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MercyMe

MercyMe's song "I Can Only Imagine" was inspired by the death of lead singer Bart Millard's father and ended up providing hope, healing and comfort to a country that was still fresh with the scars caused by the attacks of September 11th.

Now, as they traverse their third decade as a band, Bart, Nathan Cochran (bass), Barry Graul (guitar), Mike Scheuchzer (guitar) and Robby Shaffer (drums) are in it to win it. And their relentless commitment to faith, music and the gospel shows no signs of slowing down on their ninth studio project, aptly titled LIFER (2017).

Speaking about the life events that led to their new album, Bart says...

"Since making Welcome to the New, our whole perspective has changed ... there was a huge paradigm shift, so to speak, spiritually for us. The gospel didn’t change, but our perspective of who we are because of the gospel certainly changed.”

Bart grasped the concept of the no-strings-attached grace that Christ offers and it literally changed him from the inside out. And now, LIFER serves as the next natural chapter. If Welcome to the New’s central message was grace, LIFER’s core message is triumph and includes the songs "Even If," "Grace Got You" and "Best News Ever."

“It’s a reminder that there is victory,” Bart says of the project as a whole. “Life’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon, and no matter what comes our way, we need to be reminded that we should live our life as if we’ve already read the last page of the book and know how the whole thing turns out. Our eternity is set.”

Welcome To The New (2014), includes the songs "Flawless" and "Greater." They are upbeat tunes that work to combat all the voices that try to put us down and cast doubt into our lives. "We were at church, and some kids were making fun of (my son)," explains Bart. "And he started singing 'Greater' - 'You are Holy, righteous and redeemed.' I just started bawling. That's the reason we made the record."

Before MercyMe became a prominent name across the country, Bart was a youth ministry intern in Florida. His grandmother would always call to check up on him, and was always disappointed when Bart picked up the phone. She blatantly voiced her disapproval by saying, “Well, mercy me, why don’t you get a real job?” Little did she know, Bart’s grandmother’s words would play rather prominently into his future career and become his band namesake.

Getting his start in music by taking choir as an elective when his football dreams didn’t pan out, Bart started working with his youth group’s worship band behind the scenes, mostly doing video and sound. God opened a door for him one day, when the youth group’s lead singer didn’t fare so well on stage, and Bart stepped in and aced his audition.

The gig ended up going so well that Bart, along with MercyMe’s future pianist Jim Bryson, eventually traveled to Switzerland to play a worship gig. It was during that particular trip that Bart and Jim seriously considered pursuing music full-time.

So Bart, along with his pal, Mike Scheuchzer, who plays guitar, moved to Oklahoma City to form what would end up being MercyMe.

While living in an old, abandoned daycare center that also served as the band’s makeshift studio, MercyMe wrote “I Can Only Imagine,” which reached far beyond the confines of Christian radio.

MercyMe was certainly no one-hit wonder. With the release of the album Spoken For (2002), both the title track and “Word of God Speak” were huge successes. In fact, “Word of God Speak” was not only named the Christian Song of the Decade in 2009 by Billboard Magazine, but MercyMe was awarded with the “Christian Adult Contemporary Songs’ Artist of the Decade” honors, as well.

Since then, the band has produced albums that reflect whatever season of life they’re in; thus, gifting their listeners with a wide array of  songs, some solemn and other's more energetic, including  "Beautiful," "You Are I Am," "Greater" and "Even If."

In 2018, the movie I Can Only Imagine starring Dennis Quaid and J. Michael Finley was released to the delight of audiences, far and wide.

Songs

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LIVE from Chicago
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The Hurt & The Healer
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The Christmas Sessions
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WoW Christmas
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Spoken For
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Almost There
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