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Facebook Bans Faith-Based Music Video From Gospel Group Zion’s Joy!

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In mid-June, Gospel group Zion’s Joy! quietly released a music video for their new single, “What Would Heaven Look Like” – the title track from their upcoming album from Habakkuk Music/InGrooves/Universal.  On or about July 1st, with over 12,000 views and climbing, Facebook deleted the video without warning or notification. Attempts to reach Facebook to find a resolution were unsuccessful.

The video remained off of Facebook’s radar until the group attempted to “boost” (a paid promotion that increases the post’s visibility) the post of the video on the Zion’s Joy! Facebook page. The boosted post was rejected by Facebook “because of political content.” Soon after, the video and post were deleted from Facebook altogether.

Not only is the song and music video absent of “political content,” but it’s message of love and unity is deliberately clear…

People of every color loving one another tell me
What would heaven look like?
Bigotry and hate are absent only love and peace are present tell me
What would heaven feel like?

“To say that we were disappointed to see that Facebook had removed our video would be a gross understatement,” says group member Kay Insley. “I have to wonder if the content of the song was truly examined. In a time where the country seems to be more and more divided, we wanted to share a message of hope, love and universal togetherness. It seems in Facebook’s attempts to curtail questionable content they cracked down on a song trying to bring healing to our nation. We are a group made up of different cultures and beliefs from both sides of the aisle and reviewed the video extensively to make sure its content was not divisive. Within the first week of its release, we had people from all over the political spectrum and a broad range of religious beliefs reach out letting us know how much the video had meaningfully impacted them. Do we really live in a time where making a positive statement about people coming together is deemed political?”

Zion’s Joy! was founded by Robert W. Stevenson in 2008 and in the decade that followed they have performed throughout the United States, using their powerful voices and tight, rich harmonies to deliver a unique blend of old and new school gospel and contemporary Christian music. The line-up consists of Kay Insley, Camille McKnight, Lia Matthews, Karen Hall, Shekinah Caldron, Lynesha Sweeney, Patrick Taylor, Jeffery Porter and Ramone Griffith.

“This song has brought healing and hope to thousands that have listened to it,” says group member Karen Hall. “Our hope is that it would inspire people to love each other the way God loves us – unconditionally! We want Facebook to allow us to continue to spread this message.”

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Michael W. Smith

Rascal Flatts, Point of Grace, More Added To Star-Studded Tribute Concert ’35 Years Of Friends: Celebrating The Music Of Michael W. Smith’

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Nashville, Tenn. – When the stars align, they surely align, and that is exactly what is happening as country music’s chart-topping group Rascal Flatts, award-winning CCM icons Point of Grace and Phil Keaggy, and comedians Henry Cho, Nate Bargatze and John Crist have all signed on to perform and honor Michael W. Smith during the once-in-a-lifetime tribute event taking place April 30th. ‘35 years of Friends: Celebrating The Music Of Michael W. Smith’ will take place at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, and will also include performances by Amy Grant, Bob Goff, Brian Littrell from the the Backstreet Boys, CeCe Winans, Chonda Pierce, Danny Gokey, Donnie McClurkin, Francesca Battistelli, The Gatlin Brothers, The Isaacs, Jars of Clay, Jason Crabb, Jim Brickman, Jordan Smith, Jordin Sparks, Justin Flom, Laura Story, Lee Greenwood, Mac Powell, Matt Maher, Matthew West, MercyMe, Natalie Grant, Newsboys, The Oak Ridge Boys, Phillips, Craig and Dean, Randy Travis, Ricky Skaggs, Russ Taff, Sandi Patty, Scott Hamilton, Vince Gill, Wayne Kirkpatrick and the Original MWS Band, and Wynonna.

Promoted by Outback Concerts and produced by Tony Conway of Conway Entertainment Group, music lovers will experience over 40 artists from all genres, performing a set list to include many of Smith’s 35 #1 hit singles. With over 45 Dove awards, three Grammy awards, and an American Music award, Michael W. Smith has forever enshrined his mark in the music history books. Smith garnered yet another Grammy nomination in 2018 for ‘Best Contemporary Christian Music Album’ for his latest worship effort, ‘Surrounded.’

Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster locations and the Bridgestone Arena box office.

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Michael W. Smith

Christian Music Icon Michael W. Smith To Receive All-Star Tribute On April 30

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With over 45 Dove awards, three Grammy awards, and an American Musicaward, Michael W. Smith has forever enshrined his mark in the music historybooks. Smith garnered yet another Grammy nod last Friday with a nomination for’Best Contemporary Christian Music Album’ for his latest worship effort,’Surrounded.’

