My Ten Favorite Female Christian Artists
Just the other day I was thinking that there seemed to be way more male Christian artists than there are female Christian artists. Then I came across an article on Christianitytoday.com that stated the ratio of male to female Christian artists is 2:1, possibly even 3:1.
The same article said that 48 out of 50 top Christian songs in the last ten years were all sung by men. What is up with that? The article has a few theories on why that is and instead of mentioning them in this hub you can go to the article, "Christian Radio: It's a Man's World" and read it for yourself.
For now, I would like to focus on ten female Christian artists I have enjoyed through the years since I first began listening to Christian music over ten years ago.
Melodee DeVevo and Megan Garrett of Casting Crowns
I put these two gals together because they are both with the band, Casting Crowns. They both sing background vocals but there are also some Casting Crowns songs in which they sing lead vocals. They both have amazing and beautiful voices.
Megan Garrett plays keyboards and has been with the band since 2001. She was born in 1980 and is from Atlanta, Georgia. She is a youth pastor's wife who has a blog geared towards helping teen girls.
Songs she sings lead vocal for Casting Crowns include: Praise You with the Dance, I Know You're There and Mercy.
Melodee DeVevo plays strings and has been with the band since its formation in 1999. She was born in 1976 and her hometown is Daytona Beach, Florida. She is married to fellow band mate, Juan DeVevo who plays guitar. She sings lead vocal on the song, Blessed Redeemer.
Rebecca St. James
I love Rebecca St. James for many reasons, not just her music. She is a staunch supporter of life and also for purity - encouraging women to wait until marriage before having sex and for young girls and women to dress modestly. She is also a published and an actress. By the way, her music is great too!
Rebecca was born in 1977 in the Land Down Under, Sydney Australia. When she was 13 her family moved to the United States. In 1996, her second album God received great reviews and in 1997 it received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Gospel Album. Her Next album, Pray, did win the Grammy for Best Rock Gospel Album.
Some more of her popular songs include: Wait for Me, Yes, I Believe in God, Pray, Song of Love and she has also covered the popular Christian songs, Hold Me Jesus and Breathe.
Rebecca married Jacob Fink, a bassist from Colorado who served as a missionary to South Africa in 2011. On February 18, 2014, they welcomed their daughter, Gemma Elena Fink into the world.
Here's another female christian artist who really sings a great worship song but who also totally rocks! And besides being a singer/songwriter, Natalie is also a mom to twin girls plus she just had her third little girl in December, 2010 - a true miracle considering she was told she could not bear children.
Natalie, who is an author as well, was born in Seattle, Washington in 1971. Her book, The Real Me, discusses her battle with bulimia.
One of her true passions is to end human trafficking around the world. She and her husband have traveled to India, where much of this takes place. In 2005, she created The Home Foundation which helps to raise money for girls and women who are exploited for sex.
She has been the Gospel Music Association's Female Vocalist of the Year from 2006-2009. Some of her more popular songs include, Held, The Real Me, I Will Not Be Moved, In Better Hands, Your Great Name, Alive and Hurricane.
Natalie Grant made headlines when she left the Grammy Awards early. During the Awards show, a mass gay marriage ceremony was held along with a performance by Katy Perry that Glenn Beck called 'demonic glorification." Grant posted this on Facebook about her early departure, "We left the Grammy's early. I've many thoughts about the show tonight, most of which are probably better left inside my head. But I'll say this: I've never been more honored to sing about Jesus and for Jesus. And I've never been more sure of the path I've chosen."
Jenny Simmons of Addison Road
Jenny Simmons refers to herself as an author, artist and storyteller. Her blog, Cupcakes, Sprinkles and Other Happy Things, attracts 10,000 readers a month from all over the world. Jenny is a wife and mom to her daughter, Anniston Cate. She is also the lead singer for the band, Addison Road which was formed by her and then-boyfriend, Ryan Simmons in Waco, Texas.
At one time, the band was ready to call it quits but around that time Jenny had said, "We are all members of faith and believed God had given us this gift for a reason."
Shortly after the band said a prayer asking God for a sign regarding their future, they began being pursued by record labels. But instead of getting a big head over becoming popular Jenny has kept in mind that they are to help those who are less fortunate. They have recently done so by airing a one-hour simulcast to help those who were victims of the Haiti earthquake.
Their first major album, Addison Road, was released in 2007 and contains the hit single, Hope Now as well as All That Matters and Sticking with You. Their second album, Stories was released in 2010 and unfortunately they have not released anything since.
Yolanda Adams, a former elementary school teacher, is one of the hottest names in gospel music, a radio show host, an actress and an author. I discovered this amazing Christian artist while living in Durham, North Carolina where urban gospel music reigns.
Yolanda was born in 1961 and was raised in Houston, Texas, along with her five younger siblings. Like many gospel artists, Yolanda's musical talents were first show-cased in the church. Yolanda has produced a total of ten albums and her next album, along with her women's clothing line is being highly anticipated.
She has won several music awards along with seven NCAAP Image Awards. Yolanda has performed at the White House twice. In 2001, she performed the song, "Never Give Up" for "The Salute to Gospel Music" during George W. Bush's administration.
In 2010 she performed for the event, "In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement." The event was hosted by President Obama and First Lady, Michelle Obama and was held in conjunction with Black History Month.
Some of her most popular songs include, Yeah, In the Midst of it All, Fragile Heart, Victory, Continual Praise and The Battle is the Lord's.
Yolanda feels that since she has had success and has been blessed, she has a social responsibility to help those in need. She has been a spokesperson for the FILA Corporations, Operation Rebound program which helps inner city school children. Yolanda has been married and divorced twice and has a daughter, Taylor Ayanna.
