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With Gospel music sales topping over 43 million units in 2004—Christian Hopefuls Prepare to Shine-Shine-Shine as ‘Exalting Him 2005’ Kicks off Aug 25–27


----Exalting Him 2005 to Return to TBN----

(Hendersonville, TN)-—“‘Exalting Him 2004’ was a tremendous success,” says Paul Crouch Jr., a former ‘Exalting Him’ judge and Vice President of Administration for the Trinity Broadcasting Network. “Last year’s talent search drew over 2,000 entries from across the United States.”

“This year’s finalists are an incredibly talented group of dedicated and Christ-centered artists,” declares Crouch. “We could easily see a MercyMe, Jeremy Camp or Third Day emerge from this year’s showcased talent.”

Christian artists such as Switchfoot, MercyMe and Casting Crowns represent the newest generation of artists and were among the big stories of 2004 for gospel music sales. The three groups were among the top-selling artists in a year that saw gospel music sales total 43.4 million units according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The Christian/Gospel category is the sixth most popular genre according to Nielsen SoundScan’s 2004 Year-end report. Gospel music sales outpaced sales of Latin, soundtracks, jazz, classical, and new age genres.

“Gospel music will always be unique for its wide-ranging music styles and diverse audiences,” says John W. Styll, President of the Gospel Music Association (GMA).

“Black gospel and praise & worship continue to be powerful categories of Christian music, but there has definitely been a measurable shift towards rock, alternative, hip-hop, urban and other styles of music particularly popular with younger consumers,” say Styll.

“The great thing about ‘Exalting Him 2005’ is that it’s very diverse,” says Director Joanna Price. “You’ve got contemporary, gospel, inspirational, and even some rap and R&B. It’s as if God hand-picked everyone saying, ‘I want there to be a little bit of all the different ways there are to praise Me.’”

“It’s going to be interesting,” says Price.

“Exalting Him 2005 is great entertainment that also has a great message behind it,” says Susan Zahn, Director of the Christian PR firm, WDC Media. “This is the kind of high energy venue people will tune-in to watch, solid entertainment with an inspirational message.”

North Carolina’s, Beyond Reason, which outlasted more than 1,200 participants in its regional audition, is one of the bands performing during this weekend’s competition.

“We have the ability to minister cross-culturally,” band member Chuck Barrineau told the Georgetown Times.

“This competition is special because the contestants become friends while they compete,” says Price. “They’re literally in the back room praying with and for each other before they go on stage, and there is genuine joy when someone gets selected.”

Exalting Him 2005’ will be broadcast on TBN later this year. “The network is looking at possible airs dates now" reports Crouch.

Popular recording artist, Nicole C. Mullen, one of Christian music’s favorite divas with her fabulous voice and her incredibly moving mega-hit song "My Redeemer” is this years host and likely to attract secular mainstream attention to Exalting Him 2005.

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To attend a live performance on August 25, 26 or 27 call Trinity Music City at (615) 822-8333, located at: One Music Village Blvd., Hendersonville, TN. Arrival time: 6:00 p.m. (CT).


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