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Billboard magazine, the music industry’s bible, recently stopped publishing the chart that kept track of Christian rock songs being played at radio stations across the country. While at first blush it may appear to be just another example of the secularization of America, a closer look reveals just the opposite: devout rock artists have been so successful at integrating themselves into mainstream rock that a separate chart is no longer necessary.
In fact, a glance at this week’s Billboard rock singles chart shows that around half of the artists are devout, with most being Christians of an Evangelical bent, like Mumford & Sons, Matt Maer, Needtobreathe, Shinedown, Foster The People and 21 Pilots. There’s also a smattering of Mormon artists like The Killers and Imagine Dragons and even a Jewish rocker. But for a genre once labeled “the devil’s music,” Old Scratch doesn’t have much representation on the chart anymore, with the band Ghost being one of the few that seem to be among his devotees.
And it’s not just the rock charts. As I document in my book “Rock Gets Religion: The Battle For The Soul of The Devil’s Music,” mainstream pop, rock, and even hip hop are now chock full of the kind of artists who in the recent past would have signed with a Christian music label. But today, they’re going mainstream instead.
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