Christian music career with the popular hip-hop band, dcTalk, and in 2001, launched his solo career with the release of his album Momentum. To date, tobyMac has sold more than 3 million albums as a solo artist, and more than 10 million albums overall. tobyMac's album, Eye On It, which won the 2013 Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album, carries messages of perseverance, determination, and hope. His latest release, This Is Not a Test, debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and was No. 1 on Top Christian Albums, selling 35,000 copies in its first week and recently winning a Grammy Award as Best Contemporary Christian Music Album at the 58th Grammy Awards.
Singer-songwriter Holly Marie Miller, who goes by the stage name Hollyn, is a Christian musician whose pop style mixes hip-hop, electric dance, and Christian rock. An American Idol season 12 alum, Hollyn appeared on tobyMac's album This Is Not a Test, and is featured on "Backseat Driver," a song that has found its way onto two Billboard charts: Christian Songs at No. 29, and Christian Digital Songs at No. 16. Her single, "Alone," charted on the Billboard magazine Christian Airplay chart at No. 30, and her first extended play, "Hollyn," charted at No. 10 on Billboard magazine's Christian Albums chart. This talented new artist knows that God has given her a gift, and she happily uses it to share her faith.
HARVEST WORSHIP BAND
Leading worship at Pastor Greg Laurie's home church (Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside and Orange County, California), the Harvest Worship Band is often charged with creating music that illustrates and enhances the themes of Laurie's messages. The band's popular release "Hope for America" is an anthem of hope and was written as a theme song for Harvest Ministries' national outreach, Harvest America.
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