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Driving Notes

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Artist News Day

Rock the Universe!

Another Tuesday, another Artist Newsday! Today, We Are Messengers hit a huge milestone on one of their new songs! Also this weekend, a HUGE Christian music festival will kick off!

Rock the Universe 2022 kicks off this Friday for an unforgettable weekend of faith and fun at Universal Studios in Florida. Fans and youth groups can once again come together at Florida’s biggest Christian music festival to enjoy gripping performances by some of Christian music’s top artists, including…

Friday, January 28Saturday, January 29
for KING & COUNTRYCasting Crowns
CrowderZach Williams
Matthew WestBig Daddy Weave
Jordan FelizCory Asbury
Rhett WalkerWe the Kingdom
Riley ClemmonsSocial Club Misfits

Those attending the festival will also enjoy access to both Universal Parks in addition to the three days of worship. Rock the Universe 2022 runs from Friday all the way to Sunday morning.

We Are Messengers song “Come What May” has hit #1 on the Billboard Christian Airplay Chart. It also has spent 11 straight weeks at #1 on the Mediabase Christian Audience Chart. This marks the first time that the group has been at #1 on both charts. 

Here’s what the groups front man Darren Mulligan had to say about the success. “God’s kindness has always been obvious to me, but today is extra special and a sweet example of how fond He is of people like us,” he shared. “I am so very thankful for our management team, Curb | Word Entertainment, and our incredible promo team who have brought this song to radio. We cannot express our gratitude for the never-ending love, support and encouragement of every single radio station in the USA. I’m honored to be a part of this community, and We Are Messengers will continue to share the news of Jesus with a world that needs Him more than ever.” 

We Are Messengers will be hitting the road with Casting Crowns on “The Healer Tour” beginning February 17th and departing on the first leg of their headlining “The Wholehearted Tour” with special guests Apollo LTD and Stephen Stanley on April 17th.

Thank you to jesusfreakhideout.com for their great coverage of your favorite artists on WNZR!

Praise Him in the morning
Praise Him in the noontime
Praise Him when the sun goes down

That was Good God Almighty from Crowder!

Congratulations to Steve of Mount Vernon for correctly guessing the song and winning TWO Voice of the Cougar string backpacks! Tune in tomorrow for our Who Am I Trivia with Dylan and Joe!

Thanks for listening,

Jonathon & Dylan

Sunday Sermons, Tuesday News!

Artist Newsday returns with both Anne Wilson and Riley Clemmons making the headlines!

Anne Wilson is quickly ringing in the new year with a brand-new song called “Sunday Sermons,”. The song, released Friday, is the follow-up single to her debut breakout hit, “My Jesus,” which was the longest-running No. 1 song on the Billboard Christian Airplay Chart of 2021 for seven weeks. Just before Friday’s release, Anne Wilson released this statement for her fans.

“I’m so excited to share ‘Sunday Sermons’ with the world. This is my story of growing up in the church since I was a little girl. God used every Sunday sermon to develop a firm foundation in Him. I didn’t realize just how deep my roots were in Him from all those years of showing up to church each Sunday until I encountered hardships in my life. No matter what happens in life – even losing a loved one, I can always go back to that foundation of truth that the Lord planted in me through each of those sermons. This song is to remind you to cling to the One who’s consistent and faithful. Jesus loves you more than you could ever imagine.”

Wilson will be heading out on her first headlining “My Jesus” tour later this month followed by tour dates with Matthew West on his “Brand New” Tour. In March she will be on tour with Zach Williams. For more information and tour dates, visit www.annewilsonofficial.com.

Riley Clemmons is kicking off the new year with two special versions of her rapidly growing single, “For the Good.” The new renditions, one acoustic and one recorded while on tour with Tauren Wells last year, showcase Riley’s ability to craft a fresh creative take on an already beloved song. Since its release in September, “For the Good” has been climbing the radio charts breaking into the top 20 at Christian radio and matching her debut, “Broken Prayers,” as her fastest growing single to date while garnering over 4 million streams.  

Here is what Riley had to say on this, “One of my favorite parts of creating and releasing music is re-imagining a song with a variety of versions,” she shares. “For The Good” sonically exists in such a naturally acoustic leaning way, so I was stoked to collaborate with my producer on an acoustic version. It’s also such a special live moment, so I really wanted to release a version that brought that energy into people’s homes and cars.” 

