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On the heels of their RIAA Certified Gold and GRAMMY
acclaimed "Welcome To The New" (2014), MercyMe
released "LIFER" in 2017.
The first single from the album, "Even If,"
reached #1 on Billboard's Contemporary Christian music
And "Lifer" won the Dove Award for Pop/Contemporary
Album of the Year with and Bart Millard getting one
Songwriter of the Year.
MercyMe's Bart Millard has a new book, with the same title as
the hit film "I Can Only Imagine."
Additionally, the title hit, which was originally a #1 hit from
The Worship Project and 2002's
Almost There, has re-emerged as the #1 song on Billboard's
Contemporary Christian Music charts. The song has also been rerecorded and entered the
top 20 along with the original. Two versions of the same song in the
That version along with the original comprise thirteen
#1 singles by the group and available on a new album called I Can
Only Imagine: The Very Best of MercyMe.
The core of "Lifer" is the question of what it looks like to live
as followers of Christ that are committed for life. With
2014's "Welcome To The New," MercyMe spoke to the
grace and celebrated new life that Christ offers us in
entering into faith. With their newest record, MercyMe
writes about what it means to live out that faith as a
"lifer" in the kingdom of God.
"This new record is the logical next chapter after our last album, and it
carries a new perspective," MercyMe's Millard
remarked. "'Welcome To The New' was all about grace
and identity in Christ; a welcoming to the life of being a
new creation by grace. And it's such an exciting truth to
grasp, but then life continues to go on and eventually the
newness of that wears off and we need encouragement and
support to sustain us. For me personally, I sing about being
new every night on tour and I don't always feel so new. So
the album title "Lifer" and the theme of the record
is all about reminding ourselves and others about the
victory we have in the end through Christ. We are all in
this for life - even on the days when we don't feel like
doing any of it. We want these songs to be a morale boost to
remind people of who they are and what Christ has done."
Filled with positive, uplifting lyrics, along with energetic beats and
soaring melodies, this latest offering delivers the massive
hits that MercyMe is known for. The debut single "Even
If" will serve as a follow-up to the band's four hit
singles found on their previous album.
"The song 'Even If' is incredibly special to me," commented
Millard. "My son Sam is 15 years-old, and he's been a
diabetic since he was two. When you're a parent of a child
with any kind of chronic illness, these things don't go
away. You have a lot of good days, but some days you feel
like you're losing bad. I was in the midst of one of those
bad days when 'Even If' was written. This song is a
reminder to people in these difficult situations that don't
seem to go away. God was worthy long before any of these
circumstances even showed up. It's a foundation that was
built long before those difficulties came to be. This song
is a declaration to God that even if He went silent and
never said another word, He's still worthy to be praised,
and He's our greatest hope in the midst of the trial."
Bassist Nathan Cochran said each song on
"Lifer" showcases how the five-person band's faith has
changed their lives on a personal level.
"There's no illusion that we're pastors or theologians or anything like
that," he said. "We're musicians trying to be honest about what
we're going through in life."
Cochran said the group - consisting of himself, lead vocalist Millard,
guitarist Barry Graul, guitarist Mike Scheuchzer,
and drummer Robby Shaffer - collaborates on songwriting
to create pieces that ring true for all of them.
MercyMe has remained almost exactly the same since then, with
two exceptions - guitarist Graul joined in 2003 and
James Bryson retired in 2014.
"I've had people ask us before, 'Why did you choose Christian music?' And
the truth is we can write about whatever we want, but it just so
happens that our faith and our relationship with Christ informs
everything about us," Cochran said.
"So when it comes time for us to be a band and write songs, it's what we
write about. It's what we're consumed with. For us it would be
disingenuous to write about anything else."
For past albums, Cochran said the group focused on working together, just
the five of them, throughout the writing process. To switch
things up, he said the group invited other people to be a part
of their writing process for the upcoming album.
The band wanted their fans to feel a special connection
with this newest album, Cochran said, so they created several
ways for fans to be involved via pledgemusic.com.
And the group also is
watching for the release of a new film based on the band's first
big hit, "I Can Only Imagine," which transcended
Christian charts and became a secular hit, as well.
Click here to see the film's star, Dennis Quaid, talk
about the faith-based film.
Scheuchzer said the song, and the film, are based on things that have
happened in Millard's life. The filmmakers were familiar with
the song and were determined to tell the story behind it.
"His dad was pretty abusive until he was diagnosed with pancreatic
cancer," Scheuchzer said. "... He (Bart) had a fear growing up
of being like his dad."
Millard's father died when he was still in high school and at his
funeral, a family member told him, "I can't imagine what your
dad is seeing right now from heaven." It's what inspired the hit
Scheuchzer said the film is "a redemptive story between him and his dad."
Dennis Quaid is playing Millard's father in the film, and
Cloris Leachman is also in the cast.
to see Quaid talking about the film.
"We're really excited about it," he said of the movie. Principal filming
has been completed and it's slated for release in 2018.
their debut in 2001, MercyMe have sold more than 9
million units in CD, single and DVD sales, garnered 27 No. 1
multi-format Christian radio singles and four consecutive
mainstream radio hits with "I Can Only Imagine," (No.
