So it’s been around 3 and a bit years since I started a blog series that would, for lack of a better term, revolutionise my life in terms of the music I would listen to, as I understood over the last few years, the vastness of music out there for one, but also, the notion and understanding as I grew up as a Christian in the 1990s, that mainstream music was downright ‘evil’, was totally false. Throughout my teen years, that notion of mainstream music = bad started to become undone, and it was this blog series that really stretched me in terms of what was deemed to be ‘mainstream’ and ‘Christian’, especially when over the last few years, there had been many collaborations in music between Christians and…well, everyone else. for KING & COUNTRY’s ‘Together’ was collaborated with Kirk Franklin & Tori Kelly, Tori herself also lent vocals to the smash-hit Cory Asbury penned ‘Reckless Love’, country singer-songwriter JoDee Messina also recorded her own version of the powerful (yet controversial) worship hit ‘Reckless Love’; while Lecrae collaborated with artists like John Legend (Drown) and Ty Dolla $ign (Blessings), whilst his song ‘Comin’ in Hot’, a collaboration between himself and fellow CHH artist Andy Mineo, has gained the most traction and popularity (out of all of Lecrae’s songs) amongst the mainstream music media space…ever.
In 2020, Chris Tomlin collaborated with a whole bunch of country artists (Lady A, Brett Young, Cassadee Pope, Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line) for the country/CCM crossover album Chris Tomlin & Friends, while not too long ago, Tauren Wells and H.E.R. unveiled one of the unlikeliest of collaborations…ever. ‘Hold Us Together’ has been a powerful song since it’s unveiling as just a H.E.R. song as the end credits to the Disney + movie Safety, but the song took on new life when it was re-released around six months later with the injection of Tauren’s vocals, making the song, that already had a gospel feeling, become more worshipful…who am I kidding. The song was already worshipful. TobyMac and Sheryl Crow came together just this year to re-record Toby’s most recent single hit, ‘Promised Land’, and who knows, that could release on country/folk/Americana radio in the future…maybe. Christian and mainstream continued to collide over the years, with for KING AND COUNTRY & Echosmith collaborating on the duo’s chart-topping radio hit ‘God Only Knows’, while Joel & Luke also collaborated with one of Country music’s OG artists, Dolly Parton, for said same song. Dolly also lent her vocals to another CCM artist’s track, Zach Williams’s ‘There Was Jesus’, to much critical and commercial acclaim, while country music’s representation within CCM didn’t end there, with up and coming country artist Carly Pearce delivered a duet with Matthew West on the track ‘Truth Be Told’, a song that I reckon, sounds better as a duet. Up and coming country artist Lauren Alaina and up and coming CCM/pop artist Riley Clemmons created what I reckon is one of my favourite duets in recent memory, ‘Over and Over’, around a couple of years ago (a song that could’ve succeeded in country radio, but was never given a chance), and let’s all not forget that all those years ago, needtobreathe collaborated with pop icon (at the time) Gavin DeGraw (who’s still making music now, but not as popular as before) on the 2014 CCM-pop crossover hit, ‘Brother’? I say all this to say, that over the years, the lines between Christian and gospel music, and everything else, seems to be blurring together. And that is ok.