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Newsmax's 50 Most Liked Christian Music Stars in America

Newsmax's 50 Most Liked Christian Music Stars in America
Singer Yolanda Adams appears in "The Passion," an epic musical event airing live from New Orleans on Fox, at Woldenberg Park on March 20, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Skip Bolen/Getty Images for dcp)

By    |   Wednesday, 23 March 2016 11:03 AM EDT

America's airwaves, churches, and arenas are filled with music of praise from our most beloved Christian music stars and groups who sing the songs, talk the talk and, most importantly, walk the holiness walk in their musical and inspirational testimonies to God.

Whether the genre is gospel, rock, pop, R&B, or country, their music has one thing in common: songs of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord.

Newsmax has gathered together the ultimate list of 50 of our country's most popular and well-liked Christian music acts — singers and groups who receive the greatest joy by knowing that their music brings people closer to God.

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1. Yolanda Adams — The "First Lady of Gospel Music," who also hosts her own morning radio show, has scored Grammy Awards, sold nearly 8 million albums worldwide, and authored a book, "Points of Power," about living a spirit-filled Christian life. Over the weekend, Adams even opened "The Passion," Fox's live faith-based TV musical.

2. Steven Curtis Chapman
— Chapman is the most-awarded male singer in Christian music, with five Grammys, 58 Dove Awards, 47 No. 1 singles, and 11 million albums sold. His latest album, "The Glorious Unfolding," is his 18th studio one. He founded Show Hope, a group that encourages adoption of orphans, and also built Maria's Big House of Hope in China to care for orphans.

3. Jars of Clay — After their hit 1995 song "Flood" went platinum, the band went on to win three Grammy Awards and establish the "Blood: Water Mission" project to raise funds for clean water and AIDS awareness in Africa. The group is a Christian rock band from Nashville whose members first met at Greenville College in Illinois.

4. Casting Crowns — Hailing from Daytona, Florida, this contemporary Christian rock group is one of the top-selling gospel groups of all time and won a 2006 Grammy for their album "Lifesong." Amid all that success, member Mark Hall still finds time to work as a youth pastor for Eagles Landing First Baptist Church in Atlanta.

5. Priscilla "Cece" Marie Winans Love
— With 10 Grammy Awards and seven Stellar Awards, Cece Winans has sold 12 million gospel albums, making her the best-selling gospel artist.

6. Rebecca St. James
— Grammy and Dove Award-winner Rebecca St. James moved to Nashville from her native Australia when she was just 15 and quickly set the gospel world on fire with her string of hit albums and her top-charting song, "Yes, I Believe in God," a tribute to the Columbine shooting victims. She also has authored three Christian novels.

7. Israel Houghton and New Breed — Houghton is musical director at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, and the frontman of New Breed. The group has won three Grammys and also performed at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in 2008.

8. Switchfoot — Since their 2003 album "The Beautiful Letdown" went double platinum, Switchfoot has been a hit Christian rock group. The members are involved with the ONE campaign against worldwide poverty and Invisible Children, which helps former Ugandan child soldiers.

9. Third Day — Formed in Marietta, Georgia, with lead singer Mac Powell, guitarist Mark Lee, and former member Billy Wilkins, Third Day takes its name from the day Jesus arose from the dead. The band boasts some 28 No. 1 radio hits.

10. Mercy Me — Formed in Greenville, Texas, in 1994, Mercy Me has earned eight Dove Awards and several Grammy nominations for their music, which includes the double platinum album "Almost There." The group has worked with medical charity groups Compassion International and Imagine A Cure.

11. Chris Tomlin — Tomlin is a contemporary Christian musician and praise leader from Texas who has sold nearly 30 million records and won a 2012 Grammy Award. He supports charities CompassionArt and CURE International and, in 2008, founded Passion City Church in Atlanta, where he serves as a worship leader.

12. Amy Grant — Known as the "Queen of Christian pop," Grant has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and successfully crossed over into mainstream pop music as well. She holds six Grammy wins and 22 Dove Awards and has authored several books on Christian topics. She is married to country music star Vince Gill.

13. Tenth Avenue North — A West Palm Beach band and contemporary Christian music group, Tenth Avenue North has scored three Dove Awards. Their latest album, "Cathedrals," debuted in 2014 at No. 1 on Billboard's Christian music chart. The band supports Compassion International.

14. Toby McKeehan — Known as "TobyMac," the Christian hip-hop recording artist has six Grammy Awards and 11 million albums sold. The best-known Christian rapper, he is president of Gotee Records and also co-authored "Jesus Freaks: DC Talk and The Voice of the Martyrs — Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus" and other books.

15. Pat Boone — A committed Christian since his wife Shirley led him away from alcohol in the 1960s, Boone is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. His career has spanned 63 hit singles, but also included a host of Christian gospel albums, as well as a 1962 album of Boone reading from the Bible. He has sold nearly 50 million records and supported conservative political causes and candidates. He considers himself a born-again Christian.

