Only the best music artists reach the national Billboard charts. Check out the Mormons who have made it there!
Photo from the Deseret News
Hilary Weeks made Billboard history in 2011 when she became the first Mormon to ever reach Billboard's Christian Albums Top 10 chart with her album Every Step. Two years later, her album Say Love debuted at #9 on the Contemporary Christian Billboard Charts.
Of these accomplishments Weeks said, "Breaking the top 10 on the Christian Billboard charts for a second time is an exciting surprise! For me, the most important word in the prior sentence is 'Christian.' It has only been in the last two years that I've been able to say that I charted on Billboard, but I've always been able to declare I am a Christian."
Watch this touching video of her song "Beautiful Heartbreak" off her Every Step album, which landed on five Billboard charts, including the #1 spot on the "Top New Artists Indie" chart and #6 on the "Top Current Contemporary Christian" chart:
Photo from Shadow Mountain Records
This "gentlemen trio" from Utah—tenors Casey Elliott, Brad Robins, and Bradley Quinn Lever—met while performing in a production of Les Miserables. Their self-titled debut EP, GENTRI, spent 10 consecutive weeks in the top 10 on two different charts, including three weeks at #2 on both the "Classical" and "Classical Crossover" charts.
Their Christmas album, Merry Christmas, also made a splash when their unique and stunning mashup of "What Child Is This?" with "I Wonder As I Wander" earned GENTRI the #1 spot on Billboard's "Hot Single" chart. Check out their performance of the mashup here:
Bonus: GENTRI's new full-length album, Rise, has just been released. It features their trademark soaring vocals and "cinematic pop" orchestral backing of eight original songs and two cover songs. Their charismatic approach to music comes through in their careful crafting of songs that truly take the listener on a journey, from exciting tracks like "Outbreak" and "In a Blaze" to tender love songs like "More" and "Nothing But You." Their cover of Billy Joel's "And So It Goes" is a moving moment of introspection, and their unforgettable arrangement of "The Rose" revisits a timeless song with a universal message of love and hope.
The Piano Guys
Photo by Josh Rossi, courtesy of The Piano Guys
Who can get millions of views each day YouTube by performing classical music with a piano and a cello? Steven Sharp Nelson, John Schmidt, Al Van der Beek, and Paul Anderson—four Mormon dads otherwise known as The Piano Guys. Famous for their mashups of classical and pop music, their videos also features breathtaking cinematography. Their first four major-label albums The Piano Guys, The Piano Guys 2, A Family Christmas, and Wonders each reached #1 on the "New Age Albums" and "Classical Albums" charts.
The Piano Guys, who call themselves “brothers in the gospel,” have traveled the world to share their gifts, and recently performed at the prestigious Carnegie Hall, an experience they describe as “intimidating, humbling, inspiring, unbelievable—unforgettable.”
“It’s an incredible feeling to dream of doing something so ‘out there,’ then working hard towards it, and relying on Heavenly Father to make up the difference,” Paul Anderson says. “He has answered so many prayers. We owe everything to Him. We consider ourselves lucky and blessed to be along for the ride!”
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Check out their amazing mashup of "Amazing Grace" and "This Is My Fight Song" below!
Photo from MTV
The Osmonds got their start in entertainment in the late 1950s when Alan, Merrill, Jay, and Wayne began singing locally as a barbershop quartet. A few years later, they were invited to perform at Disneyland.
After Andy Williams's father saw them on a televised Disney special, he told his son, the host of the popular variety program called The Andy Williams Show, to book them. The Osmond Brothers appeared regularly on the program throughout the '60s, with younger brother Donny joining the group at age 6. By the time Donny Osmond was a teenager, he had become a worldwide heartthrob and one of the most popular and successful stars in the history of pop music.
During the '70s, the Osmonds shifted to pop music and later to rock-and-roll, playing to throngs of screaming fans. In 1971, the Osmond Brothers earned their first #1 hit with "One Bad Apple." Donny's first solo single, "Sweet and Innocent," also released in 1971 and rose to #7 on the Billboard pop charts. The follow-up, "Go Away, Little Girl," went all the way to #1. Between his own and the Osmond Brothers recordings, he was awarded six gold records that year. The following year, he took home eight, and another four in 1973. Marie also began to build a successful solo career. At just 13 years old, she hit the top of the country music chart with "Paper Roses" in 1973 and continued to have several Billboard hits throughout the '70s and '80s.
Donny's musical career experienced a resurgence when "Soldier of Love," from his album by the same name, reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989. In total, he has had 18 albums and 32 songs reach the Billboard charts.
More recently, Donny and Marie released Donny & Marie. Donny also released The Entertainer in 2010 and The Soundtrack of My Life in 2015—his 60th album, which serves as a summary of his extraordinary life so far. Each track on the album tells a story, tracing the high and low points of both his professional and personal life from becoming a child star to achieving multiple #1 hits and selling over 100 million records.
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Photo from We Got This Covered
Most people are surprised to learn that one of today's most successful and sought-after DJs is a Mormon.
Ryan Raddon, aka Kaskade, is probably the hottest music phenom you've never heard of. In 2011, the New York Times declared the Grammy-nominated DJ/music producer the "new face of electronic dance music." This faithful Church member and father of three married his wife, Naomi, after serving his mission in Japan. Kaskade fills stadiums all over the world and commands a salary of more than $200,000 per night. (Yes, you read that right.)
He's had five songs reach the Billboard "Hot Dance Airplay" chart, including his #1 hits "Move for Me" and "I Remember."
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Photo from Mormon Newsroom
We're used to hearing them sing at general conference, but did you know the Mormon Tabernacle Choir makes regular appearances on the Billboard charts?
The choir, which started recording in 1910, first hit the Billboard charts in 1959 with their rendition of "Battle Hymn of the Republic," which climbed all the way to #13 on "The Hot 100." Since then, they have had 11 albums hit #1 on one or more of Billboard's "Classical," "Classical Crossover," and "Christian" charts, including This Is the Christ, Glory! Music of Rejoicing, Heavensong: Music of Contemplation and Light, and He Is Risen.
Did you know? The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has also recorded several #1 hits made popular by other artists, including Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up" and "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)" by Billy Joel (both found on Men of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir), as well as "Happy" by Pharrell Williams and "What a Wonderful World" by Louie Armstrong.