4 AC/Top 25 on Top 40/Hot AC), "Here With Me" (No. 4
AC), "Homesick" (Top 10 AC) and "So Long Self."
- I Can Only Imagine (The Movie Session - Official Music Video)
official lyric video for
radio success has continued with recent singles "Flawless"
(No. 1 for 15 weeks) and "Greater" (No. 1 for 16
weeks), landing them the Top Christian Airplay Artist spot
on Billboard's 2015 Year End charts. MercyMe made history in
2014 as "I Can Only Imagine" surpassed 2 million
digital downloads, making it the first song in Christian
music to go platinum and double-platinum in the digital
In 2009, Billboard named MercyMe's "Word Of God Speak" the No. 1
Song of The Decade and the group the No. 1 Artist of the
Decade in both the Christian Songs and Christian AC Songs
categories, recognizing them as one of the industry's most
They have sold out venues throughout the US and Canada, including Radio
City Music Hall, and have appeared on the Macy's
Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Today Show, CBS This Morning,
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, FOX New Channel's FOX &
Friends, CNN, ABC News and in the pages of Entertainment
Weekly, The New York Times, USA Today and more.
Their recent project MercyMe, It's Christmas! (2015) debuted at
No. 1 on Billboard's Holiday Albums chart and became an
instant Christmas classic. MercyMe's eighth studio album,
"Welcome To The New," garnered two GRAMMY nods, four
radio hits and continues to be a top selling title.
MercyMe has slowed down on touring over the years, going
from an average of 120 shows a year to about 60 or 70.
Cochran said the group decided early on that finding the balance between
work and life in a band would be nearly impossible.
Collectively, they decided the band would come second,
behind their families.
this one, we kind of intentionally didn't do (video)," Millard
said. "We'll be winging it more than we usually do. We don't get
to do that enough."
While they might be performing less and less in an effort to be
present with their growing families, Cochran said they don't
take for granted the opportunity they've been given to share a
message that is near and dear to their hearts.
"We're serious about our relationship with Christ. If we really take that
relationship seriously and really truly believe that he's
changed our lives, then we certainly want to talk about that
with people," he said.
"We've never been ones to slap people upside the head with a Bible, but
at the same time we want to be honest that this is the only
thing that has actually changed our lives - is our relationship
with Christ. If you really want to know who we are, this is it.
And we'll certainly tell you."
After releasing "The Hurt & The Healer" in 2012, Millard lost his
drive. After all, 23 years is a long time to do the same job,
day in and day out.
Especially when that job requires nearly nonstop travel.
"It was the villain that took daddy away from home," Millard said. "I
felt like I needed to find another job so my kids don't become
But advice from a close friend and mentor gave him pause and
changed the way he looked at what he was doing and the message
he was bringing to his fans. His friend told him that if he was
doing what he was doing to gain God's approval, he already had
"Nothing can make him love you more than he already does" was the
advice that really struck Millard as life-changing.
He said he came to a better understanding of his life in Christ. He
realized that, "no matter what, he's still crazy about me."
It was a moment of truth that let him know that if the band folded
tomorrow, he wouldn't lose a minute of sleep.
"We're done trying to scare people to God," Millard said. "The
truth we discovered was appealing. People want to know about
These days, he does what he does and doesn't worry about results
and performance, which relieved a lot of the stress in his life.
That mindset, that feeling, permeated the rest of the band and it shows
in the music of the past two albums, "Welcome to the New"
Millard said they aren't trying to reinvent the wheel, just push the
"In a good way, you kind of stop caring about what people expect of you,"
Millard said. "You just do what you love."
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"I Can Only Imagine'
Top Seller on Movie Ticketing Services, Surpasses
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I Can Only Imagine
Can Only Imagine" Actor Dennis Quaid Describes What Heaven Is
Like; Says New Faith Role Helped Him Quit Judging Himself
"I Can Only Imagine:
From the lead singer of the chart-topping Christian band MercyMe comes a compelling memoir of love, loss, and family! You'll be moved by the story behind the hit song as Millard reflects on the loss of his father to cancer and shares his own testimony of growing up in a once-abusive family transformed by Jesus. 208 pages, softcover from Nelson.
(I Can Only Imagine: The
Very Best of MercyMe)
of the crop from the chart-topping, award-winning band MercyMe---including
13 of their #1 hits! This must-have collection includes "Spoken
For"; "Word of God Speak"; "You Reign"; "God with Us"; "Here with
Me"; "Move"; "Hold Fast"; "Homesick"; "Bring the Rain"; "Greater";
"Flawless"; "Shake"; "So Long, Self"; and two versions of the
popular title track.
From fan favorite MercyMe comes an eagerly anticipated new
batch of positive, energy-packed, spirit-lifting songs---picking up
where the award-winning Welcome to the New left off! You'll
be instantly hooked on "You Found Me"; "Grace Got You"; "Best
News"; Hello, Beautiful"; "We Win"; "Happy Dance";
"Heaven's Here"; "Ghost"; the #1 hit,
and the title track.
To The New)
Hurt & The Healer)
(All That Is Within Me)
(Coming Up To Breathe)
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