16. Twila Paris — Since her first album at the tender age of seven in 1965, Paris has recorded 23 albums of contemporary Christian music, which gave her 33 No. 1 Christian songs, several of which are included in Christian hymnals. Her music has earned her 10 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards.

17. Brandon Heath — This Nashville native has recorded six albums, won a handful of Dove Awards, and served for a year as a worship leader at the Woodlands United Methodist Church in Woodlands, Texas.

18. Tiffany Arbuckle Lee — Better known as Plumb, Lee began as a contemporary Christian artist with albums such as "Beautiful Lumps of Coal" and "Candycoatedwaterdrops," and has successfully crossed over into dance and electronic music genres.

19. Matthew West — A successful Christian contemporary artist, West has branched out into acting on Christian television and he also won the American Music Award in 2003 for best contemporary inspirational artist. He is also a prolific Christian songwriter.

20. Hawk Nelson — This contemporary Christian band was voted favorite new artist by CCM Magazine thanks to their best-selling album, "Letters to the President." They have released nine albums and won a slew of GMA Canada Covenant Awards.

21. Needtobreathe — This Seneca, South Carolina, contemporary Christian group has five hit albums to its credit, has won 10 Gospel Music Awards, and also scooped up a Dove Award for the song "Washed By The Water."

22. Skillet — Whether you call this band a Christian metal group, post-punk, alternative rock or post-grunge, what emerges from this Memphis combo is pure musical success in the Christian field. Despite struggling through personnel changes, the group has still put out eight albums, maintained a killer tour schedule, and won a host of awards.

23. DC Talk — A Christian rap and rock group, DC Talk segued from hip-hop to rock-oriented Christian music, releasing five top-selling albums. The group is active in the public sphere with its E.R.A.C.E. Foundation which stands for Eliminate Racism And Creating Equality. Though currently separated, a possible reunion is under discussion.

24. The Talleys — A contemporary Christian and gospel music group composed of Roger and Deborah Talley and their lead singer daughter Lauren, The Talleys have been a top group in Christian circles for more than 20 years. After Lauren married singer/songwriter Brian Alvey, the group changed its name from The Talley Trio to The Talleys, with Brian now part of the act.

25. Kutless
— This Portland, Oregon, Christian rock group formed in 1999 and, since then, has sold 3 million albums. The 2009 song, "What Faith Can Do," held the No. 1 Billboard Christian chart spot for two months. Kutless has released 10 albums.

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26. Britt Nicole — Originally named Brittany Nicole Waddell, Nicole launched her career in 2007 with her album, "Say It," and has achieved success on both the mainstream and Christian charts. She also notched a Grammy nomination in 2013 for best contemporary Christian music album.

27. Jeremy Camp
— An ordained minister, Jeremy Camp's 12-year career has seen him sell 4 million albums and perform in 32 countries. He recently released his eighth album, "I Will Follow," and he also provides free crusade events to spread the Gospel through his organization Speaking Louder Ministries.

28. Phil Keaggy — The guitar wizard has more than 50 albums to his credit, as well as seven GMA Dove Awards. He walked away from a life of drugs after his mother's death in 1970 and became a Christian and, for years since then, has recorded Christian and secular music with his group Glass Harp.

29. For King and Country — Australian-American brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone's album "Crave" in 2012 marked the arrival of a new young hit group on the Christian music scene, one that quickly grabbed the No. 2 spot on iTunes top Christian and Gospel site. In 2015, their album "Run Wild, Live Free, Love Strong" and song "Messengers" each won a Grammy Award.

30. Big Daddy Weave — A contemporary Christian rock group from Mobile, Alabama, Big Daddy Weave has released 10 albums, including last year's "Beautiful Offerings." In 2010, they received the GMA Dove Album for best Christmas album of the year.

31. Colton Dixon — Dixon's seventh-place performance on "American Idol" in 2012 introduced this Christian singer from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to a wider audience. Since then, he has released three albums — "A Messenger," "Anchor," and "The Calm Before The Storm" — and won a pair of GMA Dove Awards, earning him a strong popularity in Christian music circles.

32. Jamie Grace
— Grace is a contemporary Christian rapper and songwriter from Atlanta who won the 2012 Dove Award for new artist of the year. She suffers from Tourette syndrome but hasn't let that stop her from making a huge mark on Christian music. She holds a bachelor's degree in children's ministry.

33. Lecrae — Lecrae Devaughn Moore is a Christian rap artist and owner of Reach Records. With seven albums produced, Lecrae's sixth album, "Gravity," won the Grammy Award for best gospel album in 2013. He has taken a stand in supporting understanding between races and also helped create the "This Is Fatherhood" initiative.

34. Francesca Battistelli — Hailing from New York, Battistelli is an American Christian musician, singer, and songwriter whose single, "Free To Be Me," earned her a Grammy nomination in 2009 for best gospel performance. She won Dove Awards for best female vocalist in 2009 and 2011 — two of her six total Dove Awards.