In a once-in-a-lifetime tribute event, promoted by Outback Concerts andproduced by Tony Conway of Conway Entertainment Group, friends and fellowmusicians will pay tribute to Smith on April 30, 2019, at the Bridgestone Arenain Nashville, Tennessee. Celebrating his remarkable 35-year career will includeAmy Grant, Bob Goff, Brian Littrell from the the Backstreet Boys, CeCe Winans,Chonda Pierce, Danny Gokey, Donnie McClurkin, Francesca Battistelli, The GatlinBrothers, The Isaacs, Jars of Clay, Jason Crabb, Jim Brickman, Jordan Smith,Jordin Sparks, Justin Flom, Laura Story, Lee Greenwood, Mac Powell, Matt Maher,Matthew West, MercyMe, Natalie Grant, Newsboys, The Oak Ridge Boys, Phillips,Craig and Dean, Randy Travis, Ricky Skaggs, Russ Taff, Sandi Patty, ScottHamilton, Vince Gill, Wayne Kirkpatrick and the Original MWS Band, Wynonna andmore to be announced soon.

Dubbed ‘35 Years of Friends: Celebrating The Music of Michael W. Smith,’ musiclovers will experience over 35 artists, from all genres, performing a set listto include many of Smith’s 35 #1 hit singles. In addition, 2018 marks the 35thAnniversary of Smith’s Top 10 single “Friends,” which helped introduce hismusic to both secular and non-secular audiences. Smith once again shared thesong with the world when he performed it at the Washington, D.C. memorialservice for his dear friend, President George H.W. Bush, last Wednesday.

“Michael is a Christian music icon and we can think of no better way tocelebrate him than with this star-studded lineup we have put together,” saysOutback Concerts’ Morgan Carney. “It’s going to be an event not to be missed,and will be a fantastic celebration of one of the greats.”

“I’ve had the privilege of working with Michael for over thirtyyears,” said John Huie, Head of Music at CAA in Nashville. “I’ve seenhis music impact people from all walks of life – from Presidents topedestrians. This celebration of his contributions to music and the impact ofthe song ‘FRIENDS’ will be very special. It’s been fun watching it cometogether as so many artists from all genres are anxious to celebrate Michaeland his music. An event like this is a first for a Christian artist – and it’sgoing to be great!”

“Putting a tribute event together can be a tremendous amount of work,unless you are doing a tribute to Christian superstar Michael W. Smith,“said Tony Conway (Conway Entertainment Group/Ontourage). “I have been afan and follower of his music and mission in life since he started performing.Every single artist that his manager Chaz and I talked with said yes rightaway. It is an honor to work alongside Michael, Chaz and the promoter, MikeSmardak of Outback Concerts. One thing we can all promise, and that is thiswill be a very special, one night only concert, with lots of surprises andmagical collaborations.”

Tickets go on sale at 10am (CT) Friday,December 14 at all Ticketmaster locations and the Bridgestone Arena.

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Hillsong Kids

Hillsong Kids Releasing New Album “Can You Believe It? – Songs of Truth”

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HILLSONG KIDS, the children’s ministry of Hillsong Church, will release its seventh career project “Can You Believe It!? – Songs of Truth” worldwide on Sept. 21. Available for pre-order today at all digital retail providers along with the single “My Best Friend,” the collection includes a digital album, CD and DVD.

The 14-song singalong compilation poses a question and a challenge, a statement of gratitude to a loving God and an invitation to explore the very foundations of faith and includes Hillsong classics joined by brand new declarations of faith. From familiar favorites like “My Best Friend,” “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail),” and “What A Beautiful Name,” to fresh offerings such as “As The World Shakes” and “Heaven Is Our Home,” “Can You Believe It!? – Songs of Truth” offers fun and vibrant audio and visual content for children around the world that declares biblical truths about God’s love and grace.

“We believe that teaching children to love God and others takes place in both the home and in the church,” says David Wakerley, HILLSONG KIDS pastor and creative director. “We are excited to partner with parents (the greatest teachers of all!), pastors and leaders, and equip them with great resources to impact the next generation.”

