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Christian Country Music and Its Artists

It’s called the Jesus Movement, and it’s sweeping through the country music genre like a wildfire. Today’s country music serves as a platform for Christian artists to tell their stories of faith in song.

From popular Christian artists like Toby Mac, Mercy Me, and Tenth Avenue North to modern country stars like Eric Church and Florida Georgia Line, the faith-based movement in Christianity is evident in many ways.

But as artists like Woody Cunningham know, one of the most profound ways to share a testimony or message of faith is through song.

Christian Country music

What is Christian Country Music?

Christian country music (or CCM) is a style of gospel music that blends gospel with elements of country music. CCM singers usually sing about their faith, and many songs focus on God’s love for humanity.

Christian country artists typically perform at churches or Christian festivals. Some popular Christian country artists include Josh Turner and Lauren Daigle, who have both won Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album!

A Brief History Of The Christian Country Subgenre

Christian country music is a subgenre of country music, and it’s been around since the 1970s. It’s not exactly new, but it has expanded recently as more artists embrace their faith and use it as inspiration for their music.

Christian country artists are often popular in the US, which makes sense given that a large majority of Americans identify themselves as Christians.

These artists include singers like Toby Mac (who released an album called The Elements in 2009), Michael W Smith (who released Welcome Home with his wife Shelley Breen Smith in 2012) and Clay Aiken (whose debut album Measure of a Man was released in 2003).

In addition to these mainstream Christian country musicians, there are also many others who are less well-known but still worth listening to!

Christian Country music genre

Lyrics Of The Songs

The lyrics of Christian country songs are based on Christian themes. These themes can include redemption, forgiveness, and grace, but they aren’t always literal Bible verses or direct messages from God.

The music is typically upbeat and positive as well, so if you’re looking for something that will energize your morning commute or make you want to dance at a party (whether you’re religious or not), this is an excellent subgenre to explore!

Instruments In The Songs

Christian country music is played on a variety of instruments, just like secular country music. The most common ones are the guitar, bass, drums, and piano. While Christian country has many similarities to secular country music in terms of instrumentation and style, there are also differences that make it unique. For example:

  • The melodies are typically more straightforward than those found in secular country songs because they’re designed for congregational singing (i.e., you don’t need to be able to play an instrument or read sheet music to participate).
  • There’s usually no pedal steel guitar or fiddle in Christian country music because these instruments add complexity that makes it harder for people who live far apart from one another (or who have no access at all) to sing together as part of their community worship experience.
  • The lyrics tend towards being less complex than those found in secular country songs because they’re written with the goal of conveying simple truth-claims over entertaining listeners with stories or witty wordplay (although this isn’t always true).

Christian Country

Christian Country Music Artists

  • MercyMe. MercyMe has been nominated for several Grammy Awards, and won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song in 2009 for “I Can Only Imagine”. The band’s album Spoken For was released in 2010 and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Christian Albums chart.
  • Newsboys. Newsboys have released more than 20 albums over their 30-year career, including Love Riot, which reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Christian Albums chart in 2011. The group received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Gospel Song in 2012 for “God’s Not Dead (like a Lion)”. The band’s latest album, Built to Last, was released in 2015 and debuted at No. 1 on both Billboard’s Top Christian Albums chart and Billboard 200 chart.
  • Pat Boone. Boone’s classic hit “Ain’t That A Shame” was recorded in 1958 and is one of the earliest examples of Christian country music.
  • Gram Parsons. Parsons was a member of the Byrds who later formed the Flying Burrito Brothers with Chris Hillman, Rick Roberts and Michael Clarke. The band released their first album, The Gilded Palace of Sin, in 1969. It was considered one of the most influential albums ever recorded in the rock music genre and paved the way for many acts to come after it.


Christian country music has always been unique in its ability to mix the plight of troubled individuals with faith in Jesus Christ.

However, as country music has changed over the years, so have the struggles of modern Christians and how they choose to address them. Christian artists are now collaborating with secular artists more than ever, creating new tunes that reflect their faith.

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