The Afters

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The Afters
The Afters performing in April 2014
The Afters performing in April 2014
Background information
Also known asBlisse
OriginDallas, Texas, U.S.
Years active1999–present
Past members
  • Brad Wigg
  • Marc Dodd
  • Niko Red Star

The Afters are an American Christian pop rock band founded by Joshua Havens and Matt Fuqua. Havens and Fuqua first worked together in a Starbucks coffee shop in Mesquite, Texas, where they played for customers, before deciding to form a band. They were initially joined by Brad Wigg from the same Starbucks, and drummer Michael Burden and performed under the name Blisse. When Burden left the band Marc Dodd, from the Mesquite Starbucks, stepped in. Their song "Never Going Back to OK" was the most-played song on R&R magazine's Christian CHR chart for 2008.[1]


As a precursor to Blisse, Josh performed several shows around Dallas with his band The Screaming Mimes that included Charlton Parker, who later formed dEAf PEdESTRIANS, and Hans Grumbein. While Brad was a founding member of Blisse, he took time away from the band to perform with his own blues project, playing lead guitar. Shows at the Door in Deep Ellum were filled in by Dallas bassist Eric Kitchens and bassist/filmmaker Niko Red Star.

Under the name Blisse, the band recorded a six-song EP in 2000. From this they made enough money to cut their first album, When the World Is Wonderful, which was released independently in 2001. This album contains songs also released on their major label debut album I Wish We All Could Win. In 2002 they released a live concert DVD filmed at a local Dallas club called The Door.

The band changed its name after discovering that another "Blisse" already existed. Settling on "The Afters", they continued to play local clubs in the Dallas area. They were eventually discovered by INO Records and signed to a four-record deal. After this, word of the band got to Epic Records, who signed the band to a deal for mainstream promotion and distribution. Their first major label album, I Wish We All Could Win, was released on February 22, 2005. The first single from the album was "Beautiful Love", written by Josh Havens about a time when his wife was abroad doing humanitarian aid. The single's music video led The Afters to a 2005 MTVu "Streaming Woodie" award. In addition, "Beautiful Love" became the theme song for the MTV show, 8th and Ocean about the life of female and male fashion models living in Miami, Florida. The song was also featured in the 2006 film, Just My Luck. The song "Until the World" was the theme song for the American drama television series that aired on the ABC Family Network Beautiful People.

The Afters performing on the Rock & Worship Roadshow in 2011

In an update posted on their official website, the band went into the studio in August 2006 to start recording their second album, Never Going Back to OK. It was originally scheduled to be released on December 26, 2007, as per a post on their MySpace blog, but was ultimately delayed and released on February 26, 2008.[2]

The first single from the album, the title track "Never Going Back to OK" premiered on October 16, 2007, on Total Axxess. It was also released as a streaming file on The Afters' MySpace page on November 10, 2007.[3] The song hit the R&R magazine charts in December 2007. It reached No. 1 on the R&R CHR chart in March 2008[4] and R&R magazine ranked it as the most played song on U.S. Christian CHR radio in 2008.[1]

In spring of 2008, the band began their own headlining tour along with Falling Up, Ruth, and Everyday Sunday.[5]

The Afters performing with American rock singer Kyle Sherman

The Afters stated in their Twitter account that they started recording their next album on October 27, 2009.[6] The album, called Light Up the Sky, was released on September 14, 2010.[7] The album's first single, the title track, has reached No. 1 on Billboard's Christian CHR radio, and also received an appearance on MTV's The Hills.[8]

In January 2011 The Afters joined the Rock And Worship Roadshow national tour headlined by MercyMe.[9] Light Up the Sky was produced by Dan Muckala.[10]

The Afters announced a new album to be released on April 17, 2012. A month later, they released a new single entitled "Life is Beautiful" on iTunes, in which the song was part of the soundtrack for the movie October Baby.[citation needed] On February 19, 2013, a new single, "Every Good Thing", became available on iTunes.[citation needed] The new album's title was Life is Beautiful.[citation needed]

On August 28, 2015, the band released "Live on Forever", the lead single[11][12] from Live on Forever, their fifth studio album set for release in late 2016 on Fair Trade Records.

In 2018, The Afters' new single, "The Beginning and Everything After" appeared on the Billboard 100.[citation needed] It was followed by "Fear No More" in November.[citation needed]

Band members[edit]

Current members[13]

Joshua Havens - lead vocals, keys and guitars
Matt Fuqua - vocals and guitars
Jordan Mohilowski - drums
Dan Ostebo - bass guitar

Former members[13]

Brad Wigg - guitars, bass guitar and vocals
Michael Burden - drums
Marc Dodd - drums
Niko Red Star - bass guitar


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions




I Wish We All Could Win
  • Released: February 22, 2005
  • Label: Epic
24 40
Never Going Back to OK
  • Released: February 26, 2008
  • Label: Columbia
41 9 1 10
Light Up the Sky
  • Released: September 14, 2010
  • Label: Columbia/INO
Life Is Beautiful
  • Released: April 16, 2013
  • Label: Columbia/INO
133 7
Live on Forever[19] [A] 7 33
Fear No More[21]
  • Released: May 31, 2019
  • Label: Fair Trade Services
[B] 14
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Compilation albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions

