While general music sales are in a terrible slump both in the U.S. and abroad (is there an industry—apart from military technology and antibiotics companies—that is doing well?), Christian music is set to sell more albums than ever this year. Thank the terrorists: Christian and gospel music sales grew more than 20 percent in the three weeks following 9/11. Those sales helped raise third-quarter numbers to a 9 percent overall growth. (Frequent Weblog readers will remember that Bible and Christian book sales figures have also risen dramatically since the terrorist attacks, both in the U.S. and around the world).
Christian music got another boost this week: the American Music Awards announced it will include a "contemporary inspirational" category this year. The show will air on ABC January 9, 2002.
But Christian artists may want to be wary of some kinds of recognition. Weblog received a press release yesterday announcing that pop-punk band Relient K received an exclusive partnership deal with retailer Abercrombie & Fitch. "Hopefully, through this, Relient K will be able to begin making their thumbprint on our culture," says Joey Elwood, president of the band's label, Gotee Records. Only one problem: Abercrombie & Fitch is currently corporate enemy #1 for many conservative Christians. The company's racy catalog has been targeted by Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, National Review, even the National Organization for Women. Illinois Lt. Gov. Corrine Wood and the American Decency Association are at the forefront of boycotts. Gotee should expect a pretty hostile response—and readers can expect some interesting damage control from Gotee.
The sure-to-ensue controversy ...1
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