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Empty Stage
  • Writer's pictureJoel Caballero


Updated: Jul 1, 2023

Petra is an American music group regarded as a pioneer of the Christian rock and contemporary Christian music genres and was, for many years, regarded as the "world's most popular Christian rock band." Formed in 1972 and founded by the band's guitarist and principal songwriter Bob Hartman, the band took its name from the Greek word for "rock." Though it disbanded formally in 2006, incarnations have played reunion shows in the years since and released two albums in November 2010, and in November 2017. In 2013, it reformed with a new drummer, Cristian Borneo, and recorded a new song titled "Holy is Your Name," before going back on tour.

With a style initially similar to The Eagles and Lynyrd Skynyrd, Petra's sound evolved into a more energetic, driving rock sound in the early 1980s akin to Foreigner, Styx and Journey. Throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s, Petra was one of the world's most popular Christian rock bands, with each of its albums during that period selling hundreds of thousands of copies while the band sold-out arenas and regularly placed songs at the top of Christian radio charts. With its lyrics, music and style, Petra influenced numerous other artists at a time when Christian rock experienced strong opposition from many conservative pastors and churches.

In more than three decades, the band experienced numerous lineup changes yet released more than 20 albums, two Spanish-language albums and three live albums, selling nearly 10 million records, winning four Grammy Awards and ten Dove Awards. Their concerts rivaled that of Amy Grant's in popularity among Christian audiences. Petra was the first rock band inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and the first Christian band whose memorabilia was included in the Hard Rock Cafe restaurant chain.

More information on Petra at Wikipedia:


The Ultimate Collection (2006) (Sparrow Records compilation)

The Definitive Collection (2007) (Word Records compilation)

Back to the Rock (2010)

Back to the Rock Live (2011) (live album)

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