Raze (Christian pop group)

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Raze
Origin Tulsa, Oklahoma
Genres CCM
Years active 1997 (1997) - 2001 (2001)
Labels Forefront
Past members Donnie Lewis
Ja'Marc Davis
J.D. Webb
Mizzie Logan
Todd Hanebrink

Raze was a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Christian pop group formed by vocalists Donnie Lewis, Ja'Marc Davis, J.D. Webb, and Mizzie Logan.[1] Throughout their career group scored two No. 1 singles on the Christian contemporary hit radio (CHR) charts: "Always and Forever (BFF)" and "More Than a Dream".

History[edit]

1997-1998: Inception and Raze[edit]

Raze was formed in 1997. During that year, they obtained a record deal with Movation Productions in the United Kingdom. "I Need Your Love" was released as a radio single in the United States and "Shine" played on Cross Rhythms radio stations in the UK. The group released their first, self-titled studio album on August 1, 1997. Raze signed to Forefront Records in January 1998.[2]

1999: That's The Way EP, Davis temporarily leaves group and Power[edit]

The group released "That's The Way" as a radio single in the United States on January 11, 1999. This track was also featured on an EP of the same name following a record deal with Forefront Records, making it their first disc to be released in the USA. Shortly thereafter, their second single "Always & Forever" entered the Christian CHR charts on March 22, 1999 at the No. 20 position. It peaked at No. 1 on May 24, 1999. In June 1999, Ja'Marc Davis temporarily left Raze after privately discussing with the rest of the group about a situation not yet known to the public. During the following month on July 13, 1999, Raze released Power as their first studio album in the United States. It featured three tracks from the group's debut studio album with some minor changes. For example, "Listen" was renamed to "Can You Hear Me Now" for this release, and "Shouldn't It Be Me" has different background music.

2000: Davis returns and The Plan[edit]

After a year of counseling, Ja'Marc Davis returned to Raze. J.D. Webb left the group and was replaced by Hanebrink

2001: "More Than a Dream", scandal and disbanding[edit]

Raze scored their second No. 1 and last radio single, "More Than a Dream", on January 22, 2001. The group began a tour on March 1, 2001 to promote The Plan. On that same day, Ja'Marc Davis was arrested and charged for eleven counts related with child sexual abuse. Although the group initially planned to continue the tour despite this, they canceled it a week later and only made a few rescheduled stops without Davis. Shortly thereafter, Raze slowly disappeared from the Christian music scene.[3] Later on November 1, 2001, Davis pleaded guilty to the charges. Raze officially disbanded on November 12, 2001.

2002-present: Aftermath[edit]

Lewis toured with the rock opera "!Hero" and released a solo album called My Story in 2006.[4] She also sang backup vocals in the KJ-52 song "I Can Call on You" for his 2005 album Behind the Musik (A Boy Named Jonah).[5]

Logan toured briefly with Festival Con Dios and released an EP entitled The Intro (produced by Plus One's Nathan Walters) on Inpop Records in 2003. Logan is currently residing in Nashville working on a full length record, Fairytale Disco.[6]

In 2003, Webb produced, sang, and wrote songs for the album Oasis Praise: Bring It On.[7] Webb's music has been featured on numerous television shows and he is a resident songwriter and vocalist for Days of our Lives.[8] His 2008 Christmas Single "Everything I Need This Christmas" was well received by radio, and his debut solo CD "The Introduction" will be released in Spring of 2009.[9]

Hanebrink, who replaced Webb for Raze's second album The Plan, is a model, choreographer, and actor, including a stint on Broadway in the musical Wicked.

Controversy[edit]

Sexual abuse charges[edit]

In the middle of 1999, Ja'Marc Davis confessed to the other members of Raze and the band manager that he was having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a thirteen-year-old backup dancer from the group. On March 1, 2001, Ja'Marc Davis was arrested and charged with five counts of lewd molestation, three counts of rape by instrumentation, and three counts of forcible sodomy. The victim was a thirteen-year-old female backup dancer when she was abused from 1998 to 1999. Shortly thereafter, numerous Christian radio stations ceased to play Raze's music and Christian retailers such as Berean Christian Stores discontinued sales of Raze music. The Parable Group also canceled the publication of a promotional article for Raze. The WOW Hits 2001 re-release in 2002 omitted Raze's "Place In My Heart" video, despite the back cover claiming that the video was included.

Eight months later, Davis pleaded guilty to those charges on November 1, 2001. The band formally disbanded on November 12, 2001.[2] Davis was sentenced to five years in minimum security prison on December 17, 2001.[11]

On October 10, 2012, Ja'Marc Davis formally apologized to the three girls involved in the sexual scandal as well as all Raze fans.[10]

Discography[edit]

Year Album Chart positions
Billboard Top Contemporary Christian Billboard Heatseekers
1998 That's the Way (EP) - -
1999 Power 11[12] 15[13]
2000 The Plan 31[14] 25[15]

Singles[edit]

Year Single US Christian CHR Album
1999 "That's The Way" 4 That's The Way EP
"Always and Forever (BFF)" 1
"Place In My Heart" 3 Power
2000 "All Around the World" 6
"The Plan" 8 The Plan
2001 "More Than a Dream" 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Raze Biography - AOL Music". Music.aol.com. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  2. ^ a b "Ja'Marc Davis pleads guilty to charges; Raze disbands". CMCentral.com. 2001-11-12. Archived from the original on 2002-12-03. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  3. ^ Akins, Debra; Warren, Lindy (2001-03-12). "Raze Frontman Arrested". Archived from the original on 2001-07-22. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  4. ^ US. "Donnie Lewis - DALLAS, Texas - Christian / Pop / R&B - www.myspace.com/agirlnamedonnie". MySpace.com. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  5. ^ "KJ-52 - Behind the Musik". Christianitytoday.com. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  6. ^ "mizzieonline.com". 
  7. ^ "Bring It On - Oasis Praise". Christianitytoday.com. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  8. ^ "Jd's Myspace". Myspace.com. 2008-09-21. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  9. ^ "JdWebbMusic". JdWebbMusic. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  10. ^ a b Davis, Ja'Marc (2012-10-10). "I Apologize". Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  11. ^ Ja'Marc Davis sentenced to 5 years in minimum security prison – Christian Music Central
  12. ^ Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales[dead link]
  13. ^ Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales[dead link]
  14. ^ Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales[dead link]
  15. ^ Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales[dead link]