Nichole Nordeman was born in 1972 and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado where she played the piano in church.
Nichole wrote and recorded the song, "Beautiful for Me" for the Veggie Tales movie, Sweetpea Beauty - A Girl After God's Own Heart which came out the summer of 2010. The movie is about girls discovering their inner beauty along with their identity in Christ, two things Nichole is passionate about. So passionate, that she agreed to go make-up-less for a recent cover of CCM Magazine's issue on true beauty.
Nichole says, "God's the one who sees us beautiful and we an either choose to agree and say, "Thank you, I feel cherished and loved and I choose to believe that," or "I disagree and work like crazy to improve on His work."
Some of Nichole's popular songs include: To Know You, Legacy, Holy, This Mystery and Brave.
She and her husband, Errol Ingram have two children, Charlie Thomas and Paige Bennett. The family resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
BarlowGirl is a female Christian rock band made up of three sisters, Becca (born 1979), Lauren (born 1985) and Alyssa (born 1982) from Elgin, Illinois. Their first album came out in 2004, the same year they became the best-selling new Christian artist. BarlowGirl has currently just released their first compilation album, Our Journey So Far.
Some of BarlowGirl's popular songs include: Never Alone, I Need You to Love Me, Beautiful Ending, Here's My Life and Million Voices.
Besides their music, in which they are very bold and transparent about their faith and their love for Jesus, they have also been involved in other projects. One of which is the Big Shiny Planet, a Bible Study for students that is sold through Family Christian Stores.
They have also been youth ambassadors for the National Day of Prayer and are involved in Mercy Ministries which helps young women find freedom from physical and sexual abuse, eating disorders, self harm, addictions and depression.
All three of them are very strongly pro-life as well which is evident in their song, "Tears Fall." Other topics for their music include trusting God, purity, and their stance on not dating. In 2012, the girls announced their retirement from the music scene. Even so, I still thoroughly enjoy their music and hope they succeed in whatever God has planned for each of the young ladies.
Amy Grant, who has also been known as "The Queen of Christian Pop" was born in 1960 in Augusta, Georgia and grew up in Nashville. She is the best-selling Christian music artist EVER! That means she beats out all of those male Christian artists!
She has won several awards and even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to the entertainment industry. Some of Amy's most popular songs include, Thy Word, Lead Me On, Baby Baby, Every Heartbeat, Takes a Little Time, Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song), and Better Than A Hallelujah.
Amy was offered her first recording contract just weeks before her 16th birthday and performed her first ticketed concert while a freshman at Furman University. Her breakthrough album, Age to Age came out in 1982 with the her first major hit,El Shaddai.
In the mid-80s, Amy surprised her fans with a more mainstream sound as she tried to broaden her audience. And then in 1991, when Heart in Motion (her best-selling album) came out, her music was frowned upon by many in Christian circles. Amy was criticized for being too "worldly and sexy."
At the end of her decade of pop music, Amy filed for divorce from her husband, Gary Chapman to whom she had been married to since 1982. Together they had three children, Matthew, Gloria and Sarah. Less than a year later on March 20. 2000, she married country super star, Vince Gill.. They have one daughter together, Corinna Grant Gill.
In 2002, Amy returned to her Christian music roots with the release of her album, Legacy...Hymns and Faith. In 2007, she had her first book, Mosaic...Pieces of My Life So Far published. 2007 also marked her 30th year in music and her induction into the Christian Music Hall of Fame.
Kathryn Sarah Scott
I came across the voice of Kathryn Scott when I was looking for a version of the song "Breathe" by a female artist. The only other artist I had heart that song by was Lindell Cooley. Since then of course the song (written and originally sung by Marie Barnett) has been covered by many other artists including Michael W. Smith and Rebecca St. James. I found the song on the album, Hungry, I'm Falling on Me Knees (released by Vineyard Music Group), which is here I discovered Kathryn Scott.
Some of Kathryn's songs include: Hungry (Falling on My Knees), Child of God, You are a Holy God, At the Foot of the Cross, We Still Believe and I Will Stay.
Kathryn was born in 1974 and is originally from Northern Ireland. She moved to England and received a degree in theology at Elim Bible College.
She eventually moved back to Ireland where she and her husband planted Causeway Coast Vineyard Church, where they currently pastor. They have two daughters, Sopie and Emily.
Darlene Zschech is known around the world for being a worship leader, singer and songwriter. She has also penned a few books including her most current called, "The Great Generational Transition." She was born in 1965 in Brisbane Australia.
Darlene started out in music by singing jingles for companies such as McDonald's, KFC and Coca-Cola. Now people mainly know her for her world-famous song, Shout to the Lord which is sung by millions of people who attend church each week.
Other popular songs sung by Darlene Zschech include: All Things Are Possible, I Live to Know You, Worthy is the Lamb, Mighty to Save, My Redeemer Lives, Kiss of Heaven, The Potter's Hand and The Power of Your Love.
She was the worship pastor at Hillsong Church from 1996-2007. After stepping down from this role, she continues to travel and make music with the Hillsong worship team around the world,
She and her husband, Mark are currently serving as senior pastors at Church Unlimited in Charmhaven, Australia. They have three daughters, Chloe, Zoe and Amy and one grand-daughter, Ava Pearl
Besides music, Darlene is also passionate about Hope Rwanda, something that developed after a trip to Central Africa in 2004. Also as a part of her life commitment to bring relief to human suffering, she and her husband are deeply involved in Compassion International which serves the world's poorest of the poor children.