Hillsong United Named Top Christian Artist At Billboard Music Awards

May 19, 2015

19 May 2015 – Nashville, Tenn – Hillsong UNITED was named Top Christian Artist at Sunday night's Billboard Music Awards. The group was also nominated for "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" as Top Christian Song. The Billboard Music Awards were held live in Las Vegas from the MGM Grand Garden Arena and aired live on ABC. 

“At this point it's all so far beyond us that everything and nothing is a surprise," shares Joel Houston, lead of Hillsong UNITED. "We've been riding on this scandalous grace for so long and throwing everything we have into not taking a moment of it for granted. It means a lot to be recognized on this kind of platform and with so many incredible artists we love and admire. I feel like this award belongs to the many in our church and others around the world who faithfully give their time and energy week in week out, often behind the scenes and with no desire for accolade or applause. If anything, the songs and whatever they achieve are the overflow of that spirit to simply serve God and serve others."

The Billboard Music Awards, a subsidiary division of the iconic Billboard brand, honors some of the biggest names in music today. According to Billboard, the Billboard Music Awards finalists are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital singles sales, radio airplay, touring, streaming and social interactions on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, VEVO, Spotify and other popular online destinations for music. These measurements are tracked year-round by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen Entertainment and Next Big Sound.

UNITED is set to release their highly anticipated album EMPIRES (Hillsong Music/Capitol CMG) Tuesday, May 26. Already touted by fans as "the best album yet," "mind blowing" and "absolutely amazing," EMPIRES is available for pre-order now with three instant downloads - "Prince of Peace," "Heart Like Heaven," and the current radio single, "Touch The Sky, " which continues to hold the No.1 spot on the iTunes' Singles chart.

Promoting the new album, Hillsong UNITED launched EMPIRES performing to 10,000 people last week in New York City at Central Park's Rumsey Playfield. Later the same week they played to an exclusive crowd, pictured below, in a one-off performance at Los Angeles' Club Nokia. Earlier in April UNITED appeared live on The Today Show performing the hit "Touch The Sky."

The release of EMPIRES follows the band's largest growth and international impact in over the last two years. With the 2013 release of ZION, UNITED's notoriety increased with their No. 1 single "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" as it became a RIAA Platinum certified single. This was the group’s first No.1 radio song, cracking the longest reign on Billboard's airplay/sales/streaming-based Hot Christian Songs chart.
In 2014 Billboard Magazine named Hillsong UNITED the top artist of the year, and the group was awarded five GMA Dove Awards, including the coveted Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for "Oceans." They were also nominated for their first American Music Award. Hillsong was included in 10 of Billboard's End of Year charts topping five of the charts: Top Christian Artists, Hot Christian Songs, Hot Christian Songs Artists, Christian Airplay Artists and Christian Digital Songs.

UNITED is a worship band that originally rose out of the youth ministry of Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. This progressive worship band is a global recording and touring entity sent out to share the ever-evolving worship music of Hillsong Church to an international audience through live performances and records. Releasing their first album in 1999, UNITED has toured six continents and more than 40 nations since 2006. The touring entity of UNITED has made a huge wave in the United States as they became the first Christian artist to ever sell out Los Angeles’ Staples Center. In addition to the Staples Center, UNITED has also sold out major venues in Seattle (ShoWare Center), New York (Radio City Music Hall – Hillsong Conference), Denver (Red Rocks Amphitheatre) and Los Angeles (Hollywood Bowl). They will embark on The Outcry Tour this summer - visit for more information.
Continue reading »

Album Review: Mandisa's Get Up [The Remixes]

Along with TobyMac’s Dubbed and Freq’d, and Hillsong United’s The White Album, Mandisa’s “Get Up: The Remixes” is probably one of the most brilliant remix albums to date. Boasting 11 tracks, this 2014 remix project of the American Idol 9th Placer presents some of her biggest hits in a very courageous way.

Get Up: The Remixes starts off with the Capital Kings remix of Mandisa’s no.1 hit “Overcomer”—crafted in a heavy electronic vibe. Right at this moment the album mood is being set on a not so high EDM atmosphere, just enough to warm things up. This level of energy lowers as the album reaches its second track “Back To You” in a Neon Feather remix which is a bit slower; but the music regains its energy with “Joy Unspeakable”, its title defines itself—simply a moment pure joy and a whole lot of fun. These first three tracks are from Mandisa’s preceding album, Overcomer.

Energy bangs the roof with another Capital Kings Remix—‘’Good Morning’’. This cut stands out off the album and it will surely waken you up and bring you to the dance floor.

If you’re a Salsa dancer, you’ll certainly repeat the Rawlsco Latin Remix of “My Deliverer” time and again. It is my favorite song off this project; and also my favorite on Mandisa’s ‘Freedom’ album (its first release). I love how the song goes. It is kind of captivating—it will make your body move to the beat, unintentionally.