The Beginning & Everything After[24]
  • Released: November 2, 2018
  • Label: Fair Trade Services

Independent albums[edit]

  • When the World Is Wonderful (2001) (as Blisse)

Live albums and DVDs[edit]

  • Live @ the Door (2002) (as Blisse)
  • Where Heaven Touches Earth: Live at The Groove (2021)



Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
US Adult

Christ Airplay

"Beautiful Love" 2005 55 29 37 I Wish We All Could Win
"You" 4
"All That I Am" 2006 13
"Someday" 25
"Never Going Back to OK" 2008 16 Never Going Back to OK
"Keeping Me Alive"
"MySpace Girl"
"We Are the Sound"
"Ocean Wide" 2009 23
"Light Up the Sky" 2010 [C] 1 17 Light Up the Sky
"Lift Me Up" 2011 3
"We Won't Give Up" 32
"Life Is Beautiful" 2012 Life Is Beautiful
"Every Good Thing" 2013 2
"Broken Hallelujah" 2014 11 15
"Live on Forever" 2015 11 9 Live on Forever
"Battles"[32] 2016 19 15 45
"Well Done" 2018 14 11 The Beginning & Everything After

Fear No More

"I Will Fear No More" 2019 18 39
"Lightning" 47 Fear No More
"Joy Unto the World" non-album single

Awards and nominations[edit]

GMA Dove Awards[edit]

Year Award Result
2006 New Artist of the Year Won
Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year ("Beautiful Love") Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year (I Wish We All Could Win) Nominated
2009 Song of the Year ("Never Going Back to OK") Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year ("Never Going Back to OK") Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year (Never Going Back to OK) Won
2016 Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year ("Live on Forever") Nominated
Short Form Video of the Year (Live on Forever) Won


  1. ^ Live on Forever did not enter the Billboard 200, but peaked at number 88 on the Top Album Sales chart.[20]
  2. ^ Fear No More did not enter the Billboard 200, but peaked at number 81 on the Top Current Albums chart.[22]
  3. ^ "Light Up The Sky" did not enter the Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 23 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.[31]


  1. ^ a b 2008 Year End Charts/Top Christian CHR songs Archived May 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, R&R magazine, Retrieved January 6, 2009
  2. ^ Never Going Back To OK by The Afters, retrieved February 2, 2008
  3. ^ US. "The Afters". Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  4. ^ March 8, 2008 R&R chart as reported at Weekend 22; Retrieved March 11, 2008.
  5. ^ Tony Cummings (March 16, 2008). "The Afters: The Dallas pop rockers who are Never Going Back To OK". Retrieved June 8, 2008.
  6. ^ We officially started recording our new album today! by The Afters 2009
  7. ^ Christian Sonic  » The Afters – Light Up the Sky [Single] (2010) Retrieved June 14, 2010
  8. ^ "Music News, September 2010: The Afters Land No. 1 Spot on iTunesŽ and CHR Radio As Band Prepares to Embark on the "Hungry For Love Tour" Sponsored by Food for the Hungry". Jesus Freak Hideout. September 22, 2010. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  9. ^ "MercyMe, Jars of Clay part of The Rock and Worship Road Show in Sioux City". Argus Leader. January 30, 2011. Retrieved February 5, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Dan Muckala (February 2, 2008). "Dan Muckala - Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  11. ^ "The Afters Release New Single "Live on Forever"". CCM Magazine. September 4, 2015. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  12. ^ "The Afters - Who's coming to one of our shows on the "Time..." Facebook. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  13. ^ a b "Members". The Afters. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  14. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  15. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: Alternative Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  16. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: Top Christian Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  17. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  18. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: Top Rock Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  19. ^ "The Afters - Timeline". Facebook. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  20. ^ "The Afters Chart History (Top Album Sales)". Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  21. ^ Cluver, Ross (April 4, 2019). "The Afters New Album 'Fear No More' Drops May 31". CCM Magazine.
  22. ^ "Chart Search | Billboard". Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  23. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: Top Christian Albums". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  24. ^ "The Afters Celebrate and Give Glimpse of Future with the Beginning and Everything After". November 3, 2018.
  25. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: The Hot 100". Billboard. Billboard charts. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  26. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: Adult Pop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  27. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: Christian Songs". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  28. ^ "The Afters - Christian Airplay". Billboard.
  29. ^ "The Afters - Chart history: Heatseekers Songs". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  30. ^ "American certifications – The Afters". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  31. ^ "Chart Search - Billboard". Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  32. ^ "JFH News: The Afters' Fifth Studio Album "Live On Forever" Set To Debut September 9, Available For Preorder Now". July 26, 2016. Retrieved August 27, 2016.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Dove Award for New Artist of the Year
Succeeded by
Preceded by Dove Award for Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year
Never Going Back to OK

Succeeded by