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The Newsboys are a Christian pop/rock band formed in 1985 in Mooloolaba, Australia (although they soon relocated to Nashville, Tennessee). Its core members, John James and Peter Furler, originally hailed from Australia where they played in a band together called The News. They have had numerous hit singles on the Christian charts and are perhaps best known for their 1995 hit single, Shine.


Newsboys' original core members, vocalist John James and drummer Peter Furler, formed the band in Mooloolaba, Australia in 1985 along with Furler's guitarist school-mate, George Perdikis. The band's original name was The News, but once in the USA they changed it to Newsboys to avoid conflict with another US-based band. The band came to the United States in late 1987 after signing with Refuge Communications, and released the album Read All About It in 1988. After signing with Star Song Communications, they released two more albums from 1990 to 1991: Hell Is For Wimps, and Boys Will Be Boyz. None of the three albums garnered much attention, and the band's lineup changed with every release. It wasn't until their 1992 album, Not Ashamed, that the band became notable on the Christian music scene. The title track of the album became a huge hit on Christian radio and elevated the band's profile considerably. Notably, Steve Taylor, a quirky singer well-known within the Christian music community, began a partnership with the band, producing the band's record and writing most of the lyrics for their songs; Furler remained the band's primary songwriter.

In 1994, amidst continued lineup changes, the band released Going Public, their fifth album and first smash success. The record proved to be a watershed for the group, winning a Dove Award for "Rock album of the Year" in 1995 [1]. It also produced #1 hits such as "Spirit Thing", "Let It Rain", and, most notably, "Shine". "Shine" quickly became an enormous hit and one of the most recognizable songs in Christian music, also taking the 1995 Dove for "Rock Recorded Song of the Year." In 2006, CCM Magazine listed "Shine" at #2 on its ranking of the 100 Greatest Songs in Christian music. Going Public turned Newsboys into one of the top acts in Christian music.

The eagerly-anticipated follow-up, Take Me To Your Leader (1996), did not disappoint fans, either. Generally showcasing a bigger rock sound than in past projects, the album produced more #1 hits: "God Is Not A Secret", "Reality", "Breakfast", and the title track. This album also snagged the group's third Dove, this time for "Recorded Music Packaging of the Year." [2] The album solidified the band's place in the Christian music industry; however, their position seemed to move onto shaky ground when lead singer John James left the band in 1997. The band pressed on, though; Furler switched from drums to vocals and Duncan Phillips, who had previously played keyboards and percussion for the band, became the new drummer. From 1998 to 2003, the band's lineup of Furler, bassist Phil Joel, guitarist Jody Davis, keyboardist Jeff Frankenstein, and Phillips stayed constant.

When newsboys released its first post-James record, Step Up to the Microphone (1998), it quickly became clear that the band's popularity was still intact; the album sold well and produced, among other hits, "Entertaining Angels," whose video won the 1999 Dove Award for "Short Form Music Video of the Year." [3] During the resulting "Step Up To The Microphone" tour, the band featured the drums on a rotating platform that could tilt downward up to 90 degrees. In fact, there were two sets of drums and Peter Furler (the original drummer) and Duncan Phillips would wear seat belts, so they wouldn't fall out, and have a rotating drum-off. This feature is still used on their tours and has grown to be quite popular.

The band returned in 1999 with the oddly-titled Love Liberty Disco, the band's only album to deviate significantly from their pop-rock sound. Featuring 60's era-inspired pop and disco, the album failed to deliver any major hits.

In 2000, Newsboys helped start and headlined the annual, traveling CCM festival Festival Con Dios with Audio Adrenaline and The O.C. Supertones. The festival was known for featuring popular Christian bands and for its motorcross stunts.

Also in 2000, Newsboys released a greatest hits compilation, Shine: The Hits, which also included four new songs, two of which ("Joy" and "Who") went to #1. The band did not release any all-new material until the spring of 2002 when they released Thrive. Featuring a return to pop-rock, the album also showcased one of the band's biggest hits: "It Is You".