35. Phil Wickham — A contemporary Christian singer and guitarist from San Diego has recorded six albums of Christian music. One of his songs, "Lord Jesus of Heaven," has been translated into seven languages. He has been a worship leader at Soul Survivor Week in England and tours with the Rock & Worship Road Show.

36. Mandisa — Mandisa Lynn Hundley is a gospel and contemporary Christian music artist, an "American Idol" veteran, and a 2014 Grammy Award-winner for best contemporary Christian music album for "Overcomer."

37. Crowder — David Wallace Crowder is off on his own these days since the breakup of the David Crowder Band. His genre is termed "folktronica," and the Christian singer saw the lead single off his "Neon Steeple" album hit No. 3 on Billboard Christian charts. His song, "Come As You Are," garnered a Grammy nomination in 2015. He is currently a part of the Winter Jam Tour, a Christian musical extravaganza, which wraps next month.

38. Lincoln Brewster — Brewster is a contemporary Christian artist, guitarist, and worship pastor at Bayside Church in Granite Bay, California. He has released nine albums, including his latest, "Oxygen," in 2014.

39. Sidewalk Prophets — A contemporary Christian band from Nashville, the Prophets won the best new artist Dove Award in 2010. Their six albums include "Something Different," released last year, and the group toured in the Rock and Worship Roadshow.

40. Matthew "Matt" Guion Maher — Originally from Canada, Maher now makes his home in Tempe, Arizona. He is a Catholic who has seen three albums and four singles reach the top 25 Christian albums chart on Billboard. He has received 10 GMA Canada Covenant Awards and three GMA Dove Awards. His eighth album, "Saints and Sinners," was released last year and he is currently on tour.

41. Unspoken — A contemporary Christian pop rock band, Unspoken released is first single, "Who You Are," in 2014 to immediate acclaim. They have had two straight top five singles and base many of their original songs on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.

42. Sanctus Real — The Ohio band hit No. 1 on Christian Contemporary Hit Radio with their tune, "I'm Not Allright," and also took home a Dove Award in 2005 for "Fight The Tide," along with two Grammy nominations.

43. Lauren Daigle — Raised in Lafayette, Louisiana, Daigle is a contemporary Christian music artist whose debut album "How Can It Be?" won her new artist of the year honors at the CMA Dove Awards last year, and a Grammy nomination for best contemporary Christian Music Album. She is currently on the Winter Jam Tour.

43. Red — Heavy metal and Christian music generally don't mix, but when Red takes the stage, they definitely do. Red, from Nashville, has taken eight Dove Awards since its founding in 2004 by twin brothers Anthony and Randy Armstrong and singer Michael Barnes. The 2015 album, "Of Beauty and Rage," is accompanied by a graphic novel, and the group is also on the Winter Jam Tour this year.

45. Remedy Drive
— The band's newest album, "Commodity," took aim in 2014 at combating child slavery in southeast Asia, and was powered by the personal commitment of lead singer and guitarist David Zach, the only remaining Zach brother out of four who founded the band in Lincoln, Nebraska. The band has released 10 albums under various combinations of names and players, and is still going strong. They partner with Exodus Road, a group that rescues underage girls trapped into prostitution in southeast Asia.

46. Stars Go Dim — Formed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2007, Stars Go Dim is a Christian pop rock group whose first major album release in 2015, containing the hit single "You Are Loved," got them on the Billboard top 20 in top Christian albums. They were on the Winter Jam Tour in 2015 and this year.

47. Robbie Seay Band — A Christian rock/worship band, Robbie Seay has released 15 albums since forming in Houston, Texas, in 1997. The band currently leads worship at Bayou City Fellowship in North Houston and maintains a busy tour schedule.

48. Adam Agee — Once lead singer with the award-winning Christian band Stellar Kart, Agee today fronts Audio Adrenaline, whose new album, "Sound of Saints," debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's top Christian albums chart. The band works with the Hands & Feet Project in Haiti, a Christian relief project that it began in 2004.

49. Natalie Diane Grant
— A contemporary Christian singer/songwriter, Grant has received five GMA Dove Awards for female vocalist of the year, and has released nine hit albums. She is deeply involved with campaigning against human trafficking in India, and she founded The Home Foundation. A former bulimia sufferer, Grant wrote "The Real Me: Being the Girl God Sees" about her successful struggle to overcome the eating disorder.

50. Jason Crabb — Once lead singer with The Crabb Family, Jason went out on his own in 2007, but not before winning gospel music male vocalist of the year in 2004. He has released four solo albums, including his latest 2015 effort, "Whatever The Road," and also won a Grammy Award for best southern/country/bluegrass gospel album in 2010.

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America's airwaves, churches, and arenas are filled with music of praise from our most beloved Christian music stars and groups. Here, Newsmax presents 50 of the most liked Christian music stars in America.
christian, music, stars, most, liked
Wednesday, 23 March 2016 11:03 AM
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