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Gospel Soundcheck

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Downhere’s Marc Martel appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show yesterday, and fans are raving about his performance. Mostly, about how much he sounds like Freddy Mercury, which is a good thing since he’s getting all of this attention for his audition tape for the Queen Extravaganza.

The thing is that Christian music fans have known about Marc Martel for a long time, and he’s more than just a Freddy Mercury vocal reincarnation. He’s a talented singer and songwriter in his own right.

Here are 5 things you might not know about Marc Martel:

1) He’s one of the lead vocalists for the Christian rock band, Downhere. Downhere was formed in January of 1999, when best friends Marc Martel and Jason Germain (vocals/guitar/keyboards) needed a band to promote an album they did as a school project at Briercrest Bible College in Caronport, Saskatchewan, Canada. The band also includes Jeremy Theissen (drums) and Glenn Lavender (bass). (And here’s another tidbit of trivia: Glenn also has a side project, Hark The Herons.)

2) Downhere got their first record deal after a representative from Word Records sent the band an email after hearing an mp3 of one of their songs on the internet. The band thought it was a joke and blew it off at first. They eventually signed to Word Records. (The band is currently signed to Centricity Records.)

3) Downhere has released several albums and won too many awards count, including Juno Awards (the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy), Covenant Awards, Vibe Awards, Prairie Music Awards and Dove Awards.

4) Marc’s vocal talents aren’t limited to just rock. He’s also been studying opera singers. Check out his performance of “Nessun Dorma”:

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5) Downhere is currently on “The Called To Love” tour with Aaron Shust and Jason Gray, in support of their latest album, On The Altar of Love. Here’s the video for the single, “Let Me Rediscover You”:

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Oh, and ladies? Yes, Marc is married to beautiful Crystal Koster Martel.

You can learn more about Marc Martel and the band Downhere on their website.

And if you’re already a fan of Downhere, why not take a minute to leave a comment to tell newcomers what you love best about the band – and of course, Marc.

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