Carman (singer)

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Carman in 2010
Carman in 2010
Background information
Birth nameCarmelo Domenic Licciardello
Born(1956-01-19)January 19, 1956
Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.
DiedFebruary 16, 2021(2021-02-16) (aged 65)
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar, drums[2]
Years active1976–2021

Carmelo Domenic Licciardello (January 19, 1956 – February 16, 2021), known by his stage name Carman, was an American contemporary Christian music singer, rapper, songwriter, television host and evangelist. He was nominated for four Grammys, and sold over 10 million records.

Carman's album Mission 3:16 (1998) peaked at number 94 on the Billboard 200 chart. His album No Plan B (2014) peaked at number 66 on the Billboard 200, and at number 3 on the Top Christian Albums charts.

In addition to music, Carman was a frequent host on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, most notably its flagship program Praise the Lord.

Early life and conversion[edit]

An Italian American, Carman was born in Trenton, New Jersey.[3] His mother was a skilled accordion player. As a child he performed in his mother's band. Carman played the drums at the age of 5, learned to play the guitar by the age of 15 and started singing at age 16.[4] As a teen, he found some success performing at casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He dropped out of high school when he was 17.[5]

Carman later moved to Las Vegas to pursue his career in music. During a sabbatical later visited his sister and her husband, a pastor at Son Light Christian Center, in Orange County, California. [6] While attending an Andraé Crouch concert, Carman became a born again Christian, and embraced evangelical Christianity.[5][7]

Music and television career[edit]

In 1980, Carman made a custom album titled God's Not Finished with Me. In 1981, he was invited by Bill Gaither to tour with the Bill Gaither Trio.[8]

After relocating to Tulsa, Oklahoma, Carman released a moderately successful eponymous debut album. Carman was later issued as Some-o-Dat[3] in 1982.[9] The album mostly contained novelty songs. With the release of his next album, Sunday's on the Way in 1983, Carman experienced a string of contemporary Christian music chart successes beginning with the title song. As he continued his music career, he established the nonprofit organization Carman Ministries.[3] After the release of The Champion in 1985, Carman achieved his first number one song, the title cut. His first number one album on the Christian charts, Revival in the Land, followed in 1989.[5]

Between 1987 and 1989, Carman was named Readers' Choice for Favorite Male Vocalist by Charisma magazine.[9] In 1990 and 1992, Billboard named him the Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year.[5] In 1995, he translated some of his songs, and released his first Spanish-language album, Lo Mejor. Heart of a Champion, a thirty-song retrospective was released in 2000.[9]

Carman was nominated for four Grammys, and sold over 10 million records.[5] It is believed he holds the world record for the largest single Christian concert in history.[5] In August 1993, with more than 50,000 in attendance, Carman was the main act in Johannesburg, South Africa.[10] The following year he performed a free concert at Texas Stadium October 22, 1994, with 71,132 attendees.[3][9] Another concert had 80,000 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.[11]

Beyond his music career, Carman participated in various television productions and interview duties as a host, for both the Trinity Broadcasting Network and its flagship program Praise the Lord.[12] In 2001, he starred in the film Carman: The Champion.[3][13]

In late March 2013, Carman announced a Kickstarter campaign for a new album and music video. A short time later, he announced an upcoming sixty-city tour, noting that the online fundraising campaign had raised more than $230,000 within several weeks.[14]

Carman's musical style has been described by Relevant magazine as "operatic, story-driven songs that often centered around cosmic battles between God and Satan, similar to Frank Peretti by way of Meatloaf."[15]

Personal life and health[edit]

In November 2011, Carman was the passenger in a car that was struck by a truck from oncoming traffic. The accident took place just outside the church where his appearance was scheduled. He performed the concert, but collapsed afterward and required surgery to repair internal injuries.[16]

Carman was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2013, and was given a prognosis of three to four years to live.[17][18] By early 2014, he said medical tests indicated his body was free of cancer. He then continued preparing for his Live Across America album and tour.[19] When the cancer went into remission, Carman attributed his healing to the faith of his fans.[5] He pledged to his Facebook and Kickstarter supporters to begin his "No Plan B Tour" as soon as he regained his health.[20] Later that year he toured the eastern United States.[20]

In December 2017, at the age of 61, Carman married Dana Morrow. His new family included six stepchildren and nine step-grandchildren.[21]

In January 2020, Carman announced his cancer had returned.[22] He resumed live concert church tours in June 2020.[23]


Carman died on February 16, 2021 (28 days after his 65th birthday) in a Las Vegas hospital, after a series of complications resulting from surgery to repair a hiatal hernia.[5][24]

Discography and filmography[edit]


