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My 10 Favorite Christian Bands/Artists of All Time

Oct 20, 2014

"Michael W. Smith might make it onto many people’s top ten list, and it’s well-deserved, since he’s been well-known in the Christian music world since the 1980s."

Picking my top ten favorites of any sort of music is difficult for me, because there's so much out there that I love. But there are some artists who I never get tired of listening to. Old stuff, new stuff, I love it all. Here are some of my favorite Christian bands and artists who, in my opinion, have stood the test of time with their music. Whether that time is decades or merely months so far, their music resonates with me and I will keep on thanking God for their talent.

10 – Phillips, Craig, and Dean

This trio has been around since the early 1990s, but I didn’t hear of them till the early 2000s. I love their unique sound, and when I learned that all three men are pastors as well as singers, my appreciation for them went up even more.

9 – Randy Travis

Although he’s not in the current spotlight anymore, Randy Travis has a long career of both country and gospel music. As a long-time fan of country music, I first heard him on the country music stations. I loved the positive, God-oriented lyrics to many of his songs, and then later I began hearing more of his Christian songs.

8 – Mandi Mapes

Mandi Mapes is a relative newcomer to Christian music, though she does have several albums under her belt. She’s a believer in missions work and in writing songs about real Christian life. Her easy folk music sound is also something that appealed to my musical tastes.

7 – Susan Ashton

Here is another singer who crosses the genres of country and Christian. As I mentioned before, I'm a fan of both kinds of music, so I enjoyed listening to Susan Ashton's secular and inspirational country songs as much as I enjoyed her Christian ones.

6 – Michael W. Smith

Michael W. Smith might make it onto many people's top ten list, and it's well-deserved, since he's been well-known in the Christian music world since the 1980s. Some of my favorites by him are his Christmas songs, as well as his instrumental pieces. I love instrumental music of all sorts, and his fully symphonic album "Freedom" is one of my favorites. His talent with musical composition demonstrates that God's love can be shown even without words.

5 – Casting Crowns

This is a group that I’ve liked since they first came into the music scene with their debut album in the early 2000s. Their passionate lyrics and powerful vocals got me right away. Even now, so many years later, their first album still ranks as some of my favorite Casting Crowns music.

4 – Nicole Nordeman

Nicole Nordeman's songs have always impacted me on a very deep level. So many of her lyrics are not so much just praise and worship, but about how we can live the triumphant Christian life. If I'm feeling discouraged, I can always listen to Nicole Nordeman and be lifted up again.

3 – Newsboys

“Shine” and “I am Free” – two of their most popular songs – were the first songs by the Newsboys that I heard. It was easy to tell why those songs and the band were popular; and while I didn’t follow every new release, I enjoyed their music every time I heard it. When I first heard that lead singer Peter Furler was leaving the band, I was saddened, but then I became excited about his replacement (see entry #2).

2 – DC Talk

The hard rock sound and in your face lyrics of DC Talk grabbed me right away when I first heard their music in the mid-1990s. When the band members went their separate ways, I continued to follow singers TobyMac and Michael Tait. When Tait became the new lead singer of the Newsboys, it was like two of my favorite bands had become one. What’s not to like about that?

1-  Rebecca St. James

Australian-born Rebecca St. James is one of the first contemporary Christian singers I’d ever heard, and I immediately fell in love with her voice, her lyrics, and her music. Every album she’s released has had its own unique sound and theme, yet all beautifully showcase Rebecca’s passionate voice and heartfelt words. I have to put her at number one because not only have I been a long-time fan, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard a song of hers that I didn’t like.

There are many others that I could add to a list of favorites. And come to me again in a year, and this top ten list might have changed a bit if I discover a new artist. But good music never dies, and these bands and artists will always hold a special place in my heart.

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