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Hillsong UNITED
Joel Houston o
n Wonder

  To call Hillsong UNITED's "Zion" album a cultural phenomenom is not hyperbole. The huge single, "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" from the album was #1 on Billboard's Contemporary Christian music charts for an astounding 50 straight weeks in 2014. "Oceans" resurfaced to #1 for a few more and, stayed on the charts for nearly 200 weeks after its release.
  Churches around the world adopted it for worship services.
  The followup, "Empires" had large shoes to fill and won the Dove Award for "Worship Album of the Year."
  On top of that, Hillsong Worship’s “What a Beautiful Name” from the "Let There Be Light" CD, has spent several weeks at #1 itself.
  Hillsong United's latest CD, "Wonder" debuted at #13. (Click here)

  "Wonder," the sixth studio album from the worship music collective was released on June 9, topping Billboard’s Top Christian Albums chart dated July 1, earning 20,000 equivalent albums (with 16,000 in traditional sales) for the week ending June 15, according to Nielsen Music.
  The launch single from "Wonder," has reached the top 15.

For the Australian based band, it was their seventh No. 1 on Top Christian Albums, all of them arriving at the summit. United’s past No. 1s on Top Christian Albums include their most recent, "Empires" (June 13, 2015, with 47,000 copies sold). Its previous No. 1s: "Zion" (2013), "Live in Miami" (2012), "Aftermath" (2011), "Tear Down the Walls" (2009) and "All of the Above" (2007).

  Joel Houston, founding member of the group sat down with Billboard to chat a bit about the new album. But first: a crash course on Hillsong. Firstly, they are the musical representation of the mega Hillsong Church, with its home base in Sydney, Australia, founded in 1983. Additionally, there is significant representation all over the world, including outposts in New York City, Los Angeles, London and many other locations.

  In addition to Hillsong United, there is also the more church-music-centered group, Hillsong Worship, and the younger brand, Hillsong Young & Free. While the personnel sometimes mingle amongst acts, they’re three separate brands.

  “What a Beautiful Name,” the latest hit by Hillsong Worship, has ruled Billboard’s hybrid Hot Christian Songs chart -- which combines airplay, sales and streaming data -- for 17 weeks, reaching No. 1 for the first time on Feb. 25 and it remains atop that chart 10 months after it's release. On the Christian Airplay chart, “Name” ruled for nine frames, beginning with the chart dated April 8, 2017.

  The "Wonder" album clearly has an optimistic, upbeat feel, both lyrically and sonically.

  Here's a Q&A with Houston about "Wonder"

Congratulations on releasing your 6th studio album. In a couple of sentences, how is this set different from others?

  Joel: There is always a process when making an album that is similar to what we have done previously. Words we had conversations around when writing this album were "bright," "colorful," "nostalgic."

  Nostalgia is an interesting theme as you have to be old enough for something to be nostalgic -- we talked about albums, music, television shows, movies that we loved when we were kids. So we wanted to give reference to [these, and, at the same time, create something new. It was also definitely intentional to be more upbeat than our previous album "Empires."

See Hillsong United's live performance of
"Wonder"
-
Click Here

See Hillsong Worship's live performance of "What A Beautiful Name" - Click Here

See Hillsong UNITED's #1 Christian video
"Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)


Click Here

  The single is “Wonder,” and it’s the title track. What should your fans take
from this song?

  Joel: I was watching the news getting caught up in everything happening everywhere, the tragedy, the despair and sometimes we can get caught up in it all -- and there's my son running around, just wanting to be Batman. I was challenged and inspired at the same time: When did we lose the "wonder?"

  It also ties in to the above thoughts and themes. In our church environment we are challenged to have childlike faith -- and that comes back to the nostalgic moments; they feel good, they take us back when everything was ‘wonder.’ As for it being the title and first track, it felt right: We still love the idea of a full album, 12 tracks fitting together in harmony, telling a story. "Wonder," the song, is Act One.

What is your overall hope for what fans both old and new will get
out of this album?

