American Idol Season 9- A New Christian Artist To Watch

We are four auditions in to American Idol Season 9 and we are finding some contenders who are Christian music artists.  We cover the American Idol from a Christian perspective.  We highlight and follow Christian music artist performing on American Idol.  Check out our American Idol Season 8 archives where we were an early champion of Kris Allen and season long fans of Danny Gokey and Matt Giraud.

So far, the American Idol Season 9 auditions have been your usual string of greatness, intermingled with catastrophes.  However, some exciting Christian artists are starting to emerge.  Last week highlighted amazing soul artist Alex Nestor.  Today we will show you a Christian artist from the Atlanta auditions, Ben Honeycutt .  In order to find all of  the Christians competing on American Idol Season 9 we need your help.  Please help us find the believers who are competing in Hollywood and send us as much background as you can find on them.  Here are a few artists we are researching:

Aaron Kelly
Alexander “Alex” Lambert
Andrew Garcia
Ashley (Makailah) Rodriguez
Casey James
Christopher “Chris” Golightly
Crystal Bowersox
David Duke
Haeley Vaughn
Janell Wheeler
Jermaine Sellers
John Park
Katelyn Epperly
Katie Stevens
Lacey Brown
Michael Lynche
Michelle Delamor
Tyler Grady
Vered Didi Benami

Now to American Idol Season 9 Contender, Christian music artist Ben Honeycutt

Benjamin “Ben” Honeycutt, songwriter and former front man for the Christian metal group Candlefuse, is now the Ben Honeycutworship leader for The Church @ Catoosa in Ringold, Georgia.  He lives in Fort Ogelthorpe, GA with is wife Ashley. Candlefuse was an openly Christian band with a mission statement that started: “With purpose, poetry, and passion, we choose to follow Jesus Christ  and the ministry example He set…”. Candlefuse‘s two releases, Never Go Unheard Candlefuse - Never Go Unheard and Talking to The Wind Candlefuse - Talking to the Wind - EP, feature Ben Honeycutt on lead vocals.  On Never Go Unheard, Candlefuse covers the worship fave “Hungry”.  They take that atmospheric worship song and give it a strong metal twist, pretty cool.  Candlefuse broke up in November 2008 and Ben Honeycutt has been leading worship ever since. In his “golden ticket” interview Ben Honeycutt cites the break-up of Candlefuse as a driver for him to audition for American Idol Season 9.

Hear he is solo, singing “Pride (In The Name of Love)”

We did not see much of him in the Atlanta auditions but look out for Benjamin “Ben” Honeycutt in Hollywood.

American Idol’s Christian Performers in Season 8

We have just finished the first half of American Idol’s Season 8 , Hollywood Week.  The group competition was uncomfortable at best.  I would much prefer more performance and less drama.

In our quest to cover American Idol’s Christian performers, we at One21music have been searching the web for contestants who openly profess their faith.  We have found one and we need your help identifying the others.

Danny Gokey,28, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin quickly emerged from the pack.  Danny is a member of Faith Builders International Ministry.  He was the praise and worship leader at Faith Builder churches in both Milwaukee and Beloit,WI at the same time.  Gokey would perform morning services in Beloit and drive to Milwaukee to lead the afternoon service, as well as doing mid-week services.

Danny’s most recent mission is Sophia’s Heart Foundation.  As we heard during Gokey’s American Idol audition, Danny’s wife recently died of a heart condition she had fought since childhood.  The foundation’s goal is to “help and mend the hearts of children who have been touched by poverty, sickness, disease, broken families and broken dreams”.

Last night Danny’s group performed a slamming, acapella version of Queen’s “Somebody To Love”.   I thought is was the best performance of the night.  Gokey is a strong singer with, deep musical experience.  The skills he developed as the worship leader at two churches, simultaneously, has already served him well in the rigors of American Idol’sHollywood Week.  As the competition continues and the pressure of song selection and arrangement intensify,  I think Danny Gokey will thrive.  He is my early favorite to win it all.

As much we like Danny Gokey, our goal at One21music is to be more than a Danny Gokey fan site.  We want to cover all the Christians competing on American Idol and we need your help.  We will continue to research our list.  If you know any of these potential finalists to be professing believers, please send some information on them in a comment:

  • Adam Lambert
  • Alexander Wagner-Trugman
  • Alexis Grace
  • Allison Iraheta
  • Ann Marie Boskovich
  • Anoop Desai
  • Arianna Ayesha Afsar
  • Brent Keith
  • Casey Carlson
  • Danny Gokey
  • Jackie Tohn
  • Jasmine Murray
  • Jeanine Vailes
  • Jessica Langseth
  • Joanna Pacitti
  • Jorge Nunez
  • Junot Joyner
  • Kai Kalama
  • Kendall Beard
  • Kristen McNamara
  • Kris Allen
  • Lil Rounds
  • Matt Breitzke
  • Matt Giraud
  • Megan Corkrey
  • Mishavonna Henson
  • Rick Brady
  • Scott MacIntyre
  • Stephen Fowler
  • Stevie Wright
  • Taylor Vaifanua
  • Tatiana Del Toro
  • Von Smith

