It’s been a good week for Chris Tomlin! The gospel music hitmaker earned a No. 1 album on Billboard‘s Digital Albums chart, with his latest Chris Tomlin & Friends record, which included collaborations with Russell Dickerson, Lady A, Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line, among others. Florida Georgia Line also co-produced the project.
“Working with the artists on this record has been an incredible dream come true,” Chris said in a statement. “As our friendships grew from writing the songs together to recording them, we all realized what a powerful role we would each have introducing this music to our respective genres. It’s been really exciting to step into different places that my music would have never gone before.”
Chris Tomlin & Friends was a way for Chris to break genre boundaries, and focus on good music that still held to his beliefs.
“I have always felt a calling to help give people a voice to worship God, and for me this record is a step towards breaking down walls and smashing up the genres,” Chris told Everything Nash. “One of my goals is for this music to be accessible to a wider audience and to connect with people that otherwise may have turned away from some of my other music. The way I look at it, music about faith, God, salvation and forgiveness doesn’t only have to come from any one genre.”
The record began thanks to a chance encounter Chris and FGL’s Tyler Hubbard had in a gym, while they were both on vacation in Florida. Although they had never met before, both Tyler and Brian Kelley had been greatly influenced by the worship leader.
“I think God took over,” Tyler said during a livestream ahead of the record’s release. “For me, I was like, ‘Let’s just see what door opens.’ I think God was in control the whole time. The fact that we were both in a gym. We’re the only two people at the gym. We’re at the beach … I just think the whole thing is really, really wild, the whole journey, and then how the whole puzzle was put together after that. It was super organic, and it went from just a couple of songwriting sessions to ‘Hey, let’s put out a song,’ to ‘Let’s put out three songs, to ‘Why don’t you just do an album, and why don’t we just bring a bunch of people in, friends of ours, country music artists, outside of your world a little bit.’
“I knew, as much as BK and I had been impacted by you and your life and your music, a lot of our friends have as well, our other artist friends,” he continued. “I felt like it would be a no-brainer, and just a fun project, and it really turned into something bigger than I could have imagined. I’m super grateful for us all having the courage and the bravery to follow the lead here and let the Lord work a little bit.”
Chris Tomlin & Friends also landed at No. 5 on Billboard’s Digital Albums Chart and at No. 9 on Billboard’s Top Current Albums Chart. Purchase the album at ChrisTomlin.com.