Australian-based Christian rock/worship band Hillsong United has earned the #2 spot on the iTunes Top Album Charts for its just released CD A Cross The Earth:Tear Down The Walls. The album sits just behind Eminem’s new CD Relapse, which is at #1.
“For a band that is virtually unknown outside the Christian culture to be selling more than Green Day and Lady Gaga and almost as many as Eminem on iTunes, it says something about United’s amazing trajectory as an impact artist beyond just the Christian music scene,” says Chris Estes, Director of Digital Marketing for Integrity Music, the label that distributes United in the U.S. in a press release. “And, they did all this without traditional industry drivers like heavy radio play and mainstream TV. Not only do they sell out major venues, churches around the world are singing their songs every Sunday.”
My first thought was that it’s a little ironic to have a Christian band with an album #2 in the nation, and yet still be “virtually unknown outside the Christian culture.” I mean, wouldn’t it be great if the message of Hillsong United and this album – Jesus Christ, compassion, social justice – was being heard in every corner of the market? Isn’t that kind of what we’re supposed to be doing, sharing the gospel and preaching Jesus to every corner of the globe, not preaching to the choir?
I’m not faulting Hillsong United, just questioning the reality that oftentimes the very things the world needs to hear are kept under wraps in the Christian culture. It’s not Hillsong’s fault. It’s just the by-product of our commercialized subculture.
Now through August, Hillsong United is playing to capacity crowds, including sell-outs at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, the Roseland Ballroom in New York and the Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre in Atlanta. Remaining shows are:
5/27 Atlanta, Ga.
5/29 Birmingham, Ala.
5/30 Nashville, Tenn.
6/1 Washington, D.C.
6/2 Boston, Mass.
6/3 Virginia Beach, Va.
6/5 New York
6/8 Grand Rapids, Mich.
6/9-10 Chicago (Willow Creek Conference)
8/21-22 Los Angeles (Encounterfest)
8/24 Denver, Colo.
8/28-29 Miami (Encounterfest)
Updated tour details for Hillsong United can be found at the Hillsong United website.
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