Christian rock rises again on the charts, on the road, on the sea

From Los Angeles Times:

For three weeks in a row last month, the Billboard 200 included a Christian album debuting in the Top 10. Lecrae’s “Gravity” entered at No. 3, and TobyMac’s “Eye on It” did even better, soaring straight to No. 1 in its first week of release. Until TobyMac, a Christian album hadn’t debuted at No. 1 since 1997.

Superstar acts like Justin Bieber and Adele still dominate the music business, but Christian rock has carved out a solid and increasingly lucrative niche. Three Christian rock tours — Winter Jam, Casting Crowns and the Rock & Worship Roadshow — were in the top 100 grossing music tours of the first half of 2012, selling over $14 million worth of tickets.

And despite the music industry’s chronic slump, Christian album sales were down less than 1% this year compared with the same time period last year (according to Nielsen SoundScan), while overall album sales suffered a 4% slide. In January, Rock & Worship will launch an inaugural cruise from Florida to the Bahamas.

The healthy state of Christian rock is partly due to a loyal fan base that can be counted on to buy recordings and concert tickets. But the recent revival also reflects what fans and music industry insiders alike agree has been a marked improvement in the quality of the music.

Continue reading the rest of the story on The Los Angeles Times