NASHVILLE, TN. (Top 40 Charts/ Salem
Communications) - CCM Magazine, Christian music's preeminent publication, is changing its definition of 'Christian music' with its May 2007 issue to raise the profile of independent and general market artists of faith.
'This month marks a historic step for our magazine, and, as a result, the fans and the industry we serve,' said CCM Editor Jay Swartzendruber. 'We're going to start mixing indie and general market Christians such as The Fray, Mary J. Blige and Sufjan Stevens in with artists with traditional Christian label affiliation. Rather than define 'Christian music' just by its label or distribution, we're now defining it as Christian worldview music. CCM Magazine has always taken its role as a leader seriously, and we believe this is the way of the future.'
During the 70s, CCM played a leading role in branding the spiritual pop and rock & roll that was known then simply as 'Jesus Music.' As the grassroots contemporary Christian music scene mushroomed into a billion dollar industry, 'Christian music' became widely regarded as an actual genre, even though it included rock, pop, hip-hop, punk, hardcore metal and other styles of music. As a result, many artists of faith who are reluctant to have their music defined by the Christian market have chosen to bypass it altogether. With this expanded view of 'Christian music,' CCM Magazine now celebrates the full spectrum of faith-fueled music and musicians.
The 'CCM' acronym – which has stood for 'contemporary Christian music' for most of the magazine's 29 year history – takes on new meaning this month as revealed by the front cover tagline: Christ • Community • Music. 'CCM has always been a catalyst for community between Christian artists and readers,' explained Swartzendruber. 'However, we're taking that idea to a new level by making reader-generated content central to our new approach. In fact, our readers are literally helping us create this magazine, including their own album reviews, first-hand accounts, questions for favorite artists, and highlights from our online social networking community, www.myCCM.org.