for KING & COUNTRY
About for KING & COUNTRY
Contemporary Christian act For KING & COUNTRY are an anthemic pop duo formed by Australian-born, Nashville-based brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone. Their 2011 single, "Busted Heart," and subsequent debut album, Crave, brought them widespread success in the Christian music world and helped them cross over to the mainstream U.S. charts. 2014's sophomore follow-up Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong. was another American chart hit, later certified gold. By the end of the decade, the pair scored their biggest release to date with 2018's Burn the Ships, their first Christian Chart number one. In 2020, after multiple holiday-themed live releases and EPs, they went big with official full-length A Drummer Boy Christmas.
Born in Sydney, Australia to a music promoter/entertainment manager father, and siblings of contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Rebecca St. James, the brothers grew up in a musical household and relocated to Nashville in 1991 as their father pursued a new career opportunity. Their first bow as recording artists was singing backup with their sister, which led to the formation of the grassroots duo Joel & Luke. They changed their name to for KING & COUNTRY, a moniker they chose to convey their message of believing in something bigger than themselves, as well as the devotional, emotionally honest nature of their lyricism. By the summer of 2010, their song "Light It Up" was featured in the Lifetime dramedy Drop Dead Diva. The following fall, the twosome released a self-titled EP for Word, featuring the songs "Love's to Blame" and "People Change," as heard on the supernatural CW series The Vampire Diaries, and "Busted Heart (Hold on to Me)," the fastest-rising debut single of 2011 on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart. The first-time full-length Crave arrived in February 2012, having made Billboard's list of the year's most anticipated debut albums, and the Smallbone brothers hit the road alongside artists like Skillet and Sanctus Real for the Winter Jam tour. The album hit the Top Five Christian chart and made it onto the bottom half of the Billboard 200.
Hope Is What We Crave: Live followed in the summer of 2013, and that fall the duo released the Christmas effort Into the Silent Night: The EP, which returned them to the Top Five of the Christian albums chart. In 2014, their second LP, Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong., hit number two on the Christian chart and climbed all the way to the 13th spot on the Billboard 200. A deluxe edition of the album appeared in 2015, offering a number three Christian hit in the bonus track "Priceless." Released in time for the 2017 holidays, for KING & COUNTRY issued the Christmas: Live in Phoenix album. In 2018, the pair released "joy.," the lead single from their third album, Burn the Ships, which arrived in October of that year. A 2020 single, "Together," saw the duo teaming up with Tori Kelly and Kirk Franklin. Later that year, they committed to an entire holiday full-length with A Drummer Boy Christmas, which featured Needtobreathe ("O Come, O Come Emmanuel") and Gabby Barrett ("Go Tell It on the Mountain"). ~ Chrysta Cherrie & Marcy Donelson