Casting Crowns 2013 Official Press photo from the album The Acoustic Sessions, Vol. 1
|Origin||Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S.|
|Genres||Contemporary Christian, Christian rock|
|Labels||Sony BMG, Beach Street, Reunion|
|Past members||Andy Williams
Casting Crowns is a contemporary Christian and Christian rock band started in 1999 by youth pastor Mark Hall, who serves as the band's lead vocalist, as part of a youth group at First Baptist Church in Downtown Daytona Beach, Florida. They later moved to Stockbridge, Georgia, and more members joined. Some members of the band currently work as ministers for Eagle's Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, Georgia. The band has won a Grammy and a Dove Award.
Early years and initial success
Christian rock group Casting Crowns began as a student worship band in Daytona Beach, Florida, in 1999. Led by singer, songwriter, and youth pastor Mark Hall, the group initially included guitarists Juan DeVevo and Hector Cervantes, violinist Melodee DeVevo, and drummer Rob Cervantes (a.k.a. Chavez). The group relocated to Stockbridge, Georgia, in 2001, adding Chris Huffman on bass, Megan Garrett on keyboards and accordion, and drummer Andy Williams. This augmented version of Casting Crowns released two independent albums on CD, both of which were well received in the Atlanta area. Both independent albums were efforts on the part of Mark Hall and the rest of the group as outreach projects for youth in the area. The group won the GMA regional songwriters competition at Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Florida, in both the "Best Song" and the "Best Artist" categories in 2004. Although the group was not searching for a record label, one of the group's albums found its way into the hands of Mark Miller, lead singer for country group Sawyer Brown, who was struck by Casting Crowns' driving pop/rock style and Hall's vocal delivery of his hard-hitting but devout songs. Miller signed Casting Crowns to his fledgling Beach Street Records, a division of Reunion Records with distribution by the Provident Label Group, making Casting Crowns the first artist signed to Beach Street Records.
Mark Miller took the group into the studio along with co-producer Steven Curtis Chapman, himself a popular artist on the CCM musical scene. The resulting eponymous album, Casting Crowns, was released in 2003 on the Beach Street imprint. The album quickly made them one of the fastest selling debut artists in Christian music history. The album's third single, "Voice of Truth", spent a record-breaking fourteen consecutive weeks at No. 1 beginning in 2003. "Voice of Truth" is also used in the trailer and the ending from the movie Facing the Giants. The album was certified platinum in 2005, and in 2011, the group received their first gold certification for a single for the song 'Who Am I' from their debut record.
Lifesong followed in 2005, debuting at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album had three singles: "Lifesong", "Praise You in this Storm", and "Does Anybody Hear Her?". "Lifesong" spent nine weeks in the top spot, with "Praise You in This Storm" remaining at No. 1 for seven weeks. Apart from being successful in the charts, Lifesong earned Casting Crowns their first Grammy Award for their work on the album in 2006.
In 2006, the group released Lifesong Live, which included live performances of songs from their studio album Lifesong.
The band's third studio album The Altar and the Door debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and No. 1 on the Hot Christian Albums chart upon its release in August 2007. Ten weeks after the album's release date, it was certified gold by the RIAA. On September 27, 2007, the band embarked on the 'Altar and the Door' tour with Leeland and John Waller . The tour was highly successful, grossing $4.4 million in ticket sales. Casting Crowns broke their own record in 2007 when the single "East to West" from The Altar and the Door hit sixteen consecutive weeks at No. 1. The song ended up enjoying the top spot for a total of nineteen weeks, now their most successful single to date. "Slow Fade" was also released as a single, and was included in the soundtrack of the Kirk Cameron film Fireproof.
Casting Crowns was one of the only American bands to ever have been invited to North Korea. They attended the 2009 Spring Friendship Arts Festival in Pyongyang where they performed with The Annie Moses Band. This was Casting Crowns' second time invited to the festival sponsored by Global Resource Services, the first time being in 2007. On August 30, 2009, Casting Crowns performed on Huckabee, Mike Huckabee's political show.
Casting Crowns' fourth major studio album, Until the Whole World Hears, was released on November 17, 2009, debuting at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and selling over 167,000 copies in its first week alone, setting a new record for the highest Christian album debut in history. It was certified gold within four weeks. The title track and first single from the album became the group's ninth No. 1 single in January 2010.
In April 2010, Casting Crowns won the Dove Award for Artist of the Year, their first ever win in that category. A music video for the title track of Until the Whole World Hears was posted on the band's YouTube page on August 23, 2010.
"Courageous", was released as a single on July 19, 2011. The music video for the song was released on June 13, 2011 and promotes the film Courageous. The song was featured on, Come to the Well, which was released on October 18, 2011. "Jesus, Friend of Sinners", the album's second single, was released in 2012.
In 2012, Josh Mix joined the band, replacing guitar player Hector Cervantes.
