What makes Popu­lar Chris­tian Music ‚popu­lar‘? A compa­ri­son of current US-Ameri­can and German Chris­tian music using the examp­les of Lauren Daigle and Koenige & Pries­ter. (2020)

Peer reviewed / Buchveröffentlichung


By applying different (competing) understandings of the term “popular”, this article showcases the criteria by which Popular Christian Music (labelled Contemporary Christian Music by the US music industry) can be described as “popular”. It compares Anglo-American and German-language Christian songs by means of close readings of the German band Koenige & Priester (Kings & Priests) and US singer Lauren Daigle. It argues that Christian music uses strategies of popularization comparable to secular popular music. Unlike secular music, however, for Popular Christian Music the Christian message is a central genre marker, which leads me to suggest that its popularity (in the sense of reaching a large audience beyond religious/evangelical circles) essentially depends on the polysemic properties of its lyrics.


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Kopanski, Reinhard (2020): „What makes Popular Christian Music ‚popular‘? A comparison of current US-American and German Christian music using the examples of Lauren Daigle and Koenige & Priester.” In: Journal for Religion, Film and Media (6.2), 41–57