For more than three decades, Newsboys have been defying the odds. After initially forming in Australia, they landed on American soil with only pennies to their name and eventually became one of the biggest bands in Christian music history. Today, Newsboys have sold more than 10 million units spanning 23 recordings. In addition, they’ve amassed eight Gold certifications, 33 #1 radio hits, four GRAMMY® nominations, two American Music Award nominations and multiple Dove Awards. Through the years, the faces of Newsboys have changed, but the mission has remained the same: One band. One heart. One brotherhood.Read More
For more than three decades, Newsboys have been defying the odds. After initially forming in Australia, they landed on American soil with only pennies to their name and eventually became one of the biggest bands in Christian music history. Today, Newsboys have sold more than 10 million units spanning 23 recordings. In addition, they’ve amassed eight Gold certifications, 33 #1 radio hits, four GRAMMY® nominations, two American Music Award nominations and multiple Dove Awards. Through the years, the faces of Newsboys have changed, but the mission has remained the same: One band. One heart. One brotherhood.
Perhaps nothing embodies this mantra more than their current iteration as former members Peter Furler and Phil Joel join Michael Tait, Duncan Phillips, Jeff Frankenstein and Jody Davis for a supersized season of touring and recording that’s ultimately resulted in a brand-new studio project, aptly titled United (FairTrade Services).
The history-making reunion first began to take shape when the current lineup invited Furler to sing on the band’s worship single, “The Cross Has The Final Word.” Still, none of them knew the fire that collaboration would spark. “When you’re working together, you start to have conversations, and we started chatting about what it would look like to have two eras of the band tour at the same time,” Furler explains. “Before it started, we didn’t know if it was going to work or how it was going to work.”
This initial uncertainty was due, in part, to the continued success the band has enjoyed since Tait took the helm in 2009. With signature songs like “We Believe,” “Born Again” and Platinum-certified mega hit “God’s Not Dead,” which birthed a film franchise of the same name, Newsboys have continued to collect career-defining accolades at full speed ahead. Instead, the idea of the blockbuster lineup was birthed naturally through their longtime friendship.
After a nine-year absence, Furler—a driving force behind iconic Newsboys hits like “He Reigns,” “Entertaining Angels” and “Shine”—along with key former lyricist, vocalist and bassist Phil Joel, returned to the stage for a strategic limited run of “Newsboys United” dates. Heading into the first show, the six members were nervous, unsure of the outcome. However, their debut as a supergroup delivered a clear verdict. The combination of Newsboys—past and present—together again on one stage was unstoppable, and fans clamored for more.
The band officially reunited on the highly-anticipated Newsboys United Tour in 2018 before headlining 2019’s Winter Jam Tour Spectacular—Christian music’s largest annual tour—and then joining Michael W. Smith on a 10-city worship trek. Collectively, they’ve now performed more than 150 shows nationwide. It was only a matter of time before they found themselves in the studio together again.
“No one had a clue that this Newsboys United smashup would even work, and now who can deny it’s been nothing short of fantastic?” Tait remarks. “I often say God works in mysterious ways and mischievous ways. It’s been an absolute pleasure and joy.”
Known for their unparalleled live shows, where the energy is at a fever pitch, the drum kit rotates, and the production is unmatched, Newsboys’ expanded lineup represents the same ideals on stage that the band members harnessed in the studio for United, where themes of friendship, unity and diversity organically emerged.
“In a very un-united United States these days, it’s powerful to see a Caucasian and an African-American on the stage speaking the same message in a unified way,” Tait asserts. Furler and Tait’s unified front on stage translates to tape as they effortlessly trade lead vocals on the album, blending both the past and the present.
Along with Geoff Duncan, Furler steered the production reigns and returned as a lyricist for the band, co-penning four of the collection’s 10 tracks. The funky groove of “Love One Another,” which he co-wrote, features guest vocals from former dcTalk member Kevin Max, while tracks like the worshipful “Set Me Ablaze,” originally recorded by Bethel Music, and soaring lead single “Greatness Of Our God” continue Newsboys’ rich history of recording songs that resonate with fans of all ages.
“‘Greatness Of Our God’ comes off live like a freight train. It’s powerful,” offers Tait of the radio hit. “As believers, it’s important to constantly be reminded of the greatness of our God, and the song says it perfectly.”
“When they hear the music, I hope it’s not as preachy as it is practical—things that have worked in our lives that we’ve found freedom in, like freedom in Christ,” he adds. “We just want to love people through the music.”
For Furler, selections like “Only The Son (Yeshua)” and “Fearless” helped personally define the band’s unexpected evolution. “I think, for me, it’s not so much the songs themselves,” he reflects, “but these songs represent moments when we realized it was going to work vocally.”
Both frontmen consistently compliment one another. “Mike’s an amazing singer. He’s one of the best on the planet,” Furler emphasizes. “We had to try to figure out how our voices were going to blend.”
“There was a selflessness in making the record,” Tait adds. “When Pete sings, it’s magical.”
The magic of two lead singers, six life-long friends and one rock-solid mission form the undercurrent for both the album and the band.
“Recording this Newsboys United album did so much more than just bring two eras of the band together,” Furler observes. “It has made us one in spirit, purpose and love.”
No matter who’s taking the lead, Newsboys knows what they’ve forged over 30-plus years is rare. It goes beyond music, awards and notoriety. No matter what stage they’re gracing, Newsboys will be standing tall as a symbol of unity, defying the odds, togethe