Hillsong United

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Hillsong United
Hillsong United.jpg
United We Stand live recording, 8 October 2005
Background information
OriginSydney, NSW, Australia
GenresWorship music, contemporary Christian, Christian rock
Years active1998–present
Associated actsHillsong Worship, Hillsong Young & Free
Past members

Hillsong United (stylised as Hillsong UNITED or UNITED) is a worship band that originated as a part of Hillsong Church. Formed in 1998 as part of Hillsong's youth ministry, the band consists of several rotating worship leaders from the church, including Brooke Fraser, Joel Houston, Reuben Morgan and Marty Sampson. Due to several songs written by the youth ministry, Hillsong worship leader Darlene Zschech recommended that they record an album, which resulted in their debut extended play, One, which was released alongside the Hillsong Worship album Touching Heaven Changing Earth. Since then, the group has released eleven annual live albums, as well as four studio albums. The band composes songs and performs in church services as well as concerts in worldwide tours.


The band was originally formed in 1998, by close friends from within the youth ministry called "Powerhouse Youth", led by Hillsong Youth Pastors Phil and Lucinda Dooley for many years.[1] As the house band for the Powerhouse meetings, they played original songs and rearranged popular radio tunes at their weekly meeting for local youth aged 16–25. Band members sometimes also contributed to the larger interdenominational ministry Youth Alive Australia and its albums. Most members of the band also attended Hillsong Church services.

Powerhouse grew and split in the mid 1990s into two youth groups: Powerhouse (aged 18–25) and Wildlife (12-17). Reuben Morgan, assisted by guitarist Marcus Beaumont and vocalist/songwriter Tanya Riches, administrated The band and music for Powerhouse and all United nights, albums and events until 2003, when the role was passed on to Joel Houston. The three performed with the 18–25's Powerhouse band that also included Mark Stevens, Nigel Hendroff, Peter King and Raymond Badham. For the older group Peter King was the main piano player and music director, with guitarist Nigel Hendroff later taking the music directing role. In the younger ministry Wildlife, it was former Channel V Leg-Up competition-winning Able band boys Joel Houston and Marty Sampson, with Able band's Luke Munns and Michael Guy Chislett being the main drummer and guitarist, respectively, while Joel Houston played bass. They were initially trained by Russell Fragar. Marty Sampson, Holly Dawson, Mark Stevens, Katrina Peoples, Michelle Fragar, Tanya Riches and Bec Mesiti were some original key vocalists. In the Summer of 1997 the team made a huge impact at their youth ministry's Summer Camp. On returning from the camp, the youth ministries of Hillsong Church decided to join together monthly, calling these meetings the "UNITED" Nights.[citation needed]

Darlene Zschech suggested to Reuben Morgan that the youth band make an album in 1998 after so many songs were written in the youth ministry[2][3] As a result, the EP One was recorded by a new band. Everyday was recorded in 1999 and packaged with the Hillsong Worship annual album. Both achieved Gold sales status in Australia. The band continued to release an album each year, rebranding as Hillsong United. In 2002 after Reuben Morgan stepped down as co-worship leader of the band, Joel Houston, the eldest son of the church's senior pastor Brian Houston, and Marty Sampson led the group together.[citation needed]

The band's members are involved in Hillsong Church services and also play for the church.[4] Many were volunteers who went unpaid for their time or contribution. As such the line up changes on a regular basis due to the volunteers' needs and the needs of the church; that is to say, due to the naturally resultant "churn". Luke Munns, who was the drummer for the band from 1998 through 2006, played on seven live recordings and transitioned out from the drums to front the rock and indie band LUKAS. Following his marriage to Michelle on November 2006, Sampson stepped down as one of the main leaders of the band. He contributed two more songs with United—"Devotion", which he wrote and sang, and "Saviour King", which he wrote with Mia Fieldes—before he officially stepped down. These songs were part of the 2007 release All of the Above. Current members of the Hillsong United band include Joel Houston, Jonathon Douglass (J.D.), Jadwin "Jad" Gillies, Matt Crocker, Taya Smith, Dylan Thomas (on rhythm guitar), Timon Klein (on lead guitar), Peter James & Benjamin Tennikoff (on keyboards), Adam Crosariol (on bass guitar), and Simon Kobler (on drums).[citation needed]

