Christian music giant Carmen dies at age 65

(February 17, 2021) There was a period where he was perhaps the most recognized figure in Contemporary Christian music, and in the course of over two dozen albums, he became a legend. Today, we say a sad goodbye to music great Carmen Domenic Licciardello, aka Carmen, at age 65. He had been battling cancer for several years, but reportedly died from complications following surgery for a hernia.

(February 17, 2021) There was a period where he was perhaps the most recognized figure in Contemporary Christian music, and in the course of over two dozen albums, he became a legend. Today, we say a sad goodbye to music great Carmen Domenic Licciardello, aka Carmen, at age 65. He had been battling cancer for several years, but reportedly died from complications following surgery for a hernia.

The New Jersey born singer became a born-again Christian in his 20s after attending an Andre Crouch concert. And he turned his music in that direction, too, scoring hit album after hit album, beginning with the chart-topping 1985 song and album The Champion. Over the course of the next decade, Carmen became both a critical and commercial juggernaut, twice being named the Billboard Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year (signifying the most chart success by a Contemporary Christian music artist). His albums The Standard, Radically Saved, I Surrender All and Revival in the Land were among the biggest albums of their time.

Carmen also became a huge concert draw, three times attracting over 50,000 fans for a show, with his 80,000+ show in Tennessee being the largest Christian music concert ever. He took his star appeal to the screen in 2001, releasing the film The Champion.

Following a 2011 auto accident, Carmen’s health deteriorated, first as a result of accident injuries, but later with bouts of multiple myeloma cancer. In between battles with cancer he recorded new music and toured, appearing in churches around the country as recently as Summer of 2020.

It is rare that an artist achieves the kind of fame where he or she is simply known by a single name, but in the Contemporary Christian music scene, Carmen was that kind of star. He leaves a huge legacy and a trove of great music. Rest in peace.

 

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