“Can You Believe It!? – Songs of Truth” complete track listing:

  1. I Give You My Hallelujah
  2. Ask Seek Knock
  3. This Is Living
  4. Who You Say I Am
  5. My Best Friend
  6. Voices Of Freedom
  7. Oceans (Where Feet My Fail)
  8. Little Life (For You Jesus)
  9. Made In Your Image
  10. We Came To Meet With You
  11. As The World Shakes
  12. Heaven Is Our Home
  13. What A Beautiful Name
  14. You Know Me

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Fireflight

Fireflight Releasing New Single “Die Free” August 3

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Grammy and Dove Award-nominated Fireflight releases its next hard-driving, barn-burner “Die Free” Aug. 3 to radio and digital retail outlets internationally. The single features Fireflight cofounders Dawn Michele (vocals), Wendy Drennen (bass, backing vocals) and Glenn Drennen (guitar) along with Disciple’s lead vocalist Kevin Young.

 

Continuing the return to its rock roots, Fireflight’s “Die Free (Feat. Kevin Young)” was produced by Fireflight and Josiah Prince (Disciple) and follows Fireflight’s 10th No. 1 radio hit “I Won’t Look Back,” which continues to remain Top 5 on Billboard’s Christian Rock national airplay chart.

 

“Obsessed with entertainment and possessions, we’ve become slaves to our most basic impulses,” says Michele, revealing the impetus for the new single. “All of our attention is so completely captured by the fool’s gold surrounding us, that we have become dulled to the voice of God and His great calling for our lives. It’s time to wake up and realize that this world has nothing for us, only the power and love of God can ever fulfill the desires of our hearts and minds.”

 

I won’t let you hypnotize me

Take back your American day dream

I won’t let you hypnotize me

I don’t need anything that you’re selling

You can’t buy me, you can take my life, but I’ll die free

(From the chorus of “Die Free”)

 

“Die Free” and “I Won’t Look Back” release during a season that finds Fireflight taking a step back from constant touring to be at home more as they raise their families. While not touring as much, the band members will continue to record and release new music they feel passionate about sharing with their fans. Watch for additional music in the months to come.

 

Playing their first concert in over a year on Aug. 11 with Disciple and The Protest in Columbus (Logan, OH), all the latest Fireflight news can be found at www.Fireflightrock.com, Twitter, Instagram, VEVO, YouTube, Bandsintown and Facebook, where the band has more than 442,000 likes.

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Christian Music

Facebook Restores Video By Gospel Music Group After Intense Backlash

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Trevor Decker News was one of the first to report earlier today about Facebook banning a post by gospel group Zion’s Joy! Facebook moments ago, reversed their decision and acknowledged that they should not have taken the video down. They have just restored the video to Facebook (on the group’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ZionsJoy) complete with original views, comments, etc.

 

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Hillsong Young & Free

Hillsong Young & Free Release Official “Let Go” Music Video

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LOS ANGELES (May 25, 2018) With hints at a new album this Summer, GRAMMY® nominated Hillsong Young & Free released the music video  for their newest single, “Let Go,” today. The breakout song, available now on iTunes, Amazon and all digital retailers, tracked 329,000 digital streams out-of-the-gate with placement on top playlists including New Music Friday, Pop Rising, Mood Booster, Pop for Life, Hits UP, Top Christian, Global Viral 50, Top Christian Contemporary, and Top Christian Hits reaching more than a combined 8 million followers.

Shot over the course of two days across the majestic, and seemingly never-ending salt flats in Utah, the video suggests of the grandeur and supremacy of God, a fitting illustration to the band’s heart behind the inspirational lyrics.

“Life presents us with so many choices. Jesus invites us to live full-on for Him with no holds barred,” says Laura Toggs of Hillsong Young & Free. ‘Let Go’ is about the decision to give up our own ambitions and to give into Gods unrelenting love towards us. His love shows us how to live, and leads us to an oasis of freedom. Let go and let love.”

With over 285 million YouTube channel views and a combined social following of 3 million, Hillsong Young & Free continues to redefine Christian music to the masses with their projects and sold out shows across the globe, sharing their positive message in the musical context of EDM and pop influences.

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Christian Music

Youth Ministry Planetboom Releasing New Single ‘Jesus Over Everything’

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The dynamic, multi-cultural youth ministry of Planetshakers Church, Planetboom, releases “Jesus Over Everything” June 1 with global distribution by Venture3 Media. The single will be available through iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Google Play and more digital and streaming outlets internationally.

Pioneering the next generation of Planetshakers music, Planetboom Band is passionate about encountering God, seeking His presence and working to change the culture around them through relevant music. Comprised of young musicians, songwriters and vocalists, the band leads praise and worship every week as the ministry exists to see young people empowered to win their generation.