The annual Hillsong United CD and DVD was recorded for many years during the Hillsong youth ministry's October conference Encounterfest, and albums released in the first quarter of the following year. The 2007 album All of the Above was the first album to be fully studio recorded.[5] The band has toured in a number of countries, leading worship in various places and has an international influence.[6][7][8] The official UNITED logo was designed by Munns in 2002 for To the Ends of the Earth.[9]

In 2014, they won five Dove Awards, including song of the year for "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)".[10] The band was nominated for the second year at American Music Award in 2015.[11] The same year, they won a Billboard Music Award in the category Top Christian Artist.[12][13] The band won three Dove Awards in 2016.[14]



The members of the band as of 2016 were:[15][16][17]

  • Joel Houston – worship leader, guitar, keys, percussion
  • Jonathon "JD" Douglass – worship leader, percussion
  • Jad Gillies – worship leader, guitar
  • Matt Crocker – worship leader, guitar, percussion
  • Taya Smith-Gaukrodger – worship leader
  • Dylan Thomas – guitar, keys, music director
  • Simon Kobler – drums
  • Michael Guy Chislett – guitar, keys, music director
  • Benjamin "Ben" Tennikoff – keyboards, programming, sampling
  • Jihea Oh – bass guitar

Former Former members of the band are:[18][19]

  • Adam Crosariol – bass guitar
  • Michelle Fragar – worship leader[20]
  • Brooke Fraser – worship leader, guitar[21]
  • Luke Munns – drums[22][23]
  • Annie Garratt – worship leader[21][24]
  • Timon Klein – lead guitar
  • Marcus Beaumont – guitar
  • Sam Knock – worship leader[21]
  • Tanya Riches – vocals, worship leader
  • Peter James – piano, keyboard, synthesizer
  • Hayley Law – worship leader
  • Jill McCloghry – worship leader
  • Marty Sampson – worship leader, guitar[25]
  • David Ware – worship leader[21]
  • Nigel Hendroff – lead guitar
  • Rolf Wam Fjell - drums, percussion


Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
All of the Above
  • Released: 17 March 2007 (AUS)
  • Label: Hillsong Music Australia
6 13 60 1
  • Released: 15 February 2011
  • Label: Hillsong Music Australia, EMI
4 12 17 1
  • Released: 22 February 2013 (AUS)
  • Label: Hillsong Music Australia, EMI
1 16 39 5 8 5 1
  • Released: 26 May 2015 (AUS)
  • Label: Hillsong Music Australia, Capitol CMG
1 4 12 7 7 5 1
  • Released: 9 June 2017
  • Label: Hillsong Music Australia, Capitol CMG
4 39
91 37 19 21 1
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory

Live albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
Best Friend
  • Released: 20 November 2000
  • Label: Hillsong Music Australia
King of Majesty
  • Released: 15 October 2001
  • Label: Hillsong Music Australia
To the Ends of the Earth
  • Released: 21 November 2002
  • Label: Hillsong Music Australia
More Than Life
  • Released: 23 March 2004
  • Label: Hillsong Music Australia
Look to You
  • Released: 28 February 2005
  • Label: Hillsong Music Australia
30 33
United We Stand
  • Released: 11 March 2006
  • Label: Hillsong Music Australia
28 23 162 11
Unidos Permanecemos
  • Released: 2007
  • Label: Hillsong Music Australia
The I Heart Revolution: With Hearts as One
  • Released: 8 March 2008
  • Label: Hillsong Music Australia
8 22 117 5
[a_CROSS // the_EARTH]
  • Released: 9 May 2009 (AUS)
  • Label: Hillsong Music Australia
22 21 21 1
Live in Miami: Welcome to the Aftermath
  • Released: 14 February 2012
  • Label: Hillsong Music Australia, Capitol
22 71 1
Zion Acoustic Sessions
  • Released: 29 October 2013
  • Label: Hillsong Music Australia, Capitol
Of Dirt and Grace: Live from the Land
  • Released: 15 July 2016 (AUS)
  • Label: Hillsong Music Australia, Capitol
8 —— 80 40 2
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory

Soundtrack albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
Hillsong: Let Hope Rise – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  • Released: 12 August 2016 (AUS)
  • Label: Hillsong Music Australia, Capitol



