Chris Tomlin is a heavyweight in the world of Contemporary Christian Music, having scored 16 No. 1 singles, sold more than nine million albums, and earned numerous awards, including one Grammy, three Billboard Music Awards and 21 Dove Awards.
Recently, mainstream country music fans may recognize Chris’ name—and vocals—from Thomas Rhett’s current Top 10 single, “Be a Light,” which also features Keith Urban, Reba McEntire and Hillary Scott.
For his new album, Chris Tomlin & Friends, which was released on July 31, the Texas native enlisted the musical talents of a host of country stars, including Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Lady A, Brett Young, RaeLynn, Chris Lane, Russell Dickerson, Cassadee Pope and more. FGL’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley collaborated with Chris on a number of the album’s songs and served as executive producers on the 13-track album.
In our exclusive interview, Chris “sings the praises” of the artists featured on his new album in a song-by-song breakdown.
2. “Thank You Lord” feat. Florida Georgia Line & Thomas Rhett; written by Chris Tomlin, Thomas Rhett, Tyler Hubbard, Corey Crowder, David Garcia
“This song has country, Jackson 5, R&B, pop. It’s just a great smash-up of everything. It was important to each of us to sing this one together. ‘For my momma and for my friends, for my babies, for my girl.’ I play it for my girls and instantly they start dancing.”
3. “Reaching For You” feat. We The Kingdom; written by Chris Tomlin, Shay Mooney, Ed Cash
“I was writing with Ed Cash and Shay [Mooney of Dan + Shay] one day and someone sent us a video of Bon Jovi performing ‘Living On a Prayer’ from a stadium show in Europe. Thousands and thousands of people with their hands raised. I was thinking, ‘Isn’t that interesting? It doesn’t look any different than a big worship event with Hillsong or at one of my concerts. The difference is who you are reaching for.’ Shay then said, ‘Oh we need to write that right now.’ ‘I know who I’m reaching for when I raise my hands and it’s not for some superstar on a stage. It’s for the Lord, for God our father.’ That’s where that song started.”
4. “Who You Are To Me” feat. Lady A; written by Chris Tomlin, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood
“This song came so fast and so easy. It speaks to where so many of us are and this idea of who God is to us. It’s personal. I’ve known the depths of who you are because I know where you pulled me from. ‘But I’ve seen you part the waters when no one else could pull me from the deep. That’s who you are to me.’”
5. “God Who Listens” feat. Thomas Rhett; written by Chris