“Out of this next-generation movement comes a unique praise and worship expression,” says Planetboom Youth Pastor Andy Harrison. “Merging styles and musical genres, and complete with a spoken-word piece, ‘Jesus Over Everything,’ is an anointed and powerful declaration on behalf of young people all over the world.”

“With teenagers facing increasing pressures and temptations, boundaryless sexualization and social media bullying, this is a bold statement,” adds Josh Ham, Planetboom’s Creative Director, Assistant Producer. “In the midst of every alternative, we choose Jesus over everything.”

The new song follows two singles released from Planetboom Band over the past year, “New Levels” and “Praise of Problems,” which have collectively received over 1.4 million views on YouTube alone.

With more new music slated to release this year, all the latest Planetboom Band news and updates can be found at www.planetshakers.com/planetboom, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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Upperrom

Worship Ministry UPPERROOM Releasing New EP “Moments”

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Worship ministry UPPERROOM independently releases its third recording, Moments, May 18 with global distribution for the first time through The Fuel Music. This new five-song digital album is a collection of songs curated out of the ministry’s Prayer Room that have since went on to inspire not only the members of UPPERROOM, the church in Dallas’ creative Design District that started in 2010, but millions more around the globe.

 

Called to gather the Lord’s people daily for corporate worship, praise, thanksgiving, adoration and intercession through song and scripture, UPPERROOM opened its doors without much fanfare. Today, people around the globe are singing their songs and around 100 vocalists, songwriters and musicians contribute their talents to leading people in worship three times a day, six days a week.

 

“We really wanted to love Him well. We wanted to set a table for Him,” says UPPERROOM Pastor Michael Miller. “God has brought some of the most gifted musicians, singers and worship leaders just to help steward this vision.”

 

Among those gifted creatives are Meredith Mauldin, who leads UPPERROOM’s songwriting efforts, and Elyssa Smith, who leads worship at the church’s second location, UPPERROOM Denver.

 

“The power really comes from the Prayer Room,” Mauldin says of their artistic inspiration. She leads a writing intensive once every three months, gathering UPPERROOM’s songwriters in one place to expand melodies and lyrics, often spontaneously birthed in worship. “Basically, what we’re doing is stewarding the songs that we’re getting in the Prayer Room.”

 

Although UPPERROOM has been leading people in worship and prayer for eight years, it was only recently that they began to release their music to the culture at large. Much like dripping medicine from an IV, they slowly began to quietly drip organic moments from their worship sets on YouTube.

 

“We have a unique worship culture. We’ve been experiencing it for a long time,” Miller shares, “but we hadn’t put anything out there, so we decided to prayerfully start releasing these moments, which were just nights of worship from our services. We put those online, and they really went viral.”

 

One of those viral videos propelled a song Smith wrote to new heights, and all around the world, in an unexpected fashion. During a set with her brother and one of the Prayer Room directors, she spontaneously began singing what would become the chorus to Surrounded (Fight My Battles)”:This is how I fight my battles. It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by You.”

 

Multiple Grammy Award-winning Michael W. Smith heard the song after his producer discovered it on YouTube and decided to record it as the title track for his 2018 live worship album. Shortly after its release, he performed the song live on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

 

“We didn’t really do anything; and the Lord, He’s just breathing on it,” Smith says of the song that bears her name. “We’re just so humbled by the whole thing.”

A broader glimpse of UPPERROOM’s heartbeat can be heard on the collective’s aptly titled Moments, a collection of live ‘moments’ recorded during spontaneous worship in the Prayer Room. The songs showcase instances of authenticity and surrender and are a poignant snapshot of what’s been taking place behind closed doors in Dallas for some time. It’s just that, now, the world is taking notice.

 

“I think the title of the album is really indicative of the heart behind the project, which are these moments of a community that’s living this lifestyle around the presence of Jesus,” shares Miller. “We really are just capturing moments from our community that we feel like the Lord is highlighting.”

 

The full Moments track listing follows:

 

1)    “Tremble (Live) (feat. Abbie Simmons)

2)    “Adoration (Live) [feat. Meredith Mauldin]”

3)    “Defender (Live) [feat. Abbie Simmons]

4)    “All Hail King Jesus (Live) [feat. SarahBeth Smith]”

5)    “Surrounded (Fight My Battles) [feat. Elyssa Smith]

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Christian Music

More Than a Dozen Christian Artists Nominated for 2018 Billboard Music Awards

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Hillsong United

Hillsong United

The nominees for the 2018 Billboard Music Awards have officially been announced and 13 Christian artists and albums stand to win in six different categories.

