Switchfoot and P.O.D helped pave the way for Christian artists to cross over into the mainstream market. Here are five more acts that got their start in the Christian industry but are currently making a splash in the mainstream:
1. The Jonas Brothers: Did I say making a splash? I meant causing a tsunami. The trio released their debut album in 2006 and toured with Jesse McCartney, Kelly Clarkson, and The Backstreet Boys. But they’ve recently caused teenage hysteria on the “Hannah Montana” tour. Last week the guys received their platinum albums on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” where they are frequent guests. Despite their mainstream success, the guys remain a positive example to their fans, proudly displaying and talking about their purity rings, which symbolize their vow to stay celibate until marriage. Their self-titled sophomore release currently sits at #30 on Billboard’s Top 200 charts.
And speaking of “Hannah Montana,” sister trio Everlife this week joined the last leg of the tour. Let’s see if the opportunity does for them what it did for the Jonas Brothers.
2. The Myriad: This Seattle-based alternative rock band was named MTV2′s 2007 Dew Circuit Breakout act. The group was hand picked by MTV music critics to be one of the 12 finalists in a nationwide search for “the next big thing.” The winner was then decided by fan voting. The band’s first MTV video for the song “A Clean Shot” is currently in rotation on MTV and MTV2. Their songs are also included in the video game, “Rock Band.”
3. Flyleaf: This hard rock act was named MTV’s Artist of the Week last December and also an Editors’ Choice for the Best of 2007 at iTunes. Their 2005 self-titled album has spent an astounding 97 weeks on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, where it currently sits at #96. MTV’s Buzzworthy blog notes Flyleaf’s Christian faith, something the band discusses freely. The band was also chosen as one of Beliefnet’s Top Christian Music Stars.
4. Fireflight: Fireflight’s single “Unbreakable” (the title track from their upcoming album, releasing in March) was selected last fall to promote NBC’s “Bionic Women” and quickly proved so popular the network made it the theme song for their Wednesday night line up, adding video footage of the band paired with scenes from the show. Fireflight’s music has been featured on E! Entertainment’s “Style Network,” “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” and in-store promotions at American Eagle and Journey.
5. MuteMath: Three years ago CCM artist Todd Agnew shared with me artists he thought were being overlooked by music fans. At the top of his list was MuteMath. He predicted the group would end up with a mainstream deal and blow up there, adding that it might end up as “one of the few times the mainstream world has broken a Christian act.” He was right. Not only has the band make the rounds of late night television talk shows, performed the theme song for the movie, “Transformers” and toured with acts like Matchbox Twenty, they’re currently nominated for a Grammy for Best Short Form Video.
–written by Joanne Brokaw