Legendary Christian music artist Carman Domenic Licciardello passed away on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 due to complications resulting from surgery to repair a hiatal hernia. Behind him, Carman leaves a lasting legacy, as well as a catalog of music that has left its mark on believers and non-believers alike through many decades.
Carman had accomplished much during his storied career. The singer holds the world record for having the largest audience to see a single Christian artist (more than 72,000 came to see him at Texas Stadium).
Carman’s music has been nominated and awarded numerous times: seven Dove Awards, a quartet of Grammy nominations, as well as 16 RIAA-certified platinum and gold albums. The singer has sold over 10 million albums throughout his career. And, in 2018, the Gospel Music Association inducted Carman into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Even though Carman has left this world, and made heaven his new permanent residence, his music will always be available to minister and to enjoy. Here's a quick look at some of Carman’s classic and standout songs.
“God Made Man” (2014)
Spoken sequences are a trademark in many of Carman’s songs. In “God Made Man,” he mixed the speak and the music together very well. This song is from Carman’s 2014 comeback album, No Plan B. A year prior, the singer was diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer. But, that didn’t stop the singer from opening a crowd-funding program on Kickstarter to finance the album. The huge response gave Carman a renewed vision and purpose for his ministry in music.
“The Flag” (2019)
This patriotic song is a pledge of allegiance to Carman’s home, the United States of America. Carman originally included the song on No Plan B. But, then, in 2019, he released a new version, featuring his All-American Quartet. The song, in my opinion, is an encouraging reminder to come together and fight COVID-19, civil unrest, and other obstacles plaguing the nation—and the world.
"Addicted to Jesus" (featuring dc Talk) (1993)
This song, from the 1993 album of the same time, epitomizes early ‘90s music. dc Talk kicks off the song with their signature rap, followed by Carman’s vintage speak to music. A fan can hardly tell it’s a Carman song. From Billboard, Addicted to Jesus, was named Contemporary Christian Album of the Year.
"Our Turn Now" (featuring Petra) (1993)
Carman teamed with legendary band Petra to sing about Christianity in schools: essentially, how God is being removed from the classroom, no prayers, among others. I’m a softy for heavy metal, so this song is a no-brainer. Oddly enough, with this song, as well as “Addicted to Jesus,” Carman can blend his sound with the sounds of other artists. That’s what I like most about these two songs.
“Sunday School Rock” (1993)
This infectious song, from The Standard, is gospel meets band music. In the song, Carman does his own type of freestyle rap, leading a choir with brass instruments in the background. In this writer’s opinion, it’s one of the best song arrangements using a choir I’ve ever heard.
"A Witch's Invitation" (1989)
This iconic song is a narrative, describing a Christian called to witness to a warlock. The warlock randomly invites the Christian to his place. The reluctant Christian goes to the warlock’s little house of horrors. To make the seven-minute song short, in the end, the Christian rebukes the warlock in the name of Christ. The music video, which reminds me of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video, accurately describes the narrative. Cleverly done, in my opinion.
“Radically Saved” (1988)
Recorded before a live crowd, Carman cleverly turned this song into a bluesy gospel song. Just listening to this song, one thing is clear, Carman loves his savior.
“The Champion” (1985)
Carman scored his first number one hit, "The Champion," in 1985, a song from his album with the same name. It was this song that, according to Conduit Media Solutions, “solidified [Carman’s] place in music history and defined his soul-winning career as one of endurance, grit, dedication, and pure talent. Anyone who knew Carman knows that he counted only this as his greatest lifetime achievement–winning millions of souls to Christ.”
Paul Phillips is a Canadian journalist with over 10 years of experience writing and editing digital and print content. He specializes in health, fitness, nutrition, and travel. He loves music, movies, and, of course, living for Jesus.
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