In its first day on the market, Oct. 16, McCreery’s CD ranked No. 3, while the LifeWay song stood at No. 124.
McCreery, a North Carolina native and member of First Baptist Church in Garner, came to national fame after winning the 10th season of “American Idol” as well as prestigious industry awards such as New Artist of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards and Best New Artist at the American Country Awards. He also was ranked No. 1 on Billboard’s list of Top New Country Artists for 2011.
“These are exciting days for us at LifeWay Worship,” said Craig Adams, manager of creative development and publishing for LifeWay Worship. “[W]e want to generate songs of faith that will last for countless generations. We strive to raise up songs that impact culture for Jesus Christ.”
Adams expects Christmas in Heaven to become a new perennial Christmas favorite because of McCreery’s talent and the message of the song.
“It’s the hope of heaven at Christmas,” Adams said.
“For many people, Christmas can be a time of pain,” he said. “This could be a song of healing. It comes from the perspective of someone whose loved one has passed away. As the person takes in the sights and sounds of the Christmas season, they wonder what must it be like to celebrate the arrival of Jesus on earth from heaven.”
Adams noted, “Great songs always find their way. [Christmas in Heaven] will filter down through other artists, groups, churches, schools and choirs, even into other languages around the world.”
McCreery told American Idol that his goal for the Christmas album was to create a body of work that makes people feel good and celebrate the birth of Jesus.
“I just wanted it to be holly and jolly and really lift people’s spirits in the Christmas season because it’s supposed to be a happy time,” McCreery said. “But I also wanted to get across the real reason for the season. Christmas in Heaven is my favorite song on the album and it really speaks to that.”
McCreery is slated to appear Oct. 18 on LifeWay Worship’s monthly web TV show, “The Choir Room.” Viewers can watch the show here.
LifeWay Worship’s song publishing efforts date back to 2004. Since then the team has worked with artists and songwriters such as Nicole C. Mullen, Aaron Keyes, Brian Free and Assurance, Shelley E. Johnson and David M. Edwards.
Since signing with LifeWay, Johnson’s songs have been recorded by Steve Green, Michael W. Smith, Elliott Yamin (American Idol finalist) and Brian Free and Assurance. His music has been featured in more than 200 choral and print projects. Three of his songs were included in the 2008 Baptist Hymnal.
Marino has penned 16 Top 10 singles. He was also named LifeWay songwriter of the year for 2010 and 2011. As a performer, he has sung with the vocal trio River for 20 years, serving as the group’s producer, vocalist and primary songwriter.
Together, the songwriting duo worked with LifeWay’s Vacation Bible School team to write three of the five songs for the 2013 VBS theme, all performed by Dove Award-winning artist Jamie Grace.
“Without Paul and Jeremy there would be no Christmas in Heaven,” Adams said. “They were our first two exclusive songwriters and this was one of the first songs they wrote for LifeWay Worship from their pen.”
To learn more about the music ministry of LifeWay Worship, visit LifeWayWorship.com.
Christmas with Scotty McCreery is available at McCreery’s website, iTunes, Amazon and music retail stores across the country.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Jon Wilke is media relations manager for LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention)
Lyrics to Christmas in Heaven (by Jeremy Johnson/Paul Marino):
December hasn’t changed
This town looks the same
They still light that tree in the city square
There’s red, white, and green shining everywhere
And I wish you were here
And I wonder—
Is the snow falling down on the streets of gold
Are the mansions all covered in white
Are you singing with angels, “Silent Night”
I wonder what Christmas in heaven is like
There’s a little manger scene
Down on Third and Main
I must’ve walked right by it a thousand times
But I see it now in a different light
‘Cause I know you are there
And I wonder
Are you kneeling with shepherds before Him now
Can you reach out and touch His face
Are you part of that glorious, holy night
I wonder what Christmas in heaven is like
REPEAT CHORUS 1
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