With three decades of work behind them, nearly two dozen albums, including a recent No. 1 smash, Newsboys are certainly one of the more resilient acts in contemporary Christian music. Here’s some background on the platinum-selling band, performing with special guest Audio Adrenaline at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Friday, June 10.
Origin story: Peter Furler and George Perdikis, who are no longer with Newsboys, formed the Christian rock group in Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia in 1985.
The hits: Newsboys have scored 33 No. 1 radio hits and eight gold records, won five Dove Awards and been nominated for four Grammy Awards and two American Music Awards. Upon its release in March, the group’s latest album, “Love Riot,” debuted at number one on two Billboard charts: Top Rock Albums and Top Alternative Albums.
Changing roles: Furler played drums with Newsboys for more than a decade before switching to guitar and lead vocals in the late 1990s. Phillips, the band’s senior member with more than 20 years of service, joined as keyboardist in 1993 before switching to drums a few years later.
Changing members: Newsboys has featured more than a dozen different members since forming in the mid-1980s, including three different lead vocalists: John James from 1986 to 1997, Furler from 1997 to 2009 and Michael Tait from 2009 to present.
Current members: Michael Tait (lead vocals) and Jody Davis (guitar) have been with the group since 2009. Duncan Phillips (drums) and Jeff Frankenstein (keyboards) joined in 1993 and 1994 respectively.
Music for movies: The group entered the world of Hollywood when the title track for the 2011 album, “God’s Not Dead,” was used in the 2014 Christian film of the same name. The small-budget drama, directed by Harold Cronk, starred Kevin Sorbo and Dean Cain and featured an appearance by Newsboys. “Guilty,” from the “Love Riot” album, is the theme song for “God’s Not Dead 2.” The sequel, which was released on April 1, stars Melissa Joan Hart, Ernie Hudson, Robin Givens, Ray Wise, Jesse Metcalf and others.
Road dogs: The rockers launched the highly successful “We Believe God’s Not Dead Tour” in 2015. The final leg of the tour stretched into 2016, with a final 20-city outing from March 31 to May 2. After a short break, the band’s extensive “Love Riot Tour” of the United States launched on June 3. Newsboys will be on tour supporting the new release until late November.
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