Top Ten Contemporary Christian Music Bands

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Posted on January 3rd, 2008

Contemporary Christian music is quickly gaining popular support all over the world, especially in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Notable Christian music artists have even crossed the mainstream border to be known worldwide and recognized in various prestigious music awards such as the Grammy Awards. Christian music bands have made it to the mainstream scene, and have attained some degree of popularity all over the world, complete with huge fan bases similar to that of mainstream acts.

Below is a list of the top ten contemporary Christian music bands that have made it big in the music industry, particularly in the mainstream music industry.

1) Jars Of Clay

Mention Jars of Clay to any music fan and you are sure to get a positive reaction. Jars of Clay is a four-member band that plays Christian alternative rock music infused with a bit of folk and indie music. The band’s name was derived from the verse in 2 Corinthians 4:7 of the Bible, the New International Version. Formed in the early 1990s, the band hails from Greenville, Illinois, and is composed of Dan Haseltine, Steve Mason and Charlie Lowell. Matt Bronlewee and Scott Savage later joined the line up. Jars of Clay originally wrote and played music more for fun than profit. The band got discovered in 1994 when they won a talent competition sponsored by the Gospel Music Association. After signing to a record label, they released their self-titled album. The single "Flood" from the album became the biggest mainstream hit ever from a Christian band.

Jars of Clay - I Need You

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2) Casting Crowns

Casting Crowns is a Grammy Award and Dove Award-winning Christian music band that has a soft rock musical style. Lead by vocalist Mark Hall, who is also a youth pastor, the band was discovered by Christian music artist legend Steven Curtis Chapman. The band got its first recording contract in 2003, after which they released their self-titled debut album. Their subsequent album, Lifesong, was released in 2005, which landed 9th on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. Their latest album, The Altar and the Door, debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart after its release on August 2007.

Casting Crowns - Lifesong

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3) Switchfoot

Switchfoot is an alternative Christian music band from San Diego, California. They have been nominated for various Grammy awards and have already gained mainstream recognition worldwide. Four of the band’s songs were included in the soundtrack of the hit movie "A Walk to Remember" in 2002, propelling the band’s career into the mainstream music industry. Soon after, the band released their debut album entitled "The Beautiful Letdown," in which the hits "Dare You to Move" and "Meant to Live" are included.

Switchfoot - Dare You To Move

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4) Third Day

Third Day is a contemporary Christian music band from Marietta, Georgia. It was founded by lead singer Mac Powell and guitarist Mark Lee during the early 1990s. Other band members are Tai Anderson on the bass, David Carr on the drums, and Brad Avery on the guitars. The band got its name from the Biblical account of Jesus rising from the dead on the third day after he was crucified.

Third Day - I Believe

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5) Relient K

Relient K is one of the more popular Christian rock bands today. The band was formed in 1998 in Canton, Ohio. The band got its name from guitarist Matt Hoopes’ Plymouth Reliant K car. The band has received various awards, including two Dove Awards, and a Grammy nomination in 2003 for Best Rock Gospel Album. The band got its mainstream hit in 2004 when the record company Capitol signed them for their fourth record, "Mmhmm," which landed on the 15th spot of the Billboard 200. Three Christian radio top five hits came from the album, with two top 20 hits on mainstream radio. Their fifth and latest album titled "Five Score and Seven Years Ago," landed on the 6th spot of the US Billboard 200, and has sold about 150,000 copies.

Relient K - Must Have Done Something Right

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6) P.O.D. (Payable On Death)

P.O.D. is a metal-rap Christian music band from San Diego, California. Formed in 1992, the band has been nominated for several Grammy awards to date. The band’s name was derived from the Jesus Christ’s death for humanity, a true testament to the band’s Christian faith. P.O.D has produced many hits, such as "Southtown" and "Rock the Party (Off the Hook)," "Alive," "Youth of the Nation," and "School of Hard Knocks," which was featured in the Adam Sandler movie "Little Nicky." P.O.D is one of the few Christian music bands who have able to completely cross over to the mainstream metal music scene, as proven by their playing at Ozzfest over the last few years.

P.O.D. - Youth of the Nation

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7) dcTalk

dc Talk is a Christian rock, rap and hip hop band, that is credited to be one of the bands to popularize the Contemporary Christian music genre during the early 1990s. The band has been on hiatus since 2000, as some of the band’s members have been pursuing solo careers. dc talk was formed in the late 1980s by Lynchburg, Virginia residents Toby McKeehan, Michael Tait, and Kevin Max Smith. The band garnered success in both the Christian and mainstream music industry.

DC Talk - Between You and Me

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8) As I Lay Dying

As I Lay Dying is a contemporary Christian metal core band hailing from San Diego, California. The band is composed of Tim Lambesis on vocals, Jordan Mancino on drums, Phil Sgrosso and Nick Hipa on guitars, and Josh Gilbert on bass. Formed in 2001, the band has already released four studio albums, a split album, and a compilation album. The band’s most successful single, An Ocean Between Us, made it to the 8th spot on the Billboard 200 chart, and the top spot on the Top Rock chart.

As I Lay Dying - The Darkest Nights

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9) Sixpence None The Richer

Sixpence None the Richer, composed of Leigh Nash on vocals, Matt Slocum on guitars, Tess Wiley on guitars, J.J. Plasencio on bass, and Dale Baker on drums, was a Grammy-nominated Christian pop-rock music band. The band members originated from New Braunfels, Texas, later settling on Nashville, Tennessee. The band got its name from a passage written by C.S. Lewis in "Mere Christianity." Sixpence None the Richer has produced many notable original and cover tracks, including "Kiss Me," "There She Goes," and "Don’t Dream It’s Over."

Sixpence None The Richer - Kiss Me

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10) Caedmon’s Call

Caedmon’s Call is a Contemporary Christian band that plays alternative rock music infused with traditional folk and world music. The band members include Cliff Young on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Danielle Young on vocals, Derek Webb and Andrew Osenga on guitars, Jeff Miller on bass guitar, Garett Buell on percussion, Todd Bragg on drums, and Josh Moore on accordion, keyboard and harmonica. The band has released notable tracks, including the pop hit "Love Alone."

Caedmon’s Call - Hope to Carry On

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Contemporary Christian music may not make as much money as mainstream musical genres, but the bands surely are precious. With their message of hope, love and faith, contemporary Christian music is sure to stay for years to come.

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