John Schlitt (l.) and Bob Hartman of Petra at awards

John Schlitt (l.) and Bob Hartman of Petra at awards ceremonies

One of Christian music’s original rock bands – Petra – received an honor this week in Nashville for its pioneering role as a Christian band.
The legacy award was presented to lead singer John Schlitt at the SESAC (Society of European Stage Authors and Composers – a music licensing group) Christian Music Awards.
Petra’s history goes back to the early 1970s when they recorded their first album.
Other SESAC award winners for songwriting over the past year were Jason Ingram, Natalie Grant and  Jamie Grace.

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Michael W. Smith

Michael W. Smith

Singer-songwriter Michael W. Smith was the subject of a news note in The Tennessean, Nashville’s main newspaper.
Calling Smith “the well-known Christian star/community do-gooder,” the author noted Smith’s long charitable track record – including starting up the Rocketown youth facility, his fundraiser-song following the Haiti earthquake and his teaming up with Bono to fight AIDS in Africa.
Smith is now part of a radio network fan award effort to build four homes in economically challenged Detroit. (The details are yet to be announced).
Read the entire article at http://blogs.tennessean.com/tunein/2014/03/04/michael-w-smith-i-dont-do-enough/

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Britt Nicole from Hollywood

Britt Nicole was in the audience at Wednesday (2/26) evening’s “American Idol” telecast from Los Angeles.
“Watch Idol tonight: U might see me,” she tweeted to followers before the show from her perch in the crowd.
Nicole was delighted to learn that a couple of young women sitting next to her knew her hit song “Gold.”
Meanwhile, also in the crowd was one of last year’s finalists Angie Miller, who sang a Colton Dixon song as part of the competition which landed her in third place in 2013.
“Had a great night catching up with people,” tweeted Angie, who went backstage and visited with Idol judge Keith Urban and several other A.I crew members.

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Chris Tomlin wearing the "X"

Thursday (Feb. 27) was branded Shine A Light on Slavery Day in a social media campaign meant to bring awareness to the issue of human trafficking. A sign of the campaign was a red “X” painted on the hand, signifying “I’m in it to end it!”
The campaign #enditmovement was the number two trending Twitter tag in the entire U.S. Thursday morning.
Among Christian artists who posted as part of the campaign were Matt Maher, Chris Tomlin, TobyMac, Israel Houghton, Natalie Grant, Tenth Avenue North, Hillsong UNITED, Matt Redman, David Crowder – Shelly and Louie Giglio – also singer Carrie Underwood and her husband Mike Fisher.
“We know awareness won’t end modern-day slavery, but we believe without it, modern-day slavery will never end,” posted Tomlin.

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Tamela Mann

Gospel singer-actress Tamela Mann has won yet another award.
The vocalist won an NAACP Image Award last weekend (2/23) for outstanding gospel album of the year, “Best Days Deluxe Edition.”
Mann, the wife of actor David Mann, had already won Dove, Stellar and Grammy Awards for her music. She has been a fixture on the popular television program, “Meet the Browns,” and has appeared in several stage plays. Her signature song is the soaring anthem, “Take Me to The King.”

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Jobe preparing to tour

Kari Jobe got some nice news when her new song “Forever” topped the iTunes Christian Chart its very first week.
Jobe is headed out on tour with the worship-based band Rend Collective. Her new CD, “Majestic,” hits stores on March 25.
“I don’t care what song I sing, if the heart of it is that people fall more in love with Jesus and they understand the heart of God for them,” said Jobe in a press statement.

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Thousand Foot Krutch may be the first faith-based band from the United States to perform in Russia following the Winter Olympics.
TFK won’t be near Sochi, the site of the games. But the band has a concert scheduled for April 27 in the Moscow Arena.
One fan tweeted a photo of her tickets, already prepared to rock to songs such as “Light Up The Sky” and “War of Change.”

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Toby (right), and crew on their tour

TobyMac has befriended several pro-sports athletes who have been drawn to the artist because of his music.
One of them is back-up safety Chris Maragos of the SuperBowl champion Seattle Seahawks. When Toby’s “Hits Deep” tour went through Seattle recently, Toby and several band members got a personal tour of the luxurious Seahawks training facility, conducted by Maragos himself!
The player has been a fan of Toby since his college football days at the University of Wisconsin.

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Lookwood had previous released a solo EP

Chris Lockwood of the inspirational pop duo 33 MIles has announced he is leaving the band after more than eight years.
“After struggling with what I’ve known to be true for some time now, I have finally given in to what I believe God has been pressing on me for many months,” he said.
“It’s been one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make.”
Lockwood said for now he’ll be writing and producing for other artists and playing more at his home church.
The move leaves co-founding member Jesse Barton as the lone remaining voice in the band.
“I am brokenhearted that the season of our partnership has come to an end and at the same time I’m excited for him,” Barton noted.
Barton will carry on 33 MIles on a limited basis. Read more about his plans at http://e2.ma/message/1kpah/x95o1d

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Gemma Elena Fink

Gemma Elena is the welcome addition to the family of singer Rebecca St. James and husband Jacob Fink.
Gemma came in at 8 lbs. 3 oz. and was born Feb. 19
Her name means Precious Stone/Jewel & Shining Light.
“We are doing great!,” tweeted the singer. “My husband and I praise God for the sheer delight of this incredible blessing. God is so good and FAITHFUL! Thanks for your support and prayers…”

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