The CCM Soundoff by the Webmaster
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Does CCM Have A Place In The Mainstream?

There are many issues confronting CCM artists and fans today, and I decided to use this site as a platform for exploring ideas and opinions regarding CCM. If you wish to debate or comment, please post in our discussion forum.

I couldn't write about Nikki Hassman in our "News" section without discussing other CCM "crossover" artists. If you don't know, Nikki Hassman is the former soprano for the CCM group Avalon. She quit the group to sign a seven-album deal with Sony. Her first single was released on the "Sounds from 'Dawson's Creek' Soundtrack." CCM fans have, in general, found this disturbing. "Dawson's Creek" is a very immoral show; by recording for the show, is Nikki supporting the show's values?

With all of the Nikki buzz, we've forgotten that Sixpence None the Richer's single "Kiss Me" is a highlighter on the "Dawson's" soundtrack. Recently, "Kiss Me" peaked at #3 on the national Billboard singles chart. Clearly, Sixpence has achieved fame unknown to most CCM artists.

The Dove Award committee shocked the Christian community by implementing a "definition of gospel music." CCM Magazine commented on the decision in their March 1999 issue. "The definition was used this year for the first time to analyze lyrical content, which was required to be, '. . . obviously prompted and informed by a Christian world view.'" According to this, Sixpence's "Kiss Me" was not an appropriate candidate for the Song of the Year category. When questioned, chairman Stephen Speer said, "But just because the artist has been recognized as "one of us" does not mean that song is necessarily the song the Gospel Music Association should put up to the world as the best gospel song of the year." Sixpence was not the only artist rejected; Michael W. Smith's "Love Me Good" was also eliminated by the definition.

So now we're at a crossroads. Christian artists are attracting a mainstream following. That's good. But are they supporting anti-Christian values by performing or recording with certain shows and labels? So-called "crossover" artists must be sure to maintain their integrity, no matter what. I do think that it is time for these artists to closely examine the projects they are putting their names on.

Speaking of a crossroads. Is it good for the Dove Award committee to put a label on CCM music? Is a song not worthy of a Dove because the song does not actually say "Jesus" in the lyrics? Music is not necessarily "non-Christian" if the song doesn't have a direct reference to Christianity. These songs can lead people to Christian music who might not otherwise listen. However, I do support the "definition." I think that the Dove Song of the Year should reflect the mission of the GMA and CCM artists alike: to use CCM as a tool to bring others to Christ.

It's a tough situation for all involved. Let's pray for all our CCM artists everywhere.

The World of CCM Webmaster.

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