Watch Amy Grant and Kirk Franklin in the Trailer for “The Jesus Music”

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Jesus’ music – a documentary retracing the “uplifting and untold story” of the roots of contemporary Christian music through the current state of the genre – hits theaters October 1 via Lionsgate. The film features some of the biggest names in the genre, including Amy Grant, Kirk Franklin, Michael W. Smith, TobyMac, and Lauren Daigle.

“A lot of the hymns are ‘close your eyes singing to God,’ Grant says in a new trailer for the documentary. ‘I wanted to sing with my eyes wide open, sing to each other.”

The clip features footage of civil unrest in the 1960s and how the counter-culture movement helped bring the genre to life. “You want to find a loving way to have these conversations,” Franklin says.

As Christian music evolved, new perspectives were added to the mix. “There was so much great music going on, it all felt so fresh and new,” Grant says.

The transition to more contemporary sounds, however, doesn’t always seem to have been smooth, as the trailer suggests. “It was so dramatic in the church,” Franklin says.

The artists also discuss how the music changed them, attributing it to being everything from a lifeline to the world’s most powerful language. “It became part of the fabric of who I was,” Franklin says.

“And you can do it all in three and a half minutes,” adds Michael W. Smith.

Directed by the Erwin brothers, the documentary also features interviews with Michael Tait, DC Talk, Chris Tomlin, John L. Cooper, CeCe Winans, Steven Curtis Chapman and other artists.


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