The success of the worshipful "It Is You" perhaps paved the way for Newsboys' first praise and worship album in 2003: Adoration: The Worship Album. The album soon became the band's best-selling to date, based on the strength of singles "He Reigns" and "You Are My King (Amazing Love)". Late in 2003, guitarist Jody Davis left the band to care for his sick daughter, Bethany; he was replaced by Bryan Olesen.

The band returned in 2004 with another worship album: Devotion. "Presence (My Heart's Desire)" was the lead single. In 2006, Bryan Olesen left the band to focus on his own band, Casting Pearls. Paul Colman, a respected Australian singer-songwriter and long time personal friend of Peter Furler, replaced Olesen as guitarist.

Although the band is based in Nashville, the Australian connection is still evident, as lead singer Peter Furler, drummer Duncan Phillips and guitarist Paul Colman all hail from "down under". Bassist Phil Joel is from New Zealand, while keyboardist Jeff Frankenstein is from Michigan.

The band's latest radio hits came in 2006 with a live version of "I Am Free", and "Wherever We Go". On October 31, 2006, Newsboys released their newest pop/rock record entitled GO, with an iTunes GO EP released, with the songs "Wherever We Go", "GO", and "I am Free". This album is the band's first album under their new Inpop Records label.

Newsboys music is featured in the Christian video game Dance Praise. "Woo Hoo" from the Step Up To The Microphone record is included with the game. "You Are My King" and "It Is You" can be added to the song list via the Dance Praise Expansion Pack Volume 1: Modern Worship. "Devotion" can be added to the game via the Dance Praise Expansion Pack Volume 3: Rock & Pop Hits.


Former members

  1. Lead Vocals
    • John James (1985-1997) On the albums: Read All About It, Hell Is For Wimps, Boys Will Be Boyz, Not Ashamed, Going Public, Take Me To Your Leader
  2. Guitar
    • George Perdikis (1985-1987) Left the band before their first album, but he co-wrote most of the songs on Read All About It
    • Phil Yates (1987-1989) On the album: Read All About It
    • Jonathan Geange (1990-1991) On the album: Hell Is For Wimps, returned to the band after Vernon Bishop left before Jody Davis joined
    • Vernon Bishop (1991-1992) On the album: Boys Will Be Boyz
    • Jody Davis (1993-2003) On the albums: Going Public, Take Me To Your Leader, Step Up To The Micro, Liberty Disco, Shine:The Hits, Thrive, Adoration:The Worship Album
    • Bryan Olesen (2003-2006) On the album: Devotion
  3. Bass Guitar
    • Sean Taylor (1985-1992) On the albums: Read All About It, Hell Is For Wimps, Boys Will Be Boyz, Not Ashamed
    • Kevin Mills (1993-1995) On the album: Going Public, left to join Whiteheart, but the following year, they broke up. He later became an actor all until his death in 2000 due to a motorbike accident at the age of 32
  4. Keyboards
    • Corey Pryor (1991-1993) On the albums: Boys Will Be Boyz, Not Ashamed
    • Duncan Phillips (1993-1994) Note: Duncan used to play keys before switching over to percussionist in 1994 when Jeff Frankenstein joined the band and then drums in 1997 after the departure of John James.
  5. Drums
    • Peter Furler (1985-1997) Note: Peter used to be drummer before becoming lead vocalist in 1997 after John James left the band. Every now and then Peter will still play drums.

Major Tours

  • Harvest Crusade (2006)
  • Winter Jam Tour (2006)
  • Spirit West Coast (2006)
  • Devotion Tour (2005)
  • Adoration Tour (2004)
  • Festival Con Dios (2003)
  • Thrive-It's All In The Word Tour (2002)
  • Festival Con Dios (2001)
  • Dome Tour (2000)
  • Step Up To The Microphone Tour (1999)
  • Counter The Culture Tour (1997)
  • Take Me To Your Leader Tour (1996-97)
  • Going Public Tour (1995)
  • Heaven In The Real World Tour (1994)