Year Song Peak positions Certifications Sales



2011 "Bones" 35
"Like an Avalanche" 40 40
"Search My Heart" 20 17
"Lead Me to the Cross" 48 16
2013 "Scandal of Grace" 25 21
"From the Inside Out" 23
"Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" 1 1 1 1 83
"Relentless" 27 45
2014 "Love Is War" 38 50
2015 "Touch the Sky" 3 5 1 6
"Prince of Peace" 26 15
"Heart Like Heaven" 26 31
"Even When It Hurts (Praise Song)" 29 36
"Here Now (Madness)" 32
"Say the Word" 34
"Captain" 38
"Rule" 40
"Empires" 41
"When I Lost My Heart to You (Hallelujah)" 43
"Street Called Mercy" 45
"Closer Than You Know" 47
2017 "Wonder" 11 18 6
2018 "So Will I (100 Billion X)" 3 6 2 5
"Not Today" 40 10
"Good Grace (Live)"[46]


A documentary, Hillsong: Let Hope Rise, directed by Michael John Warren, chronicles the rise of the band,[47] was originally supposed be released by Warner Bros. during the 2015 Easter weekend.[48] As Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. were unable to close a deal, the film was pulled out from Warner Bros's schedule.[49] In March 2015, Relativity Media obtained the distribution rights and the film shifted to a 29 May release.[50] In April, Relativity moved the film to 30 September 2015.[51] However, Relativity Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July and let go of the rights to the producers.[52][53] PureFlix acquired the film and it was released 16 September 2016.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cherese Jackson. "Hillsong United Led GMA Dove Awards With Five Wins [Video]". Guardian Liberty Voice. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Hillsong United 'Zion' Album Review". BREATHEcast. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Album of the week: Hillsong United". USA TODAY. 26 May 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  4. ^ Cortney O'Brien. "Hillsong United: How a Church Band Became a Worldwide Phenom". townhall.com. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Hillsong United Announce New Record 'The White Album [the remix project]' is Coming Soon". BREATHEcast. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Megachurch With a Beat Lures a Young Flock". The New York Times. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Australia's Hillsong Church Has Astonishingly Powerful Global Influence". The Huffington Post. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  8. ^ Tom Wagner, Anna Nekola "Congregational Music-Making and Community in a Mediated Age", Ashgate Publishing, 2015, page 170
  9. ^ "UNITED logo". The Lakehaus Studios. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Hillsong UNITED top winner at Dove Awards". Daily Mail. 8 October 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Hillsong United Reacts to American Music Award Nomination for second Year". The Christian Post. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  12. ^ "The Year in Christian & Gospel 2015: Hillsong United & Tasha Cobbs Triumph". Billboard. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  13. ^ "Hillsong UNITED Wins Top Christian Artist at Billboard Music Awards 2015". BREATHEcast. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Dove Awards 2016 Winners". Dove Awards. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  15. ^ "Meet the Band - Hillsong Movie". Hillsong: Let Hope Rise Official Website. Where Feet May Fail, LLC. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  16. ^ Empires album booklet. "Hillsong United is Joel Houston, Jad Gillies, Matt Crocker, Jonathon "JD" Douglass, Taya Smith, Michael Guy Chislett, Simon Kobler, Dylan Thomas, Ben Tennikoff, Adam Crosariol"
  17. ^ "Fender – Soundcheck: Hillsong United's Jadwin Gillies and Jihea Oh on Playing Live". Earpeeler. 30 July 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  18. ^ Live in Miami album booklet. "Hillsong United is Matt Crocker, Adam Crosariol, Jonathon Douglass, Jad Gillies, Joel Houston, Peter James, Timon Klein, Simon Kobler, Hayley Law, Jill McCloghry, Dylan Thomas."
  19. ^ Zion album booklet. "Hillsong United is Joel Houston, Jad Gillies, Matt Crocker, Jonathon Douglass, Timon Klein, SImon Kobler, Dylan Thomas, Peter James, Adam Crosariol."
  20. ^ Blair, Leonardo (1 September 2016). "Jordan Baird, Youth Pastor, Pop Singer Mentored by Joe Jonas, Arrested for Exposing Himself to Teen Inside Church". The Christian Post. Retrieved 23 October 2016. It is also the same year Jordan got married to his wife, Michelle, who is the daughter of prolific worship songwriter and producer Russell Fragar and is best known for her worship leading and songwriting with Hillsong United according to her bio page on Tumblr.
