The Newsboys began their life in Queensland, Australia, back in the early eighties.
Since then they’ve sold millions of albums, been nominated for several Grammies, taken home a swag of Dove awards as well as being recognised through several other industry awards. They’ve also played to sell out arena shows of up to 200 000 people in the U.S. and Europe.
While virtually unknown in their home land, they’ve consistently been up there with the top earners amongst Australian performers, outselling most of our other home-grown talent.
Their original lead singer, John James, left the band and show business in 1997. These days he visits schools and speaks to young people about the trappings of success and living a life of integrity.
John James joined me in the studio today as part of my morning radio programme at 98.5 Sonshine FM.
John has an amazing story to tell of The Newsboys meteoric rise to fame and the toll it took on his life and his marriage. He left the band after becoming addicted to cocaine and battling depression and alcohol abuse.
Today John is very much a changed man. His relationship with his wife and children is restored and he spends his days telling young people about the turn around in his life.
You can hear the interview by clicking play on the audio player at the bottom of this post.
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I’ve just read the sad news that Larry Norman has passed away at the age of 60.
I’ve been listening to his music for over 30 years. I had the privilege of seeing him in concert twice when he visited Perth. The first time when I was about 15, the second back in 1988 when the photo above of me with Larry was taken.
Larry was known as the Father of Christian Rock and he paved the way for many musicians who came after him who wanted to use contemporary music to tell others about Jesus.
He had been in declining health for many years and yesterday the time came for him to head home.
The following statement was issued from his brother Charles.
Our friend and my wonderful brother Larry passed away at 2:45 Sunday morning. Kristin and I were with him, holding his hands and sitting in bed with him when his heart finally slowed to a stop. We spent this past week laughing, singing, and praying with him, and all the while he had us taking notes on new song ideas and instructions on how to continue his ministry and art
Yesterday afternoon he knew he was going to go home to God very soon and he dictated the following message to you while his friend Allen Fleming typed these words into Larry’s computer:
I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God’s hand reaching down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds are getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home.
My brother Charles is right, I won’t be here much longer. I can’t do anything about it. My heart is too weak. I want to say goodbye to everyone. In the past you have generously supported me with prayer and finance and we will probably still need financial help.
My plan is to be buried in a simple pine box with some flowers inside. But still it will be costly because of funeral arrangement, transportation to the gravesite, entombment, coordination, legal papers etc. However money is not really what I need, I want to say I love you.
I’d like to push back the darkness with my bravest effort. There will be a funeral posted here on the website, in case some of you want to attend. We are not sure of the date when I will die. Goodbye, farewell, we will meet again.
Goodbye, farewell, we’ll meet again
Somewhere beyond the sky.
I pray that you will stay with God
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.
Thank you to all of you who were so nice to my brother over the years. Kristin and I will post funeral information in the next day or two. Right now we’re not able to function very well, but the whole family is here … our mother Margaret, our sisters Nancy and Kristy, Mike Norman and his new wife Tiffany, and Silver.
We miss him beyond words. Thank you for everything.
Peace to you all in Christ,
Larry gave me many, many hours of enjoyment. His songs have not only provided enjoyment, they’ve caused me to think, they’ve given me hope and inspired me.
The world won’t be the same without Larry Norman but I’m sure there’s a great concert just getting underway in heaven.
I’m shedding a tear or two tonight because he’s gone but I’m so pleased that he can now enjoy paradise without all the pain he’s experienced over several years.
Thanks for all the good times, Larry, and goodbye.
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