  Joel: Hope is an interesting word. We believe there is hope in the world, amidst all of the devastation. But as for our album -- we always just try and enjoy and trust the process, make music we like and, hopefully, other people do as well... It is the dream of any artist that their music reaches new listeners, that the story or message goes out and impacts more and more people.

Why is "Wonder" the lead single from 12 very good tracks?

  Joel: Ha -- thanks for saying they are all good! There are always differing opinions on which song should be a single -- we went with "Wonder," as that sets up the theme of the album. It wasn't as intentional as it may seem, but more where it fit for us in the album. We feel that different songs will resonate with different people -- and that is fine.

~ from billboard.com ~

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HILLSONG UNITED
(Wonder)

Amazon Discount Price
as of 8/15/2017

Streaming - Unlimited
MP3 Album - $9.49
Audio CD - $
12.43


Rising to global impact as the youth ministry of Australia's Hillsong Church, Hillsong UNITED has grown from a modest ministry to award-winning, platinum-selling artists. Currently fronted by Joel Houston and Taya Smith, the collective features a shifting cast of contributors and an eclectic approach to modern worship. Despite the rotating lineup, the group consistently provides the church body with fresh expressions of faith, anthems of praise, and captivating live events. Following their 2015 studio recording Empires and subsequent live release Of Dirt And Grace, Hillsong UNITED offers a bold new set of engaging modern worship originals. Wonder features twelve brand-new songs, including lead single "Splinters and Stones" plus "Greatest Of These," "Future Marches In," "Water To Wine," and more.

HILLSONG WORSHIP
"What A
Beautiful Name"
(from Let There Be
Light Live)

Amazon Discount Price
as of 8/15/2017

Streaming - Unlimited
MP3 Album - $11.49
Audio CD - $11.15


Recorded live at the 2016 Hillsong Conference in Sydney, Let There Be Light showcases the talents of staff musicians Reuben Morgan, Joel Houston, Ben Fielding, and others on a selection of electrifying new worship offerings. This twelve-song performance includes "Love So Great," "What A Beautiful Name," "Grace To Grace," and others. Deluxe edition CD/DVD includes full standard edition CD album and DVD video.

HILLSONG YOUNG
AND FREE
"Love Won't
Let Me Down"
Amazon Discount Price
as of 8/15/2017

Retail Price: $1.29
MP3 Download

HILLSONG UNITED
(Let Hope Rise Soundtrack)

Amazon Discount Price
as of 7/29/2017

Audio CD - $
9.49


Let Hope Rise chronicles the spectacular and unlikely rise of the Christian band Hillsong. The film follows the band as they record their next album and explores the history of Hillsong, a 30-year journey from a church in the Sydney suburbs to an international ministry. The official soundtrack features music from the film with new music from Hillsong.

HILLSONG UNITED
"Oceans (Where
Feet May Fail"

(from "Zion")

Amazon Discount Price
as of 8/7/2017

Audio CD - $9.49


Offering a fresh vision for what they are called to do, Hillsong UNITED takes steps forward sonically---while retaining the hallmarks of their worship songs. Includes the #1 song, "Oceans"; "Relentless"; "Up in Arms"; "Scandal of Grace"; "Stay and Wait"; "Mercy, Mercy"; "Love Is War"; "Nothing Like Your Love"; "Heartbeats"; "A Million Suns"; "Tapestry"; "King of Heaven"; and the title track. Deluxe edition includes two additional songs, three remixes, and the "Welcome Zion" music video.

Hillsong UNITED
(Empires)

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Hillsong UNITED's
previous release, "Zion," was an enormous success with the hit single, "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" topping the charts for 49 weeks. They follow Zion up with the highlighly anticipated "Empires." It includes the first single, "Touch the Sky," plus "Here Now," "Say the Word," "Street Called Mercy," "When I Lost My Heart to You," "Even When It Hurts," "Prince of Peace," "Heart Like Heaven," & "Closer Than You Know."

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