Selected list

  • God's Not Finished with Me (1980)
  • Some-o-Dat aka Carman (1982)
  • Sunday's on the Way (1983)
  • Comin' On Strong (1984)
  • The Champion (1985)
  • A Long Time a Land Called Bethlehem (1986)
  • Carman Live: Radically Saved (1988)
  • Revival in the Land (1989)
  • Shakin' the House Live (1991)
  • Addicted to Jesus (1991)
  • Yo Kidz! Heroes, Stories, and Songs from the Bible (1992)
  • Yo Kidz! Lawrence the Kat and the B. Attitudes (1993)
  • The Standard (1993)
  • Yo Kidz! Vol. 2: The Armor of God (1994)
  • Lo Mejor (1995)
  • Christmas with Carman (1995)
  • R.I.O.T. (Righteous Invasion of Truth) (1995)
  • Yo Kidz! Lawrence the Kat and the Bible (1996)
  • I Surrender All: 30 Classic Hymns (1997)
  • Mission 3:16 (1998)
  • Passion for Praise Vol. 1 (1999)
  • Heart of a Champion (2000)
  • House of Praise (2002)
  • Instrument of Praise (2007)
  • No Plan B (2014)
  • Legacy (2017)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Grammy Awards
Year Category Nominated work Result Ref.
1987 Best Gospel Performance – Duo, Group, Choir or Chorus "Our Blessed Saviour Has Come" (with CeCe Winans) Nominated [27]
1992 Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album Shakin' the House...Live (with Commissioned with the Christ Church Choir) Nominated [28]
1993 Addicted to Jesus Nominated [28]
1999 Mission 3:16 Nominated [28]
GMA Dove Awards
Year Category Nominated work Result Ref.
1989 Long Form Music Video of the Year Carman Live: Radically Saved Won [29]
1991 Long Form Video of the Year Revival in the Land Won [29]
1991 Short Form Video of the Year "Revival in the Land" Won [29]
1993 Long Form Video of the Year Addicted To Jesus Won [29]
1995 Children's Music Album of the Year Yo! Kidz! 2: The Armor Of God Won [29]
1996 Rap/Hip Hop Song of the Year "R.I.O.T. (Righteous Invasion of Truth)" Won [29]
1999 Long Form Music Video of the Year Mission 3:16: The Video Nominated [30]

Carman was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2018.[31]


  1. ^ Law, Jeannie (April 14, 2017). "Carman Licciardello Cancer Update: Singer Fulfills Dream of Becoming Life Coach Before Upcoming Tumor Surgery". The Christian Post. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  2. ^ "COVID-19 Thoughts Part 102: In memory of Carman Licciardello". Intellectual Conservative. February 24, 2021. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e Alfonso, Barry (2002). The Billboard guide to Contemporary Christian Music. New York: Billboard Books. p. 134. ISBN 978-0-8230-7718-2.
  4. ^ "How did Carman Licciardello die? Christian singer hailed as legend as fans mourn loss of childhood favorite". February 16, 2021. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Silliman, Daniel (February 16, 2021). "Died: Carman, Christian Showman Who Believed in Celebrity and Spectacle for Jesus". Christianity Today. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Daniels, Lisa (October 30, 1992). "Carman is Born (Again) to Boogie". Daily Press.
  8. ^ Powell, Mark Allan (2002). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music. Hendrickson Publishers. pp. 141–43. ISBN 1-56563-679-1.
  9. ^ a b c d Ankeny, Jason. "Carman – Biography". Allmusic (Macrovision Corporation). Retrieved December 9, 2009.
  10. ^ van Jaarsveld, Ingrid. "Christene laat dak lig vir vrede 50 000 op Wanderers vir grootste vredesbyeenkoms nog in SA" [Christians Raise the Roof for Peace: 50,000 at Wanderers] (in Afrikaans). Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  11. ^ "Christian Music Pioneer Carman Dies Due to Complications from Surgery". February 17, 2021. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  12. ^ Dunn, Patrick (February 25, 2005). "Christian Artist Carman Keeps Up With the Times". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved December 9, 2009.
  13. ^ Cling, Carol (March 2, 2001). "Opening This week". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved December 9, 2009.
  14. ^ "Carman Announces 60-City Tour After Raising More Than $200K on Kickstarter". Christian Post. May 17, 2013.
  15. ^ "CCM Icon Carman Has Passed Away at 65". RELEVANT. February 17, 2021. Retrieved May 5, 2022.
  16. ^ "Carman in Car Accident". All Access Music Group. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  17. ^ "Carman Licciardello". Facebook.
  18. ^ "Carman Cancer Update: Singer Enters Second Round of Chemo Treatments, 'I've Never Been as Optimistic in My Life'". BREATHEcast. January 10, 2014.
  19. ^ "After Fears, Carman Tells Fans He's Cancer Free". September 8, 2014.
  20. ^ a b "Concerts, events, concert, festival & conference tickets".
  21. ^ Law, Jeannie (December 19, 2017). "'Proverbial Bachelor' and Christian Star Carman Licciardello Finally Gets Married at 61". The Christian Post. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  22. ^ "'I Still Trust God': Christian Singer Carman's Birthday Wish After Cancer Returns". CBN News. January 17, 2020. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  23. ^ "Carman Licciardello". Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  24. ^ "GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame Member, CARMAN, Iconic CCM Trailblazer, Dies at Las Vegas Hospital". Conduit Media Solutions. February 16, 2021.
  25. ^ "Carman Discography". Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  26. ^ "Carman". Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  27. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1987 - Grammy Award Winners 1987". Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  28. ^ a b c "Carman". The Recording Academy. November 23, 2020. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  29. ^ a b c d e f "Past Winners". Gospel Music Association. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  30. ^ "1999 Dove Award Nominees and Winners". Archived from the original on November 4, 2009.
  31. ^ "Carman". Gospel Music Hall of Fame. March 12, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2018.

External links[edit]