While the number of women in Christian music grows every year, the names you see in the Weekly Contemporary Christian Music Charts are still predominantly male instead of female. Since 1969, the Dove Awards have honored the best female vocalists in Christian music, but through the first 30 years of the award, only 12 different female vocalists have taken home the honor.
Meet some of the women who make music their ministry and use their talents as singers for Jesus.
By the time she was 16, Amy Grant had released her first album and was on her way to becoming a dominant voice in the Christian music movement. Since then, she has sold 30+ million albums, including albums that have been certified double, triple and quadruple platinum by RIAA by selling 2 million, 3 million and 4 million copies each. She has gone gold four times and platinum six times. She has won six Grammy's and 25 Dove's, and has performed everywhere from the White House to Monday Night Football. Amy Grant has taken Christian music to a wider audience than any other artist in the Christian genre.
Amy Grant Starter Songs:
At the age of 19, Audrey Assad answered God's call to take her walk to the next level and for her, that meant leading Worship in the foyer of a church that she didn't even attend! Local events and a demo CD came next and then, at 25, a move to Nashville, a Christmas tour with Chris Tomlin and a five-song EP were on her path. That CD caught the attention of a Sparrow Records A&R exec. and shortly before Audrey's 27th birthday, her national debut, The House You're Building, hit stores.
Audrey Assad Starter Songs:
Becca, Alyssa, and Lauren Barlow are best known to the world collectively as BarlowGirl. The three sisters from Elgin, Illinois live together, work together, worship together and make incredible music together. After spending years singing with their dad, Fervent Records picked them up in 2003 and they have released five albums since, with one being a Christmas album. Although they officially retired in 2012, their music lives on.
BarlowGirl Starter Songs:
Britt Nicole grew up singing in a trio with her brother and cousin in her grandfather's church. By the time she was in high school, she was performing on the church's daily TV program. She was signed by Sparrow in 2006 and her debut release, Say It, came out to much acclaim.
Britt Nicole Starter Songs:
Christy first hit the national spotlight as part of the Passion conferences. From there, she added to her musical resume by forming Watermark with her husband Nathan. After five albums with Rocketown Records and seven #1 hits, the husband and wife team decided to retire Watermark and focus on other areas of their ministry. Christy's first solo project came out in 2009 and she has been continuing to bless us with her voice ever since.
Christy Nockels Starter Songs:
Born and raised in Australia, Darlene Zschech is known around the world as a singer, songwriter, speaker and author. She led worship at Hillsong Church for 25 years and became very well known for her song, "Shout to the Lord."
Darlene Zschech Starter Songs:
The 2010 and 2011 Dove Awards Female Vocalist of the Year was born on May 18, 1985 in New York. Both of her parents were in musical theater and she thougth that was where her path would lie until, at 15, she became a member of the all-girl pop group Bella. After the group broke up, she started writing her own music and she released an indie album, Just a Breath, in 2004. Her debut with Fervent Records (My Paper Heart) hit stores in July 2008.
Francesca Battistelli Starter Songs:
From being named as the Dove Awards New Artist of the Year to selling nearly a million albums, Ginny Owens has done it all and she has done it with grace. The Jackson, Mississippi native may have lost her sight as a young child, but she has never faltered in her drive or passion.
Ginny Owens Starter Songs:
Heather Williams doesn't bring a picture perfect past to the table when she sings. Instead she brings loss (the loss of her own childhood through abuse and the loss of her first born son six months after his birth), she brings hope (the hope that can only be found when you completely give yourself to God), and she brings the kind honesty that is only found through wisdom.
Heather Williams Starter Songs:
With three albums under her belt by 2012, at 21, Holly Starr is really just getting started. Discovered by Brandon Bee on MySpace through some of the songs that she had recorded with her youth group, she has toured the country, sharing her music and her message with thousands.
Holly Starr Starter Songs: