|What is Avalon|
Avalon is a legendary, mythical island paradise where King Arthur sailed off to at the end of his life, having long searched for the Holy Grail. Avalon, mythically speaking then, is heaven.
The vocal group Avalon is comprised of Jody McBrayer, Janna Potter, Michael Passons and Cherie Paliotta.
|My introduction to Avalon|
Avalon is a band I stumbled onto. I’d listened to a couple of their songs in assorted tapes - Picture Perfect World in Apocalypse - the soundtrack (just an average song, and Can’t live a day in Wow 2000 - absolutely fabulous. I’d seen a couple of their tapes in stores, but wasn’t prepared to buy them....yet. Then one day a few of us drove down for a concert and he was playing an assorted CD with Testify to Love. Man that got me going. That night I read all about
Avalon and started pulling out random mp3s off the net. Very song just got better. And there I was in college with a newly procured album called In a Different Light blaring out through an 80 watt rickety system. I was so impressed with this album that I bought the CD for my sister’s birthday!!
In 1995 Grant Cunningham helped form possibly the best Christian adult contemporary group of the nineties. Originally started with Nikki Hassman, Jody McBryer, Janna Potter, and Michael Passons.
The vocal group Avalon is now comprised of Jody McBrayer, Janna Potter, Michael Passons and Cherie Paliotta. It was 1998 that saw the the departure of Nikki Hassman and arrival of Cherie Paliotta. The renewed (fresh) vitality and depth of their music, Avalon has managed to sail beyond expectations to become one of the most exciting vocal group on the Christian music scene today. Refusing to be content with the status quo, which in light of the past year is quite overwhelming, Avalon is making the most of the gifts they’ve been given. As Avalon’s sound continues to evolve, the harmonies are more layered and multi-dimensional. With high-energy pop songs, beautifully emotive ballads and stirring anthems, Avalon delivers a vocal punch that entertains, encourages and inspires a multi-faceted audience. Over the years, they have learned what it takes to be a vocal group, undefined by soloists, but distinguished by four equal parts, four individuals with distinctive personalities and distinctive gifts who have melded into one distinctive sound-reverberating one heart and one mind when it comes to the music. As Avalon has grown, they’ve grown in their desire to sing from their hearts and out of their unique experiences.
With five albums, sixteen Dove nominations, thirteen #1 singles, two gold records and a Grammy nod later, the members of Avalon don't really exhibit any burning need to vindicate themselves. In an industry now dominated by vocal groups created from the top down such as N'Sync, Backstreet Boys, and Destiny's Child, the award winning CCM group no longer feels pressured to give an apologetic for the way they began. In fact, Jody McBrayer, Cherie Paliotta, Michael Passons, and Janna Long's shared history is enough to show that regardless of how they came together, four individuals with obvious vocal talents, unique musical tastes and a shared passion for ministry are going to create projects with an identity as pronounced and a chemistry as unique as any group that might have honed their chops together in someone's garage or basement.
A Maze of Grace more than doubled the sales of Avalon's debut and has spent over a year in the top ten on the Christian music sales chart.
Avalon gained substantial media exposure in 1998 with three featured appearances on "CNN Headline News" and guest appearances on several television shows nationwide, including "Good Day Atlanta" (Fox Atlanta), "Good Morning Texas" (ABC Dallas), "AM Northwest" (ABC Portland), "Positively Texas" (CBS Ft. Worth) and "Good Day Kansas" (ABC Wichita), among others.
And Avalon was voted "New Artist of the Year" at the 1998 Dove Awards, an honor previously awarded to BeBe and CeCe Winans, Take 6, 4Him, Point of Grace, Jars of Clay and Jaci Velasquez.
The group has six nominations for the 1999 Doves, including Artist of the Year, Group of the Year, Pop/ Contemporary Album of the Year for A Maze of Grace, Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year for "Testify to Love," Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year for "Adonai," and Long Form Video of the Year for "My Utmost for His Highest." Additionally, both "Testify to Love" and "Adonai" received nods for Song of the Year.
"Testify to Love" made Christian music history when it became the longest running number one Christian single of the 1990's. Wynonna then picked it up for the Touched by An Angel soundtrack, and an entire episode of the series was structured around the song. It finished 1998 as the #1 Song of the Year (CRR).
|Avalon - on music, life, God and Avalon!|
exists because we are all ordained to be here." Cherie Paliotta,
We live in a day and age where people don't want to hear about Jesus, they want to see Him. They want to see Him in our lives and in what we do and in the way we treat each other. Being a witness doesn't always mean passing out tracts on the corner. It also means being kind and considerate. It means giving a smile to someone who's down. It means living every part of our lives in a way that testifies to the reality of God's love in our hearts. It should be as natural and constant as breathing.- Michael Passons,
"We’ve seen God do some amazing things this past year. It has been a tough year and a wonderful year," Jody says of 1998. "We’ve been exhausted and yet so encouraged by the affirmation we’ve received. Its great to know that people are hearing the music, and it’s making a difference."
"There's been a lot of discussion in recent years about crossing over," Jody remarks, "but we've never concerned ourselves with that. Our focus has always been to maintain our Christian stance and to fulfill the calling God has given us to be a Christian group. We do believe, however, in spilling over. It would be a contradiction if we, as Christians, were only willing to sing our gospel message to people who already believe. So we try to be sensitive to any doors that God might open for us to present the gospel to the culture around us. Having this chance to record with Aaron Neville is something that will hopefully expose a wider circle of people to God's truth."
"There are days," Janna says, "when I think this kind of life that we lead is really crazy. But there are other days when I just say God, thank you for letting me do this. Thank you for blessing me with these opportunities." When you wait on God and follow His will and let Him take care of the details, you're always in the best place you can be, because you're always with God."
"I think audiences connect with the realness of Avalon's lyrics," Cherie says. "The words we sing reach deep, they cut sometimes, they convict, they stir up. But this song is almost in a category by itself. "The Glory" describes how Christ suffered on the cross, but it goes beyond the suffering to reveal the depth of love that compelled God to give His only Son for us, and compelled Christ to be obedient through such a death. There's a beauty in that that gives me chills when I sing it."
|Avalon - No.1 singles|
"Can't Live A Day"
"Take You At Your Word"
"In Not Of"
"Knockin' On Heaven's Door"
"Testify To Love"*
"Give It Up"
"The Greatest Story"
"Picture Perfect World"
|Avalon - Awards won|
2001 Grammy Nominated for Pop Gospel Album of the Year
2001 Dove Award Nominated for Group of the Year
2000 RIAA Certified Gold "Maze of Grace" and "In A Different Light"
1999 Dove Award Pop Recorded Song of the Year-"Testify To Love"
1999 Dove Award Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year-"Adonai"
1999 Dove Award Long Form Video of the Year-"My Utmost For His Highest"
1998 Dove Award New Artist of the Year
1998 Special Event Album of the Year (for their contribution to God With Us)
1998 CRR (Christian Research Report)-Group of the Year
1998 CRR (Christian Research Report)-#1 AC song of the Year "Testify To Love"
1998 American Songwriter Professional Songwriter Award-Artist of the Year
1998 American Songwriter Professional Songwriter Award-Song of the Year "Testify To Love"
|Avalon - TV appearances|
CNN Headline News (twice)
Good Morning Texas (ABC)
AM Nashville (NBC)
Good Day Atlanta (FOX)
A.M. Northwest (ABC)
Good Day Dallas (FOX)
Good Day Kansas (ABC)
Talk of the Town (CBS)
Home Life TV (syndicated)
CeCe's Place (Odyssey)
The 700 Club (Family Channel)
100 Huntley Street (Canadian)
Real Videos (Trinity)
Hour Of Power (syndicated)
Life Today (syndicated)
Donnie McClurkin Christmas Special (BET)
|Avalon - according to others|
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|Avalon - albums|
Title: A Maze Of Grace
Title: In a Different Light
Title: Joy: A Christmas Collection *