Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

THIS WEEK'S NEWS: Brian Littrell, GRAMMYs, SCC & More

  • Laura MacCorkle Senior Entertainment Editor
  • Updated Dec 10, 2004
THIS WEEK'S NEWS:  Brian Littrell, GRAMMYs, SCC & More

Backstreet's back … alright! 

I've been waiting a long, long time to say that again and have it mean something.  And okay, okay so it's only one Backstreet Boys member coming back, in the form of Brian Littrell, who has just inked a Christian music deal this week with Provident Label Group's Reunion Records.  Regardless, it's good to know there is still life out there on Planet Backstreet.

Littrell, who's been a Christian "since I was eight years old," will see his first solo album released sometime in 2005.  Before that, his version of "In Christ Alone" will appear on next April's "WOW #1s" album (Provident-Integrity Distribution) and will be released as a radio single.  So listen up for that.

Pictured here after a recent press conference, Littrell shared that he hopes "to reach listeners in this arena and continue to let Backstreet Boys fans know that it's okay to stand for what you believe in.  If I can do something that opens doors and benefits live in some way, I hope to be able to do that."

With ten years in the biz, multiple worldwide sold-out tours, countless accolades and more than 55 million albums sold to their credit, Backstreet Boys are currently touring Europe and are working on their own album to release next year as well through Jive Records.  So it's going to be a busy year for all things Backstreet and Brian.

Other big news this full first full week of December is the announcement of the GRAMMY Awards nominees.  In the Gospel category, some of the usual – but fully fantastic -- suspects were listed:  Steven Curtis Chapman, Fred Hammond, Third Day, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, etc., etc.  But then there were  some nice surprises, including Gotee Records' Sarah Kelly and "Take Me Away" with a nomination for "Best Rock Gospel Album."  Also Skillet got their first GRAMMY nod for "Collide" in the same category.  The 47th Annual GRAMMY Awards will air on CBS on February 13, 2005 at 8:00 p.m. E.T./P.T.  For a full listing of nominees, click here.  For those just interested in Gospel and find a mouse, here are the nominees in that field:

Best Gospel Performance
(For solo, duo, group as collaborative performances. Singles or tracks with vocal containing Gospel lyrics. All genres of Gospel music are eligible.)

The Stone
Shirley Caesar & Ann Nesby
Track from: The Fighting Temptations - Soundtrack
[Music World Music/Columbia]

Heaven Help Us All
Ray Charles & Gladys Knight
Track from: Genius Loves Company
[Concord Records]

Lay My Burden Down
Dr. John & Mavis Staples
Track from: N'awlinz Dis Dat Or D'udda
[EMI/Blue Note]

Celebrate (He Lives)
Fred Hammond
Track from: Somethin' 'Bout Love
[Verity/Zomba Label Group]

There Will Be A Light
Ben Harper & The Blind Boys Of Alabama
Track from: There Will Be A Light

Best Rock Gospel Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

Take Me Away
Sarah Kelly
[Gotee Records]

[Ardent Records/Lava]

Lose This Life
[ForeFront Records]

Third Day
[Essential Records]

Welcome To Diverse City
[ForeFront Records]

Holy Hip Hop "Taking The Gospel To The Streets"
Various Artists
David (Damonsta) Lynch, producer
[Holy Hip Hop Music]

Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

The Creed
[Sparrow Records]

All Things New
Steven Curtis Chapman
[Sparrow Records]

Who We Are Instead
Jars Of Clay
[Essential Records]

Everyday People
Nicole C. Mullen
[Word Records]

Rising Son
[Soar/Red Sea]

Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

The Crabb Family
[Daywind Music Group]

20th Century Gospel: From Hymns To Blackwood Brothers Tribute To Christian Country
The Jordanaires, Art Greenhaw & The Light Crust Doughboys & Nokie Edwards
[Greenhaw Records]

Universal United House Of Prayer
Buddy Miller
[New West Records]

Worship & Faith
Randy Travis
[Word Records]

Amazing Grace 3 - A Country Salute To Gospel
Various Artists
Scott Hendricks, producer
[Sparrow Records]

Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

The Live Experience
The Rance Allen Group
[Tyscot Records]

There Will Be A Light
Ben Harper & The Blind Boys Of Alabama

The Water I Give
Dottie Peoples
[Atlanta International Records (Air Gospel)]

The Praise & Worship Songs
Richard Smallwood
[Verity/Zomba Label Group]

Still Here
The Williams Brothers
[Blackberry Records]

Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

Somethin' 'Bout Love
Fred Hammond
[Verity/Zomba Label Group]

Live From Another Level
Israel And New Breed
[Integrity Gospel]

Bishop T. D. Jakes
[EMI Gospel/Dexterity Sounds]

Nothing Without You
Smokie Norful
[EMI Gospel]

Out The Box
Tonéx & The Peculiar People
[Verity/Zomba Label Group]

Best Gospel Choir Or Chorus Album
(For choirs or choruses only, with or without lead vocalist(s).)

Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus
Minister Timothy Britten & Professor James Roberson, choir directors; Shabach Praise Co.
[JDI Records, Inc]

Live In New York
Rev. Timothy Wright, choir director; New York Fellowship Mass Choir II
[Atlanta International Records (AIRGospel)]

Live...This is Your House
Carol Cymbala, choir director; The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
[INO Records]

Spirit & Truth
Kevin Bond, choir director; Newbirth Total Praise Choir
[EMI Gospel]

Unplugged... The Way Church Used To Be
Ricky Dillard, choir director; New Generation Chorale
[Crystal Rose]

Before the GRAMMYs air in about two months from now, GRAMMY-nominated SC2 will turn thespian, once again, in "Christmas Child," a new holiday film airing on the Lifetime television network this Monday night, December 13, 2004, at 9:00 p.m. E.T.  Starring William Moses and Megan Follows, "Christmas Child" is based on the Max Lucado book, "Christmas Cross."  Chapman calls his own dramatic role "quite a stretch," as he plays the part of a guitar-playing pastor with an adopted Asian daughter.  Hey, that sounds familiar. …

Over on the other side of the dial at CMT, FamilyNet, TBN, Daystar, and Gospel Music Television … whew … artist Pam Pierce's television special, "Pam Pierce:  The Heart of Christmas," will see over 30 national and worldwide broadcasts before Christmas.  The 30-minute live concert special was filmed live with a full orchestra at the Orpheum Theater.  Check your listings for dates and times.  More about Pam at

Well, the hot light is "ON" over at the neighborhood Krispy Kreme, so that's my sign.  I'll catch you kids next week with more from the wonderful world of Christian music.