#1 Radio Singles

  • Wherever We Go
  • I Am Free
  • Devotion
  • Presence (My Heart's Desire)
  • He Reigns
  • You Are My King (Amazing Love)
  • It Is You
  • Million Pieces (Kissin' Your Cares Goodbye)
  • Joy
  • Who?
  • Love,Liberty,Disco
  • Beautiful Sound
  • Good Stuff
  • Believe
  • WooHoo
  • Step Up to The Microphone
  • Entertaining Angels
  • Take Me To Your Leader
  • God is Not A Secret
  • Reality
  • Shine
  • Spirit Thing
  • Let it Rain
  • Real Good Thing
  • I'm Not Ashamed
  • One Heart

Awards & Nominations

Grammy Awards

  • 1992 Nomination for Best Rock/Contemporary Gospel Album
    • Not Ashamed
  • 1994 Nomination for Best Rock Gospel Album
    • Going Public
  • 1996 Nomination for Best Rock Gospel Album
    • Take Me to Your Leader
  • 2003 Nomination for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
    • Adoration: The Worship Album

Dove Awards

  • 1994 Nomination for Short Form Music Video of the Year
    • "I Cannot Get You Out of My System"
  • 1995 Award for Rock Album of the Year
    • Going Public
  • 1995 Award for Rock Recorded Song of the Year
    • "Shine"
  • 1995 Nomination for Short Form Music Video of the Year
    • "Shine"
  • 1995 Nomination for Group of the Year
    • Newsboys
  • 1996 Nomination for Song of the Year
    • "Shine"
  • 1997 Award for Recorded Music Packaging of the Year
    • Take Me to Your Leader
  • 1997 Nomination for Rock Album of the Year
    • Take Me to Your Leader
  • 1997 Nomination for Rock Recorded Song of the Year
    • "God Is Not a Secret"
  • 1997 Nomination for Short Form Music Video of the Year
    • "Take Me to Your Leader"
  • 1999 Award for Short Form Music Video of the Year
    • "Entertaining Angels"
  • 1999 Nomination for Song of the Year
    • "Entertaining Angels"
  • 1999 Nomination for Rock Album of the Year
    • Step Up to the Microphone
  • 1999 Nomination for Group of the Year
    • Newsboys
  • 2000 Nomination for Long Form Music Video of the Year
    • One Night in Pennsylvania
  • 2001 Award for Special Event Album of the Year
    • City on a Hill: Songs of Worship and Praise (Various Artists, including Peter Furler's "Unified")
  • 2001 Nomination for Short Form Music Video of the Year
    • "Love Liberty Disco"
  • 2003 Nomination for Long Form Music Video of the Year
    • Thrive: Live from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • 2004 Nomination for Group of the Year
    • Newsboys
  • 2004 Nomination for Praise & Worship Album of the Year
    • Adoration: The Worship Album
  • 2004 Nomination for Song of the Year
    • "He Reigns"
  • 2004 Nomination for Worship Song of the Year
    • "He Reigns"
  • 2005 Nomination for Praise & Worship Album of the Year
    • Devotion

Billboard Music Video Awards

  • 1999 Award for Best CCM Video
    • "Entertaining Angels"

Intl. Angel Awards

  • 1995 Award for Video
    • "Shine"
  • 1999 Award for Video
    • "Entertaining Angels"

Nashville Music Awards

  • 1999 Award for Favorite CCM Album
    • Step Up to the Microphone
  • 2000 Nomination for Contemporary Christian Album of the Year
    • Love Liberty Disco

SESAC Awards

  • 2000 Award for Christian Songwriter of the Year
    • Peter Furler

Fan Club

The Newsboys Fan Club, known as the Breakfast Club, has meet-and-greets during intermissions, and before or after most Newsboys concerts. For more info, visit the official Newsboys website.

The Breakfast Club takes its name from the song "Breakfast" on the "Take Me To Your Leader" album. The lyrics describe a club of Christians meeting for breakfast before school. The upbeat song is a fan favorite at concerts. At many concerts, you will see fans waving boxes of Cap'n Crunch cereal in the air (due to the fact that Cap'n Crunch is mentioned in the lyrics as well).



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