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Country Artists Return to Gospel Music

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January 28, 2004|9:16 am

“Come follow me” were the words of Jesus that may call people to serve God in different ways. For big country names Randy Travis, George Jones, and Billy Ray Cyrus, they put those words into practice as they apply their country talents to enter Contemporary Christian music.

The movement of country flowing into gospel music once again shows the power that gospel music still has on people.

"If you look at the history of country music, it used to be that country artists would typically do a gospel record in their career," says Mark Lusk, senior VP of marketing and artist development for Travis and Cyrus' Christian home, Word Label Group. "Country artists had gotten away from that, and now some are venturing back to it. They are seeing what was true 25-30 years ago is still true today, and that is the country fan still loves gospel music."

Travis, Jones, and Cyrus have all landed spots on Top Contemporary Christian Albums chart with religious-themed records.

While Travis prepares to release his fourth Christian album, and Sparrow Records, credited for starting the trend in the 1990’s with Charlie Daniels and Anne Murray, prepares for the third edition of the compilation album Amazing Grace: A Country Salute to Gospel, whose first and second releases both won Grammys. Steven Curtis Chapman, Trace Adkins, and Mark Miller are a few artists to participate in the third edition of Amazing Grace.

There is no death when it comes to life in Christ as Johnny Cash relives through hymnals he sang, which will be compiled and issued as a collection by Christian label INO Records and Sony Nashville.

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