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  • Writer's pictureJoel Caballero


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Carmelo Domenic Licciardello (January 19, 1956 – February 16, 2021), known by his stage name Carman, was an American contemporary Christian music singer, rapper, songwriter, television host and evangelist. He has won six Dove Awards, nominated for four Grammy Awards, sold over 10 million records and in 2018, was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. In addition to music, Carman was a frequent host on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), most notably its flagship program Praise the Lord.

From Wikipedia:

Carman was born on January 19, 1956, to an Italian American family in Trenton, New Jersey. His mother was a skilled accordion player, and as a child, Carman performed in his mother's band. He learned to play the drums at the age of 5, the guitar at age of 15, and he started singing when he was 16. As a teen, he found some success performing at casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey. At age 17, he dropped out of high school. Later moving to Las Vegas in an effort to pursue a career in music, he visited his sister and her husband in Orange County, California. While there, Carman attended an Andraé Crouch concert, where he became a born again Christian and later embraced evangelical Christianity.

In 1980, Carman made a custom album titled God's Not Finished with Me. In 1981, he was invited by Bill Gaither to tour with the Bill Gaither Trio. After relocating to Tulsa, Oklahoma, Carman released a moderately successful eponymous debut album. Carman was later issued as Some-o-Dat in 1982. The album mostly contained novelty songs. With the release of his next album, Sunday's on the Way in 1983, Carman experienced a string of contemporary Christian music chart successes beginning with the title song. As he continued his music career, he established the nonprofit organization Carman Ministries. After the release of The Champion in 1985, Carman achieved his first number one song, the title cut. His first number one album on the Christian charts, Revival in the Land, followed in 1989.

Between 1987 and 1989, Carman was named Readers' Choice for Favorite Male Vocalist by Charisma magazine. In 1990 and 1992, Billboard named him the Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year. In 1994, Carman embarked on "The Standard" world tour, during which he promoted school-mandated prayer in the United States. He stated, "If you want to see a change in our schools, a change in our children and a change in this nation, we must change hearts, and that's what Christ can do. The only hope for America is Jesus." In his song "America Again," Carman raps, "In the '40s and '50s student problems were chewing gum and talking. In the '90s, rape and murder are the trend. The only way this nation can even hope to last this decade is to put God in America again." Around this time, Carman met with legislators in Washington, D.C., and initiated a campaign known as "Putting God in America Again," which sought to collect the names of one million people who support school-sponsored prayer in American public schools.

It is believed that Carman holds the world record for the largest single Christian concert in history. In August 1993, with more than 50,000 in attendance, Carman was the main act in Johannesburg, South Africa. The following year he performed a free concert at Texas Stadium October 22, 1994, with 71,132 attendees. Another concert had 80,000 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 1995, he translated some of his songs, and released his first Spanish-language album, Lo Mejor. Heart of a Champion, a 30-song retrospective was released in 2000. Beyond his music career, Carman participated in various television productions and interview duties as a host, for both the Trinity Broadcasting Network and its flagship program Praise the Lord. In 2001, he starred in the film Carman: The Champion.

Carman was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2013, and was given a prognosis of three to four years to live. By early 2014, he said medical tests indicated his body was free of cancer and then continued preparing for his Live Across America album and tour. When the cancer went into remission, Carman attributed his healing to the faith of his fans. and planned his "No Plan B Tour" to start after his health returned. In December 2017, at the age of 61, Carman married Dana Morrow.

In January 2020, Carman announced his cancer had returned. He resumed live concert church tours in June 2020. Carman died on February 16, 2021, at age 65 in a Las Vegas hospital. His death was the result of complications following surgery to repair a hiatal hernia.

More information on Carman at Wikipedia:


God's Not Finished With Me (1980)

I Surrender All: 30 Classic Hymns (1997)

Mission 3:16 (1998)

Passion for Praise (1999)

Heart of a Champion (2000) (2 CD compilation album)

Ultimate Praise (2002)

Live & Reloaded (2005)

The Ultimate Collection (2007) (2 CD compilation album)

Instrument of Praise (2007)

No Plan B (2014)

Legacy (2017)

Remembering: Carman (2021) (retrospective playlist)

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