The categories include “Top Christian Artist,” “Top Gospel Artist,” “Top Christian Album,” “Top Gospel Album,” “Top Christian Song,” and “Top Gospel Song.”

The nominees are:

Top Christian Artist:
Elevation Worship
Hillsong UNITED
Hillsong Worship
MercyMe
Zach Williams

Top Gospel Artist:
Anthony Brown & group therAPy
Travis Greene
J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise
Tasha Cobbs Leonard
Tamela Mann

Top Christian Album:
Elevation Worship, There Is A Cloud
Hillsong UNITED, Wonder
Hillsong Worship, Let There Be Light
Alan Jackson, Precious Memories Collection
MercyMe, Lifer

Top Gospel Album:
Anthony Brown & group therAPy, A Long Way From Sunday
Travis Greene, Crossover: Live From Music City
J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise, You Deserve It
Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Heart. Passion. Pursuit
Marvin Sapp, Close

Top Christian Song:
Elevation Worship, “O Come To The Altar”

Hillsong Worship, “What A Beautiful Name”

Lecrae ft. Tori Kelly, “I’ll Find You”

MercyMe, “Even If”

Zach Williams, “Old Church Choir”

Top Gospel Song:

Anthony Brown & group therAPy, “Trust In You”

Travis Greene, “You Waited”

J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise, “You Deserve It”

Tamela Mann, “Change Me”

Charlie Wilson, “I’m Blessed”

Hillsong UNITED and Hillsong Worship were honored with a combined five Billboard Music Award nominations, the most out of their fellow-nominees.

The nominations come on the heels of Hillsong Worship’s latest album release, “There Is More” which has earned more than 8 million total streams since it’s April 6th release.

“We believe that music is a language that every living soul on the planet can resonate with and believe that the Gospel message is relevant to just as many people,” says Brook Ligertwood of Hillsong Worship. “It’s our honour to serve people by marrying the two and our sincere intention to do so with passion, integrity and authenticity, to a high creative standard. To receive three Billboard award nominations is such an honour, and we pray we can continue to write and create songs that resonate as strongly as this particular collection has in our own church and beyond.”

Many of the other nominees expressed their excitement on social media.

“Wow!! God is so faithful! It’s such an honor to receive three nominations for @bbmas !! Truly humbled to make an impact all over the world with my music!” wrote gospel singer Travis Greene.

Wow!! God is so faithful! It’s such an honor to receive three nominations for @bbmas !! Truly humbled to make an impact all over the world with my music! Make sure to watch the show May 20th on NBC #EngageCulture #BMMAS

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“I am SO honored to have 2 nominations at the 2018 @BBMAs!” Tasha Cobbs Leondard posted on Instagram.

I am SO honored to have 2 nominations at the 2018 @BBMAs! Don’t miss the show, LIVE May 20th on NBC. #BBMAs

A post shared by Tasha Cobbs Leonard (@tashacobbsleonard) on

“Such an honor to receive two 2018 Billboard Music Award @BBMAs nominations today! Don’t miss the show, LIVE May 20th on NBC. #BBMAs” Tamela Mann wrote on Instagram.

Such an honor to receive two 2018 Billboard Music Award @BBMAs nominations today! Don’t miss the show, LIVE May 20th on NBC. #BBMAs

A post shared by David and Tamela Mann (@davidandtamela) on

“Wow, the blessings just keep on coming! Truly honored that my song #ImBlessed has been nominated for @bbmas Top Gospel Song of the year!” Charlie Wilson said.

Wow, the blessings just keep on coming! Truly honored that my song #ImBlessed has been nominated for @bbmas Top Gospel Song of the year!

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“I’m honored to be up for a couple of #BBMAs this year! Tune in to the show on May 20th!” wrote Zach Williams.

I’m honored to be up for a couple of #BBMAs this year! Tune in to the show on May 20th!

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The 2018 Billboard Music Awards will broadcast live from MGM Grand Garden Arena at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 20 on NBC.

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About Trevor Decker News
Trevor Decker News is an independently owned and operated website covering the entertainment industry from a family-friendly and inspirational perspective. Trevor Decker News is dedicated to covering the best in television, film, and music that inspires and is appropriate for families. Trevor Decker News tries its best to work directly with media companies to provide exclusive and unique perspectives for television film and music campaigns.

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