In early 2013, the band recorded their own version of the hymn "I Surrender All" for the album Jesus, Firm Foundation. Also, lead singer Mark Hall recorded the title song with Mike Donehey of Tenth Avenue North, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Mandisa. To end the year, the band joined Chapman, Natalie Grant, Matthew West, and other artists on "The Story Tour 2013" performing sings from The Story.
In early 2015, Casting Crowns released the hymns-album, Glorious Day - Hymns of Faith, exclusively through Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores. The album includes Casting Crowns' Until the Whole World Hears singles "Glorious Day" and "Blessed Redeemer", and acoustic versions of "If We Are the Body" and "Praise You in This Storm" as well as eight hymns, mostly covers.
In November 2015, the band released A Live Worship Experience. The album was recorded live at the band's home church, Eagle's Landing First Baptist Church, and features 12 songs, including worship songs "Great Are You Lord," and "Good Good Father," and Casting Crowns' songs "Just Be Held" and "Thrive."
Four members of Casting Crowns currently minister at Eagle's Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, Georgia, where they play during the Contemporary Worship service on Sunday mornings. They do the band part-time around their full-time work of mentoring teenagers at the church. They often tour from Thursday to Saturday so that they can be home for church on Sunday morning and Wednesday night.
- Mark Hall – lead vocals and songwriter (1999–present)
- Juan DeVevo – guitar and background vocals (1999–present)
- Chris Huffman – bass and background vocals (2001–present)
- Megan Garrett – piano, keyboards, backing vocals (2001–present)
- Melodee DeVevo – violin, backing vocals, cello (1999–present)
- Brian Scoggin – drums (2009–present)
- Josh Mix – lead guitar and background vocals (2012–present)
- Andy Williams – drums (2001–2009)
- Hector Cervantes – lead guitar and background vocals (1999–2013)
- Lifestories by Mark Hall
- Your Own Jesus by Mark Hall
- The Well by Mark Hall
- Thrive by Mark Hall
- The Very Next Thing by Mark Hall
- 2001: Casting Crowns (independent album)
- 2002: What If the Whole World Prayed (independent album)
- 2003: Casting Crowns
- 2005: Lifesong
- 2007: The Altar and the Door
- 2008: Peace on Earth
- 2009: Until the Whole World Hears
- 2011: Come to the Well
- 2013: The Acoustic Sessions: Volume One
- 2014: Thrive
- 2015: Glorious Day - Hymns of Faith
- 2015: A Live Worship Experience
- 2016: The Very Next Thing
- Career sales have exceeded 10 million records.
- Voted CCM Readers' Choice Awards "Favorite Band", "Favorite New Artist" and "Favorite Album" in 2005.
- "Lifesong" voted "Inspirational Single of the Year" by online music fans in the 2005 CCMSingles.Net Awards.
- "Praise You in this Storm" was the fifth most played song of 2006 according to R&R magazine.
- "East to West" voted "AC Single of the Year" and "Inspirational Single of the Year" by online music fans in the 2007 CCMSingles.Net Awards.
- Casting Crowns was the most played artist on Christian Radio in 2007, according to Radio & Records Weekly charts (12/10).
- Casting Crowns is the second-fastest Christian band in history to have their first two albums certified platinum, the fastest being Jars of Clay.
- Norris, Jane (May 18, 2009). "There's No Slow Fade in the Forecast for Casting Crowns". The Daily Progress. Retrieved July 4, 2009.
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- Young, Eric (Apr 21, 2009). "Casting Crowns Heads Home After North Korea Trip". The Christian Post. Retrieved October 23, 2009.
- French, Rose (Apr 11, 2009). "Musicians hope to ease tensions in North Korea". USA Today. Retrieved November 16, 2009.
- "Music News, December 2009: Casting Crowns Certifies RIAA Gold in Four Weeks with New Album Until the Whole World Hears". Jesusfreakhideout.com. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
- Josh Mix Twitter post. December 31, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
- CMAddict (ed.) http://www.cmaddict.com/article_page.php?article_id=196. Retrieved November 17, 2012,.
- "New Casting Crowns Acoustic Album". November 15, 2012. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- Casting Crowns Mark Hall Featured New Worship Hymns Album. March 5, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
- Casting Crowns & Mark Hall Featured on New Worship Hymns Album World Vision Presents The Story Tour 2013, Returning This Christmas With Unprecedented Multi-Artist Line-Up. October 31, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 10, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- Rice, Mark (January 21, 2014). "Casting Crowns, "Thrive" Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
- Yap, Timothy (October 29, 2015). "Casting Crowns, "A Live Worship Experience" Review". Hallels. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
- Evans Price, Deborah (September 20, 2016). "Casting Crowns on First Album Since Recovery: 'I Didn't Want to Write the Post-Cancer Record'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
- Trust, Gary (September 30, 2016). "Casting Crowns Rule Top Christian Albums Chart With 'The Very Next Thing'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
- "Atlanta/South Fulton News". ajc.com. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
- "Casting Crowns Come to the Well 9242011 Corona CA.". YouTube. September 26, 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
- "Casting Crowns surpasses 10 million in album sales". August 19, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
- As played on the January 7, 2007, Weekend 22