American Idol Comes To The One 21

Yes,  we at One21music.com will cover American Idol’s Season 8.  However, we will take a little different slant.  We will identify and focus on American Idol contestants of faith.  While American Idol’s Hollywood theater of torture airs next week, we will research the candidates to find those who profess their faith in Christ and then we will follow their progress throughout Season 8.

The Season 8 audtition shows ended last night and they were the usual cornucopia of train wrecks and tear-jerkers, spiced with some talent and humor.  American Idol is a decidely secular endeavor.  It feels that the judges punish contestants who choose to demonstrate their faith through their song selections.  On the surface, Idol  stifles creativity and undervalues sensitivity, two qualities of the great music we try to promote at One21music.

So why would One21music jump into covering the plastic, secular process we will see in American Idol’s Season 8?  Is there anything less underground, less Post Modern, less organically Christian than American Idol?  There are really three reasons Idol matters to us at One21music and why maybe you should give it a chance:

  • American Idol is a fascinating view into the process of developing music stars.
  • American Idol is television the entire family can enjoy together.
  • There have been a number of Idol contestants who are Christian music artists.

We live in Austin, Texas; a city teeming with talented musicians.  Many of these music artists appear to be much more talented than most pop music faves such as Britney Spears,  J-Lo or Kenny Chesney.  If superior talent is not enough, then what does it take for America to embrace your music?  I think American Idol offers some insight into that process.  In Idol’s Season 7 we saw interesting talents like Brooke White and Jason Castro wither under the pressure of unrelenting, high stakes performing.  We saw Syesha Mercado’s unwavering will and self confidence enable her to survive other, more heralded talents.  We saw the mature musical diversity of David Cook prevail over the powerful singing talent that was David Archuleta.  American Idol is not about who gets to sing that horrible song to close the season.  Idol is about watching these talented musicians endure, mature and grow through the Idol’s condensed process for grooming a music pop star.  Okay, dog?

I was a late comer to American Idol.  Quite frankly, I was a music snob who looked down my nose at the show until I saw Jennifer Hudson’s crushing performance in Dreamgirls.  Knowing that her talent did not win motivated me to investigate this curious show.  Before then, I joked that all of my friends who encouraged me to watch Idol were the parents of pre-teen girls.  In the middle of Idol’s Season Six a friend, whose music tastes I highly respect, and father of four said to me, “American Idol is one of the only television shows my 3 year-old,12 year old and I can enjoy together as a family.  You know how families used to sit together and watch television as a family?”  It is true.  American Idol is understandable and entertaining to very young kids and interesting and enjoyable to adults.

Over the last two years, we have seen the Top 12 Finalists include no less than seven music artists who openly profess their faith.  Phill Stacey, Lakisha Jones and Chris Sligh have all  recorded Christian/Gospel music.  Melinda Doolittle and Jordin Sparks openly express their faith.  We are waiting to hear from Jason Castro and Chikezie from Season 7 .

Which brings us to American Idol Season 8 and One21music.  We intend to highlight the Christian music artists competing and we need your help.  Fox and 19 TV do not provide much information about the contestants going to Hollywood and we expect their biographical data for the 36 finalists to be sketchy regarding their faith.

Through researching a number of blogs I have identified some of the contestants we should consider favorites:

  • Adam Lambert
  • Alexander Wagner-Trugman
  • Alexis Grace
  • Allison Iraheta
  • Ann Marie Boskovich
  • Anoop Desai
  • Arianna Ayesha Afsar
  • Brent Keith
  • Casey Carlson
  • Danny Gokey
  • Jackie Tohn
  • Jasmine Murray
  • Jeanine Vailes
  • Jessica Langseth
  • Joanna Pacitti
  • Jorge Nunez
  • Junot Joyner
  • Kai Kalama
  • Kendall Beard
  • Kristen McNamara
  • Kris Allen
  • Lil Rounds
  • Matt Breitzke
  • Matt Giraud
  • Megan Corkrey
  • Mishavonna Henson

Here is how you can help.   If you know any of these Idol contestants to be professing believers, please send me a comment to let me know.  Whatever you can tell me about them will be greatly appreciated.  Hopefuly ths list will contain a fair number of the contestants moving to the audience voting rounds.  Once we know the true list we will adjust and research the others.

Join me when the program goes live on February 17th and we will cheer on these Christian music artists together.