Gospel music has come a long way from the hymns your parents and grandparents sang in church. While they were inspirational and beautifully written, they really didn't speak to the younger generation. Thanks to networks of Christian and gospel radio stations and online streaming, this music is more accessible than ever. Today, Christian music comes in a wide variety of genres from contemporary to rap to screamo. Take a look at some styles and artists bringing the message to a new generation. From such a variety, you'll be able to find something you like. Contemporary With the increasing popularity of radio stations like Air1 and K-Love, contemporary Christian music is free and available nationwide. Online streaming radio has also promoted artists that most listeners had never heard of. Also driving this movement are artists getting national, mainstream attention like Colton Dixon, Angie Miller, and Danny Gokey, who all finished well on American Idol. They have made it "cool" to be a young Christian again. Other artists perpetuating this genre include Francesca Battistelli, For King and Country, The Fray, Casting Crowns, and Matthew West. Rock While still showing up on contemporary stations, these groups have an edgier sound. What started with the band Stryper in 1983 has turned into a multi-national music scene. Artists come from all walks of life and nations to form bands that have a hard core beat and a positive message. Their songs are often empowering and deal with serious issues like suicide, domestic violence, and cutting. If this is your preferred style, here are just a few acts to check out: Flyleaf Superchick Kutless Reliant K Skillet 7eventh Time Down The Letter Black Hip Hop/Rap This music has started to infiltrate mainstream music with the popularity of artists like LaCrae and Toby Mack. However, edgier artists are impacting listeners as well. PyRexx out of Houston, Texas, is a former gang banger and drug dealer who turned his life around in prison and is now reaching kids who are where he used to be with his Christian lyrics. Other artists making their way in this area include No Malice, Dee-1, Andy Mineo, and Bizzle. All of these genres have the same basic Good News message; they just have very different ways of delivering it. They realize that not everyone likes the same kind of music and therefore will not be reached by the same kind. Find the style that speaks to you, your children or your ministry and embrace the differences that are changing lives all over the world.
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