Another worth-mentioning prime track is “Shackles”. Popularized by gospel duo Mary Mary, this amazing Mandisa rendition in a beautiful remix is my second favorite.

The album ends the same way it started but this time the song intensifies as it ends, with the CB Ultra Run Remix of “Press On”—another track from Mandisa’s ‘Overcomer’ Album.

Overall, as I said in my introduction, Get Up: The Remixes is undeniably one of the most brilliant remix records so far. What I love most about this album is it has a lot of prime cuts. Noted that its songs were taken from Mandisa’s past records, songs got  a makeover—some got a little faster, while some slowed down a bit, but it didn’t change the quality, fun, joy, and fearlessness—all made even better. Strongly recommended!

Disclosure: A review copy of Mandisa's Get Up: The Remixes was provided for review by House of Praise, from whom you may purchase the album.
Continue reading »

Planetshakers To Release Outback Worship Sessions May 12th

Recording features top Planetshakers songs re-imagined by Grammy-winning Ed Cash, all geared for corporate worship

Christian Music News, New Christian Music News The worship team from Planetshakers Church, one of Australia's fastest growing churches in history, is set to release Outback Worship Sessions globally through Integrity Music May 12, 2015. What started as a project to re-craft Planetshakers' most-loved worship anthems into a form accessible to worship teams representing the wider church body has since grown into a studio recording that is, as Aristotle might say, "greater than the sum of its parts."

Known for its cutting-edge, joy-infused sound that is full of energy and that has sparked the young and young at heart around the globe to celebrate in worship, Planetshakers' recent recording, This Is Our Time, immediately soared to the top of the overall charts in several countries during its first week at retail. The project, like the Planetshakers ministry, has transcended cultures, languages and geographic boundaries.

"Outback Worship Sessions is about taking our message further, sharing with as many as possible and empowering generations to win generations," says Planetshakers worship pastor Bj Pridham. "I think as a church, we have organically reached a younger audience. We want to be intentional to reach not just one generation, but all generations."

For the new album, Planetshakers tapped into the expertise of Grammy Award-winning, four-time Gospel Music Association Dove Award-winning "Producer of the Year," Ed Cash. Taking Outback Worship Sessions under his wing, and with church worship teams in mind, Cash gave a new, intimate 'voice' to Planetshakers' best-loved anthems. He not only brought out the best in the Planetshakers team, but also produced three brand new songs on the 11-track album.

Co-writing and producing the worldwide church anthem "How Great is Our God" with Chris Tomlin, and recently writing songs featured on albums by Jeremy Camp, Kari Jobe, Crowder, Laura Story, Hillsong and many more, Cash penned "My Soul Longs For Jesus" featured on Outback Worship Sessions. He further co-wrote "Spirit Of God" and "Father" for the album with Pridham, who is one of several featured vocalists from Planetshakers' worship team on the album.

"The moment I began co-writing with Bj over Skype, I knew that Heaven was going to fall heavy on this project," says Cash. "It became increasingly clear that the Planetshakers family has habitually drawn near to God, and in His matchless covenant fashion, He has drawn near to them! I pray the presence of the Lord will bless you as richly as you listen as He did me while working on it."

In addition to the new recording, lead singers featured on Outback Worship Sessions will literally fly into the heart of Australia's Outback to record the brand new videos "Like A Fire," "My Soul Longs for Jesus," "Nothing Is Impossible" and possibly more songs from the new project.

"Set in a small church in the Outback of Australia, the videos will be recorded with a band playing in a very organic, natural setup," explains Planetshakers Lead Singer and Music Director Joth Hunt. "There will be no flashing lights or big production elements, but we will be utilizing aerial cinematography interspersed throughout the video capturing the spectacular surroundings of the Australian Outback."

Each of these videos will be offered free as a resource to worship leaders following the May 12 release of the album. Integrity Music will also offer a companion digital Outback Worship Sessions songbook free of charge through

The full Outback Worship Sessions track listing follows:

1.    Like A Fire
2.    Spirit Of God
3.    Leave Me Astounded
4.    My Soul Longs For Jesus
5.    Endless Praise
6.    Nothing Is Impossible
7.    Covered
8.    Father
9.    Made For Worship
10. This Is The Day
11. This Is Our Time

Having led over 200,000 people at a single event in Asia and sharing new music from This Is Our Time and other favorite Planetshakers worship anthems around the world, Planetshakers will hit Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban on a 10-day tour of South Africa beginning April 24. They will also be the featured worship leader June 28-29 during several events at CBA's International Christian Retail Show 2015 (ICRS) that will also feature Lee Greenwood, Josh McDowell, Steve Green (Hobby Lobby) and others. Planetshakers will further be featured during the National Worship Leader Conference June 23-25 and headlining along with Casting Crowns and Jesus Culture "Florida's biggest Christian music festival," Rock The Universe, Sept. 12.

Source: Integrity Music
Continue reading »

Copyright © 2016 Servant's Quill - All Rights Reserved