News broke earlier this week that Blake Shelton is releasing a song to Christian radio, “Savior’s Shadow.” Country music fans are thrilled to be able to see Shelton get deserved recognition in another genre, but he isn’t the first, nor the last, to take his country roots and dabble in some religion and spirituality.
Since sharing Shelton’s newest song, our team has noticed an influx of comments from our readers, saying how they wished more artists would cross over to Christian radio/gospel music. Perhaps not-so-surprisingly, with there being a fine line between country and gospel on some occasions, many of our favorite artists have given it a go at songs of this nature. Here are some of our favorite Christian-based songs by country performers.
In alphabetical order by first name:
Brad Paisley & Sara Evans – “New Again” (Passion of the Christ soundtrack)
Paisley and Evans teamed up on “New Again,” lending their vocals to the 2004 award-winning film, Passion of the Christ. If either of these artists is leading a worship service in Nashville, I’m there.
Carrie Underwood – “Something In the Water”
This is one of my absolute favorite songs to ever happen. Perhaps it is the amazing team of Underwood, Chris DeStefano, and Brett James that already had me particularly biased before it was released; but, regardless, Underwood’s voice on these lyrics, topped off with a little “Amazing Grace” … My heart be still.
***For The Voice fans, Top 12 finalist Mary Sarah performed a stunning rendition of this song. Click here to watch.***
Jo Dee Messina – “Need You Now” (Plumb cover)
Messina has long been singing her savior’s praise, but with this cover of Plumb‘s “Need You Now,” the influential artist takes it to a new level. Laden with emotion, Messina pours her heart, soul, mind, and body into every word as she cries out for God’s hand in a time of need.
***Messina still performs this song at her live shows. Visit her tour page for upcoming dates.***
Joey + Rory – “When I’m Gone”
In a devastatingly foreshadowing performance, Joey Feek sings spiritually to her husband, Rory, about how life will go on when she is gone. Included on the couple’s Number 1 Billboard album and the best-seller of their career, Hymns That Are Important To Us, Rory will forever have the guarantee that things will be okay now that Joey has passed.
Randy Travis – “Three Wooden Crosses”
This song by Travis assures listeners that God has a plan, and though you might not see it at the moment, it will eventually all make sense. Becoming one of Travis’s most notable tunes, “Three Wooden Crosses” has been recognized by CMA and the Dove Awards for its stunning lyrics and meaningful message.
Trisha Yearwood – “Down On My Knees”
At a young age, Yearwood was already putting her fate in the hands of a greater power, relinquishing control and praying for an outcome different than where her life was leading. Fast forward twenty-four years, and Yearwood starred in the television musical The Passion, proving that her passion for her spirituality has only grown with time.
Vince Gill – “Go Rest High On That Mountain”
This song has long brought solace and comfort to those mourning the loss of a loved one, often being played at funeral services and other like memorials. With his passionate voice and the emotion that can only escape from Gill’s lips, “Go Rest High On That Mountain” has become an immediate go-to when country fans are looking for a little gospel in their lives.
Bonus Track: Maren Morris’s “My Church”
We know Morris’s hit debut single isn’t actually about church, but for those of you who don’t spend Sundays in a congregation and rely on the words of a good song instead of a good preacher, here is a little something for you. The song may not be classified as “gospel,” but anything Morris does in her career should be considered gospel.