In addition to the collection, Riley has released a live performance video of “For the Good.” It was filmed in San Diego while on the road with Tauren Wells this past fall and marks the first tour she performed the song live. The video encapsulates Riley’s ability to own the stage and is a taste of what’s to come when she joins Jeremy Camp on tour this spring.

Praise Him in the morning
Praise Him in the noontime
Praise Him when the sun goes down

This week was a stumper, so we’ll bring these lyrics back next week!

Thanks for listening,

Jonathon & Dylan

Unsung Heroes and Sold Out Crowd(er)s

It’s our first traditional Artist Newsday of 2022, and some of your favorite artists are already making the most of the new year!

For King & Country recently launched a pre-order of its upcoming new album What Are We Waiting For, along with its new song called “Unsung Hero”. The new album What Are We Waiting For asks a pivotal question in a pandemic-riddled world. Brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone provide the answer across 13 original tracks that confront relevant issues and confirm the duo’s commitment to community, diversity and family. Some featured artists in the album are Dante Bowe, Kirk Franklin, and Tori Kelley. Some songs that are included in the album are Relate, For God Is With Us and Together. 

Here is what Joel and Luke Smallbone had to say about this album. “What’s been particularly beautiful about this album is that we were able to be home with our families while making it,” They shared. “We cannot wait to now take more new songs on the road, to see you out there and make new memories with you all!” 

The recently released song, “Unsung Hero” is the most personal track on the upcoming album and is lovingly dedicated to the parents of Joel and Luke. The brothers raise their voices in reverent solidarity for the couple who made them the men they are today. You will be able to listen to the real-life story of the Smallbone family and its journey from Australia to America. 

Here is what the duo had to say about their parents. “Mom and Dad’s sacrificial love and selflessness inspires us to this day,” They said. “It’s hard to put into words what they mean to us, but they are both truly unsung heroes of ours. “Unsung Hero” goes out to every mom and dad, as well as every child who sees a hero in their parents.” 

Three-time GRAMMY-nominated artist Crowder kicked off the new year at Passion 2022, performing to a SOLD-OUT crowd at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta earlier this week. Crowder hit the stage during the annual gathering’s triumphant, in-person return – the largest of its kind, which brings together collegiate students from campuses across the nation and around the world for two days of life-changing worship, teaching and a challenge to live for what matters most. 

Crowder’s current single “In The House” is climbing the Christian radio charts, and he has more than 30 tour stops through the spring, hitting the road with TobyMac to serve as direct support on the Hits Deep 2022 Tour, which includes shows in NYC, Denver, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and more. Fans can purchase tickets to Crowder’s upcoming shows by visiting crowdermusic.com.

Come all you weary
Come all you thirsty
Come to the well
That never runs dry

Congratulations to Jack of Mount Vernon for correctly guessing God So Loved by We The Kingdom. Jack wins TWO $5 gift cards to Everlasting Cup!

Thanks for listening!

Jonathon and Dylan

Late Movement on the Charts!

For Artist Newsday, we recapped an awesome year for Dante Bowe and talked about how We The Kingdom made the most of their live performance on national television!

Dante Bowe has had a very successful year you could say. He has had arguably the most powerful year of his career and is closing out the season with top ten placements on three different Billboard Year End Charts. He is No. 9 overall for Top Gospel Artist, No. 4 for Top Male Gospel Artist, and No. 4 on Top New Christian Artists.

From the release of his deeply personal album, circles, via Bethel Music, to sold out performances, KLOVE Nominations, and multiple DOVE Award wins Dante’s incredible year culminates with three GRAMMY Award nominations in the Best Gospel Performance/Song category, a record that no other artist has achieved since the field was created in 2015.  

Earlier this year, Dante released his album and Bethel Music label debut, circles. The incredibly personal album quickly shot to the top of the charts, debuting at No. 7 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart. The lead single, ‘joyful,’ reached No. 2 on Billboard’s Gospel Digital Song Sales and No. 3 on Hot Gospel Songs, making it the highest solo charting position of his career, and earned him a GRAMMY Nomination. The follow up single, ‘family tree,’ premiered on BET marking his first televised debut.

Next spring, Dante will join four-time GRAMMY Award winning duo for KING & COUNTRY on the road for the ‘What Are We Waiting For? – The Tour.” The 33-date trek will make stops in arenas throughout the United States beginning on March 31st in Southaven, MS before traveling through Chicago, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and more then wrapping in Franklin, TN on March 22nd. More information about the dates and tickets can be found at forkingandcountry.com.

