Behind The Music: Hillsong UNITED

From Hillsong, a Christian megachurch established in New South Wales, Australia, comes the worshiping band Hillsong UNITED. The said band started as a youth ministry for Hillsong in 1988. It was then a part of “Powerhouse Youth,” whose members were aged 12 to 25. The band members are only volunteers and were attendees of Hillsong Church services.

Hillsong leaders led the band, including Australian musician and Pastor Joel Timothy Houston and New Zealand singer-songwriter Brooke Fraser. As the youth ministry started gaining popularity for their immense talent, the leaders decided to record an album. And so, Hillsong UNITED’s “One,” their debut EP, was born.

Since 1988, many members have come and gone in Hillsong UNITED. Each member was responsible for a position or instrument such as acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keys, percussion, and vocals. As of 2019, the members include Pastor Joel Houston, Michael Guy Chislett, Taya Smith-Gaukrodger, and Jihea Oh, among many others. Some of these members grew up in the band.

As Hillsong UNITED is a 24-year-old band, they have produced about 20 albums; some are live versions and others studio versions. They also have several singles released over ten years. Their first live album was titled “Everyday” and was released in November 1999. Many critics were in awe of the good Christian songs the band has produced. Since then, Hillsong UNITED has consistently dominated Christian music charts across the globe.

Some of the notable awards Hillsong UNITED has garnered in their entire career include five trophies from Gospel Music Association, 11 Dove Awards, and one GRAMMY award.

But these awards will never be enough to fully appreciate the powerful gift of Hillsong UNITED members in the Christian music industry. The band has touched many Christian lives as they sing songs of praises and worship.