Worship leader and CCM artist Chris Tomlin was honored with his first CMA Awards nomination this week for his part in Thomas Rhett's "Be A Light" which also features guest vocals by Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, and Keith Urban. "Be A Light" is nominated for Musical Event of the Year for the 2020 CMA Awards. You can see the full nomination list here.
"I am so honored to be a part of my friend Thomas Rhett's new song 'Be a Light' alongside the legendary Hillary Scott, Keith Urban, and Reba McEntire." Tomlin shared on social media earlier this year when the song dropped. "This song is a beautiful message of hope during a time like this and I hope it has a lasting impact on you and your family as it did mine... all of the artists on the song are donating the proceeds from the song to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund in hopes to support all those affected by this pandemic."
Recently Tomlin debuted his thirteenth studio album, Chris Tomlin & Friends, at #1 on Billboard's Christian Albums Chart this week. The album also landed at #5 on Billboard's Digital Albums Chart and #9 on Billboard's Top Current Albums Chart. The album's debut radio single feat. Lady A, "Who You Are To Me," currently lands at #10 on the Christian Airplay chart and has become one of the fastest rising singles of Chris' career. The song has spent each of the last four weeks as Most Added at Christian radio. The album also includes two songs that hit Spotify's US Viral 50 chart, "Thank You Lord" and "Who You Are To Me." Chris' additional chart success includes him as a featured artist, along with Reba, Hillary Scott and Keith Urban, on Thomas Rhett's "Be A Light" single at country radio, now breaking into the Top 5.
"Working with the artists on this record has been an incredible dream come true," says Chris. "As our friendships grew from writing the songs together to recording them, we all realized what a powerful role we would each have introducing this music to our respective genres. It's been really exciting to step into different places that my music would have never gone before."
Through an in depth feature with Music Row Magazine Chris revealed the origins of music for him as a child. "All I ever wanted to do was be in country music as a kid. My dad would play country and that's what I thought it would be and then I started getting really involved with music through my church and found that God had given me a gift to write simple songs that people could sing and the rest is history."
Eonline.com wrote the album "builds a bridge between country and Christian music while also delivering messages of hope...this project was built on genuine friendships and in-person collaborations." When Chris interviewed with American Songwriter he said it started as a desire to write songs with people he'd always hoped to work with and then the songs became a full album which he says "is a picture of the DNA of everyone involved." Country Now claims, "in isolated times, Chris' new collaborations project finds fellowship."
The 13 track project features Chris with super stars Florida Georgia Line, who also executive produced the album, Lady A and Thomas Rhett as well as several of today's biggest country music artists including Russell Dickerson, Chris Lane, RaeLynn, Cassadee Pope and Brett Young in addition to Bear Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE, Blessing Offor and We The Kingdom. The album was executive produced by Florida Georgia Line. Corey Crowder produced 12 out of 13 tracks with David Garcia producing one track and Ed Cash and Dave Haywood each co-producing one.