We The Kingdom celebrated Christmas Eve with Fox & Friends, making an appearance on the show to perform their rendition of “Silent Night (Heavenly Peace).” Following their performance, the song soared to No. 1 on the iTunes Top Christian Songs chart (Top 15 all-genre), and the band’s holiday EP, “A Family Christmas”, also rose to No. 3 on the iTunes all-genre Top Albums chart.

The 2x GRAMMY-nominated group will kick off their headlining We The Kingdom Live tour in the new year, packing out the month of March with 16 shows! For tickets, make sure to visit wtklive.com.

Come all you weary
Come all you thirsty
Come to the well
That never runs dry

This week was a stumper so we will bring these lyrics back next week for a chance at TWO $5 gift cards to Everlasting Cup!

Thanks for listening!

Jonathon & Dylan

Casting Christmas!!

It’s Artist Newsday and some of your favorite WNZR artists are making headlines!

Since the creation of the category in 2015, Dante Bowe has broken the record for the greatest number of simultaneous nominations in the Best Gospel Performance/Song category at the 64th GRAMMY Awards. His nominations include solo singles “Voice of God” and “joyful.” as well as a nod for songwriting on Elevation Worship and Maverick City Music’s “Wait On You.”

In addition to his solo nominations, Dante contributed to a Best Gospel Album nomination with Maverick City Music for Jubilee: Juneteenth Edition and Best Contemporary Christian Music Album with Elevation Worship & Maverick City Music for Old Church Basement. 

The 64th GRAMMY Awards will air live from the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on January 31 at 8:00 on CBS and Paramount+.

Casting Crowns just announced the plans for a 24-city “Healer Tour”. The band will travel to many different venues and arenas across the country. The tour will happen this coming spring (2022). The tour will get underway on February 17th after the band releases their new album Healer, which is set to come out on January 14th, 2022.

The Healer Tour will feature special guests We Are Messengers and Jonathan Traylor, and will make stops in cities like Baltimore, Grand Rapids, Tulsa, Nashville, Cleveland and Milwaukee, to name just a few. Tickets for The Healer Tour are on sale now. Check out castingcrowns.com for more ticket information.

There’s a tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well
It’s the sturdy kind that doesn’t mind the snow.

Congratulations to Amy of Mount Vernon for correctly guessing the name of the song: “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!”. She wins TWO $5 gift cards to Everlasting Cup!

Thanks for listening!

Jonathon & Dylan

CeCe Winans and Christmas Concerts

Someone we’ve talked about many times for Artist Newsdays returns to the show! It’s none other that CeCe Winans!!

CeCe Winans has experienced quite an amazing year. She has helped spread love, hope and encouragement for the past 18 months. Her album Believe For It became an instant hit. It received a ton of recognitions including being in the Billboard’s top 10 Gospel Labels. Here is what Jeff Moseley, Founder/President Fair Trade Services had to say about Winans, “We had high hopes and dreams for our partnership with CeCe and have been overjoyed with the success that we’ve experienced. It’s an honor to partner with an icon like CeCe.”

The year-end Billboard Charts listed Winans as Top Gospel Female Artist of the year with the single, “Believe For It” dominating the Gospel Digital Song Sales Chart and holding the #1 slot for 18 weeks.  The influence of Winans and Believe For It continued to shine brightly when the 2022 Grammy nominations were recently announced adding three more nods to her list of 28 nominations: Best Gospel Performance/Song, “Never Lost;” Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song, “Believe For It” (Dwan Hill, Kyle Lee, CeCe Winans & Mitch Wong, songwriters) and Best Gospel Album, Believe For It. Winans also received four Dove Awards! Here is what Winans had to say on the success, “I’m feeling really blessed right now! Thankful for people’s lives being uplifted by Believe For It. God is good.”

“Believe For It” continues to have success on the radio. The song is currently at #4 on the Billboard Gospel Airplay Chart. Winans is also in the Top 5 Christian Female Artist of the Year. Winans also has plans for a tour across the US in 2022.

For King & Country are in Columbus THIS FRIDAY for their Drummer Boy Christmas Tour at the Schottenstein Center! The concert will start at 7pm and tickets can be found here!

