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Monday, August 3, 2009

Christian music news: Sanctus Real Celebrates 10 Years as 'The Face of Love' Moves up the Charts

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One of the top Christian rock bands today, Sanctus Real, is celebrating its 10th year as a band Dec. 8 with two back-to-back concerts in its hometown of Toledo. The band has reason to celebrate, as its current recording, The Face of Love, has become its best-selling album to date. In fact, the album jumps back on the Billboard Top 200 this week, landing at No. 2 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart as it tracks 80% ahead of sales of Sanctus Real�s previous, award winning album, Fight The Tide.

The band�s success story began a decade ago, before the members even had driver�s licenses, with its very first concert held December 28, 1996, and over the years Sanctus Real has released a string of increasingly successful CDs. In 2000, the band caught a significant break as they entered and won the Best Band contest sponsored by local, then classic rock station, WIOT-FM. The win earned them the opportunity to play their first club show, opened up the door to a major label recording deal with Sparrow Records and was followed by several months of touring the country that has extended into several years. Taking its songs on the road, Sanctus Real is popularly known for its captivating live performances that have included main stage appearances at all the major Christian summer festivals, heavy hitting tours such as Festival Con Dios (featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine) and See Spot Rock, and billings with such well-known artists as Relient K, Audio Adrenaline, Jeremy Camp and many others. Sanctus Real is currently on a well-received, 35-city national tour with Superchick.

Sanctus Real came out strong in 2002 with its first national release, Say It Loud, which produced the best first-week sales of any debut rock record Sparrow had ever released. CCM magazine readers voted the band 2003's Best New Artist, made Sanctus Real "a top pick" for '03, and the Gospel Music Association handed the band two Dove Award nominations. A cover of U2's "Beautiful Day" from the In The Name Of Love: Artists United For Africa benefit album gave the group its first No. 1 hit.

As the success mounted, Sanctus Real was named R&R�s most played Christian rock band of 2004 and in 2005 the band received the Gospel Music Association�s award for Modern Rock Album of the Year for Fight The Tide. Sanctus Real released its third national studio album, The Face of Love, April 4 to wide critical acclaim. Inspired by real-life heartache and rediscovered joy, the emotions behind each track on The Face of Love are vulnerable and undisguised, making this album the band�s most accessible project of their career and exhibiting the band�s progression both musically and lyrically.

The debut radio single from the album and the band�s first MTVu featured video, �I�m Not Alright,� launched to No. 1 and stayed on top for six full weeks. The song is the latest in a string of No. 1 hits that have included �Everything About You� and �The Fight Song.� The band�s second single and title track to The Face of Love became a multi-format hit this fall, while it�s third single, �Don�t Give Up,� goes to radio Dec. 15.

Since Sanctus Real broke on the national scene, the band has also looked for opportunities to partner with charitable organizations. They have supported Food for the Hungry and Compassion International on tours, and have most recently joined forces with African Leadership after realizing the incredible need in Africa. The band even traveled to Marshall, MN in September to bring hope to the city that has been devastated by eight tragic teen deaths over a three-month period. Sanctus Real spent time with area families who lost loved ones and performed a free concert for the whole community at Marshall Senior High School. As one of the top Christian rock bands today, Sanctus Real is about tangibly being the �face of love,� not only with friends and family, but reaching outside of that comfort zone.


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