Chris Tomlin Singing Songs of ‘Greatness and Grace’
Chris Tomlin grew up on country music. His favorite band was Alabama, and he learned guitar by playing Willie Nelson tunes.
Then he went to a concert by contemporary Christian star Stephen Curtis Chapman.
“Watching him, you just felt like that guy was your best friend up on stage,” Tomlin said. “He had a real way with his songs, and I was drawn to his humility. I was so drawn to him because of what he was singing about, what he was saying. It really resonated with me. He was a real early influence on me.”
That influence has led to Tomlin’s current status as one of the most popular and successful singers on the contemporary Christian scene. A few years ago, Christian Copyright Licensing International, which licenses music to churches, determined that Tomlin’s songs were sung more than those of any other artist in American congregations each week.
He will be at the Hampton Coliseum on Sunday night, along with two other hot acts in that genre – Tenth Avenue North and Rend Collective.
Tomlin said he likes the concept of three popular acts touring together, because it allows the audience to hear not only different musical styles, but also three distinct approaches to testimony about faith.
“We are all speaking about the same thing, but unique in approach,” Tomlin said in a phone interview last week before a show in Chicago.
“Rend is very much a celebration band – celebration the whole time,” he said. “And then (Tenth Avenue North front man Mike Donehey) is such a gifted communicator, beyond just his singing. Then, for us, we walk on stage with really one purpose, one goal – help the church, help people worship God and express their hearts to God.”