Last year, The Myriad crossed over from the Christian scene to the mainstream when the band beat 4,000 other entrants to win the "MTV2 Dew Circuit Breakout" competition. Their videos were spun in regular rotation, they scored a series of "Discover and Download" and "Artist of the Week" segments, and they earned a soundtrack slot on Xbox's Rock Band.
But the band got some bad news when drummer Randy Miller was diagnosed with cancer. They took the last eight months off, and while Miller is still fighting stage four of the disease, his doctors just him clearance to return to the road this fall, touring with Tyrone Wells and Matt Hires to benefit The Humane Society's "All Creatures Great and Small" campaign. The group also hopes the dates will give Miller (who returns to chemotherapy treatments the day after the tour) a new lease on life while inspiring fans.
"We had no idea that Randy would actually prove to be a better drummer than we had ever seen in the past," frontman Jeremy Edwardson blogged about the rehearsal sessions. "He was secretly immersing himself in drummer videos and practicing at least an hour a day. He later told us his fight, his battle, was more than beating cancer. He wanted to come out a better husband, father, drummer, and ultimately a better man of God."
Hillsong United hits the silver screen
Hillsong United fans can do "Wednesday night church" on Nov. 4 when the Australian worship group hits 500 movie theaters in a live telecast. The program includes a screening of Hillsong's social justice documentary We're All in This Together, plus a live introduction by Hillsong United's lead singer Joel Houston, along with taped concert footage from the group's home church Sydney. For a trailer click here; for a list of participating theaters, click here.
Three years since its last studio CD, pop group FFH returns with Wide Open Spaces on November 10. The project follows a sabbatical when frontman Jeromy Deibler and his wife and fellow group member Jennifer moved to South Africa to mentor worship leaders. Their recent journey is all chronicled on the album. "The time away has been anything but routine," said Deibler in a press release. "Since our departure in 2006, Jennifer and I have moved to Africa and back, welcomed our second child, and dealt with my MS (Multiple Sclerosis) diagnosis. … The waiting has been hard, but the Lord knew we needed a break to deal with some deeper issues, both physical and spiritual, that just couldn't be dealt with while on the road. We now feel like it's time to renew our connection with our audience and start telling them about this chapter in our story."
Chynna Phillips on Oprah
Attention continues to mount behind Chynna Phillips' upcoming Christian debut. The 10 million-album selling member of Wilson Phillips recently appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show to plug her new duo, Chynna & Vaughan, and their CD One Reason, which streets October 5. Groupmate Vaughan Penn is also known for her soundtrack contributions to The Hills and Grey's Anatomy, plus extensive mainstream touring.
Songwriter turned solo star
His songwriting credits include Point of Grace, 4Him and Avalon (to name a few), resulting in six gold records and two Dove nominations. But these days John Mandeville is going the solo artist route, releasing the CD We Belong To Heaven and finding additional success at radio. The album's lead single "Glorify" is No. 5 on Billboard's Soft AC/Inspirational chart, its fourth consecutive week in the top 10.
Double dose of Tim Hughes live
After introducing songs like "Here I Am To Worship" and "Beautiful One" to churches all across the globe, Tim Hughes turns in his first concert collection. Happy Day hits both CD and DVD October 20, featuring guest performers Martin Smith and Stu G (both of Delirious), plus four new songs recorded exclusively for this project. The DVD includes an hour-long "story behind the songs" interview with lessons for worship leaders.
Kierra mixes it up
Grammy-nominated gospel favorite Kierra Sheard just dropped an EP featuring two new tunes and remixes of old ones. Kiki'sMix Tape includes production from Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins (Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston) and Tommy Sims (Amy Grant, Bruce Springsteen), plus a duet with soul star Marcus Cole.
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