Here it is 2014, and I’ve been writing about Christian and Gospel music since the Stone Age– the 1990s! A lot has changed since Kathy Troccoli, Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant were the big names in the industry. The biggest change? The advent of social media. Nowadays, a singer or band’s popularity is measured more by the number of Facebook page likes they have than the number of “records” they sell.
With that in mind, which singers and bands in Christian and Gospel music are most popular on “social media” sites in 2014?
Well, for “Christian music,” the winner is the hard rock band Skillet. They have almost 5 million Facebook page likes. They’re probably helped by the tons of airplay they receive on “mainstream” rock stations. I’ll tell you this– when they come to Kingdom Bound Christian music festival near me, they’re the biggest draw of the four day festival. Fans, aka “Panheads,” seriously support Skillet!
Other popular Christian music Facebook page “winners” include Hillsong United and worship leader Marcos Witt, who both have more than 4 million “likes,” as well as everybody’s favorite church worship band that travels: Casting Crowns, with about 3.5 million “likes.”
Gospel duo Mary Mary, which is kind of on hiatus as a duo as Erica goes solo and their “WeTV” reality show continues to bring them more fans, have more than 3 million Facebook page “likes.” As they sing, “Go get it!”
Twitter is especially popular with younger, more hip people, so of all the artists on it, guess which Christian/Gospel music maker has the most Twitter followers? Hint: It’s a guy who raps and is popular in both the Christian world and the mainstream. Did you guess Lecrae? If so, you’re right! He tops the Twitter list with 800K followers. Wow!
Other top tweeters include Kirk Franklin, Marcos Witt (he must have a full time social media manager!), Hillsong United and Chris Tomlin.
We’ll see how long Facebook and Twitter last; chances are something new will come along and everyone will flock to that.