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Christian music star Carman was a regular visitor to Chattanooga

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Times Free Press file photo / Carmelo Dominic Licciardello

Carmelo Dominic Licciardello, a contemporary Christian artist known to the world simply as “Carman,” died Tuesday February 16 in a Las Vegas hospital following surgery to repair a hiatus hernia. He was 65 years old.

During his career, Carman has won seven Dove Awards, four Grammy nominations and 16 platinum and gold albums.

He has performed in Chattanooga several times over the years, including shows at the McKenzie Arena in 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, and 2001. He was also the headliner for the first Faith and Family Night at the Riverbend Festival. in 2001, in front of tens of thousands of people. of people.

The event was presented without the sale of alcohol on a night that had been “dark” at past festivals.

Chip Baker, then executive director of Riverbend, said organizers were looking to both use the sound and lighting equipment that was already in place on the night the event was usually shut down and provide an option for those who complained that the annual festival was “just a drunkard. -fest.”

Baker said Carman was the biggest thing in contemporary Christian music at the time, and “it went really well. If we wanted to do it, we wanted to do it right,” he told About the artist reservation.

Carman, a cancer survivor, has appeared regularly in Chattanooga over the years, making his last appearance here at the ICCM theater on Lee Highway in 2015 as part of his No Plan B tour. This tour began in 2013 after receiving a diagnosed with cancer and given three to five years to live.

He created the tour after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells. He later proclaimed himself free from cancer and credited the grace of God for helping him endure the painful medical treatments.

“It was the valley of the shadow of death,” he posted on Facebook in 2015, “but I feared no harm.”

“Jesus is ‘plan A’, he explained.” There is no ‘plan B.’ “

Carman began his music career playing drums in his mother’s band at the age of 15 and holds the world record for having the largest concert audience to see a single Christian artist. He set the record at Texas Stadium with over 71,000 fans.

In addition to his music-related awards, Carman received the House of Hope Humanitarian Award for his positive influence in the lives of American youth in 2001. He was honored by the Gospel Music Association with his induction into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2018.

Billboard has named him “Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year” on several occasions and his album “Addicted to Jesus” has earned him the distinction of Contemporary Christian Album of the Year. His recording “A Long Time Ago in a Land Called Bethlehem” was nominated for “Album of the Year” by the Recording Academy in 1986.

In 1985, the release of his first No. 1 song, “The Champion”, solidified his place in musical history and defined his career as a career of endurance, courage, dedication and pure talent. .

Matt Felts, Carman’s manager, said in a press release: “When Carman took over the tour a few years ago, he was concerned that no one cared about his return. He was wrong. Every night the fans were filling up. the halls and his ministry was as powerful as ever. This world has lost a light in the darkness but today Carman has seen with his own eyes the fruit of his labors. “

Contact Barry Courter at [email protected] or 423-757-6354.

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