  21. ^ a b c d Yap, Timothy (26 December 2012). "Hillsong United 'Zion' Album Review". BreatheCast. Retrieved 5 January 2016. Gone are previous United leaders such as Marty Sampson, Annie [Garratt], Brooke Fraser, Hayley Law, Jill McCloghry and Sam Knock. Rather, leads this time are handled mainly by Matt Crocker, Joel Houston, Jad Gillies, Jonathon Douglass, Dave Ware and newcomer Taya Smith.
  22. ^ "Luke Munns". discogs. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  23. ^ "Former Member Of Attributed Artist". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  24. ^ "Annie Garratt". Hillsong.com. Retrieved 5 January 2016. Originally traveling as part of UNITED, she is now one of Hillsong’s Creative Pastors...
  25. ^ "Hillsong United". RELEVANT Magazine. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  26. ^ a b "Hillsong". australian-charts.com.
  27. ^ "Hillsong Album Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard.
  28. ^ a b "Hillsong". Dutch Charts.
  29. ^ "Hillsong". Norwegiancharts.com.
  30. ^ a b "Hillsong". charts.org.
  31. ^ a b "Hillsong United Album Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard.
  32. ^ a b "Hillsong Album Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard.
  33. ^ "United". Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  34. ^ a b "Hillsong Album Chart History: Billboard Christian Albums". Billboard.
  35. ^ a b "United". Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  36. ^ a b "Hillsong". Billboard.
  37. ^ "On The Charts: June 19, 2017". FYIMusicNews. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  38. ^ "ARIA CHART WATCH #390". auspOp. 15 October 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  39. ^ "Hillsong United - Chart history | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  40. ^ "Hillsong United - Chart history | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  41. ^ "Hillsong United - Chart history | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  42. ^ "Hillsong United - Chart history | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  43. ^ "Hillsong Album Chart History: Billboard Hot 100". Billboard.
  44. ^ "American single certifications – Hillsong United – Oceans". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  45. ^ Paul Grein (21 November 2014). "Taylor Swift Replaces Herself At #1 on the Hot 100". Yahoo! Music.
  46. ^ "Good Grace (Live) - Single by Hillsong UNITED on Spotify". Spotify. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  47. ^ "Hillsong: Let Hope Rise: Plot Summary". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  48. ^ McNary, Dave (1 July 2014). "Hillsong Christian Music Documentary Picked Up for Worldwide Release by Warner Bros". Variety. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  49. ^ McNary, Dave (14 January 2015). "Hillsong Christian Music Documentary Pulled From Warner Bros. Schedule". Variety. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  50. ^ Mike Fleming Jr (4 March 2015). "Relativity To Release Faith-Based Film 'Hillsong–Let Hope Rise'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  51. ^ Pedersen, Erik (1 April 2015). "'Transporter Refueled' & 'Hillsong – Let Hope Rise' Moved: See You In September". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  52. ^ Rainey, James; Lang, Brent. "Relativity Media Files Bankruptcy; Film and TV Units for Sale". Variety. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  53. ^ Lang, Brent (30 July 2015). "Relativity Lets Rights to 'Hillsong – Let Hope Rise' Revert to Producers (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  • "Hillsong United Webpage". Published by Hillsong Church. Retrieved 8 January 2008.
  • "Hillsong United on Integrity Music". Published by Integrity Media. Retrieved 8 January 2008.
  • "Review on Christianity Today". Published by Christian Music Today. Retrieved 8 January 2008.
  • "Shout to the Lord!: Music and Change at Hillsong 1996- 2007". Dissertation for the award of Masters of Philosophy, Australian Catholic University, 2010. Riches, Tanya. Retrieved 3 March 2012
  • "Secularising the Sacred: The Impact of Geoff Bullock on Contemporary Congregational Song in Sydney, 1990-1999". Dissertation for the award of PhD, Macquarie University, 2002. Evans, Mark. Retrieved 3 March 2012
  • "Open up the Doors: Music in the Modern Church" London: Equinox, 2006. Evans, Mark.

External links[edit]