Also, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra will be at Nationwide Arena in Columbus Sunday, December 26th! They will have a matinee showing at 3pm and an evening showing at 8pm. Tickets can be found here!

Lyrics: There’s a tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well
It’s the sturdy kind that doesn’t mind the snow.

Answer: ???

This song was a stumper! We’ll bring it back next week for TWO $5 gift cards to Everlasting Cup!

Thanks for listening!

Jonathon and Dylan

One Night Only!

Artist Newsday brings good news for Tasha Layton who celebrates a huge milestone with “Look What You’ve Done!” Maverick City Music is also in the news once again with a special one night experience!

Tasha Layton’s song “Look What You’ve Done,” landed in the top spot on the Billboard’s Christian Airplay chart last week. This is her first time having a #1 hit.

This song became popular from the time it was released. When it debuted, it became one of the most added songs to Christian radio and has become a mantle of encouragement for fans around the world.

Here is what Tyson Paoletti, senior director of marketing and sales at BEC Recordings had to say about the success. “It has been such an honor to support Tasha and watch ‘Look What You’ve Done’ connect with listeners in deep and powerful ways,” he said. “As we celebrate her first #1 hit on the heels of last year’s massive radio success with ‘Into The Sea (It’s Gonna Be Ok),’ some amazing doors continue to open for Tasha, and I’m excited to see what God has in store for her next.”

The chart success of “Look What You’ve Done” caps a momentous year for Layton. This fall she was featured on ABC’s GMA3: What You Need To Know, discussing how past struggles have shaped her life and inspired her music; and she also served as co-host of the 52nd GMA Dove Awards. She also just released an album titled “This Is Christmas” which features Christmas classics along with some new music done by Layton. She was also named One of Billboard’s Top 5 female Christian artists of 2020.  A little interesting fact is that she was on American Idol before she started her music career. She was also a back-up vocalist to Katy Perry for four years.

Check out the original article for Tasha Layton HERE!

Also, THIS SATURDAY!! Maverick City Music is hosting a special, one-night-only Christmas performance at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis! Gates will open at 5:30pm with the concert starting at 7pm.

Tickets can be found HERE!

O Bethlehem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King

That was Casting Crowns’ hit song “While You Were Sleeping”!

Congratulations to Faith of Howard for correctly guessing our first Christmas edition of Song Poetry. She wins a $5 gift card to Everlasting Cup!

Thanks for listening!

Jonathon & Dylan

Grammys Everywhere!!

For Artist Newsday, Dylan and I shared some of the nominated artists for the 2022 Grammy Awards coming up in January!

Notable artists consist of Natalie Grant, CeCe Winans, and Dante Bowe!

For the full list of Gospel and Contemporary Christian nominees, click here. Thanks to 95.5 The Fish of Northeast Ohio for the article.

May His favor be upon you
And a thousand generations
And Your family and your children
And their children, and their children

Congratulations to Bonnie of Mount Vernon for correctly guessing the song and the artist to win a $5 gift card to Everlasting Cup!

Thanks for listening!

Jonathon & Dylan

“Into The Mystery”

It’s artist news day and NEEDTOBREATHE is making its documentary available to the public.

Earlier this month we talked about NEEDTOBREATHE’s documentary “INTO THE MYSTERY”, if you didn’t get a chance to watch the documentary in person, well you’re in luck because Greenwich Entertainment announced that the documentary will be available on demand starting today on most streaming platforms! The film release will follow the band’s massive 38-city tour across the United States.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and without telling a soul, the band went to a historic house-turned-recording studio in remote Tennessee to work on new music. Over the next three weeks, they resided under one roof and handcrafted an album titled, “Into The Mystery”. The documentary offers a rare look at the collaboration of artists at the height of their creative powers who are struggling with the same fear and isolation that has affected everyone the last 16 months.

Here is what the band had to say. “We’re big fans of music documentaries where you get to actually watch the artist creating in the space where the record is made. Getting to see an idea stretch and grow into a finished song is really inspiring, but we’ve never really let our fans see behind the curtain. Now people will get to pull up a chair and become a part of the process as we create our eighth studio album in an old house in the hills of Tennessee.”

Lord, Your ways are higher
You know Your plans for me
You give purpose and a future
Even when I can’t see

Answer: For The Good by Riley Clemmons

Congratulations to Leanne of Howard for guessing the correct answer! She wins THREE $5 gift cards to Everlasting Cup!

Thanks for listening!

-Dylan

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