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Avalon Biography

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Avalon is a Contemporary Christian group from Nashville, Tennessee, USA known for their harmonic singing and somewhat electronic sound.

Avalon was formed by Grant Cunningham, former A&R representative for Sparrow Records. Cunningham was in search of a vocalist group that could sing tight harmonies and carry God's message to the world. Cunningham publicized his intentions and demo tapes flooded him, but nothing fit for what he wanted.

After letting the desire for Avalon to rest a while, Cunningham visited a coffee shop to listen to a potential singer one day. However, another artist, Michael Passons, actually caught his attention. Cunningham contacted Passons about his plan for Avalon. Passons prayed about God's will and then decided this was where God was leading him.

Soon after, Truth vocalist Janna Long (at the time, Janna Potter) heard of the intentions for Avalon. Long then contacted Cunningham and made a time for an audition. Cunningham liked what he heard and knew Long was to be a part of Avalon.

At this point in Avalon's history, two short-lived members, Rikk Kittlemann and Tabitha Fair joined Avalon. They toured with Avalon on their first tour, The Young Messiah Tour, but both members left before the recording of the first album.

With Avalon having two member openings, Long remembered previous fellow Truth artist, Jody McBrayer. Long contacted McBrayer about his interest in the group and McBrayer auditioned. A few days later, Cunningham contacted McBrayer stating that he was now a member of Avalon.

Finally, Nikki Hassman (now Nikki Anders) was hired to become the fourth vocalist of Avalon. Hassman recorded two albums with Avalon, Avalon and A Maze of Grace, but left in May of 1998 to pursue a solo career with Sony Records.

Cherie Paliotta (now Cherie Adams) was selected to replace Hassman after one of Avalon's co-managers listened to a country music demo tape recorded by Adams. Even though country is not a style Avalon records, executives chose Adams knowing she would be a perfect fit. Adams recorded four albums as a member (In A Different Light, Joy: A Christmas Collection, Oxygen and O2: Avalon Remixed). Adams left to pursue a solo ministry that is geared towards single women; she was replaced by Melissa Greene, another former member of the now disbanded group Truth

In 2003, Avalon released a greatest hits record, 'Testify to Love: The Very Best of Avalon,' which featured the #1 hit 'Everything to Me' and the Top 10 hit 'New Day.' It was the last album on which Michael Passons sang; the Avalon member known as 'Father Avalon' left after the album's release to pursue a solo career, and was replaced by Janna Long's husband, Greg Long, a well-known contemporary Christian music solo artist.

In between projects, Jody McBrayer released a solo album, 'This is Who I Am,' off which the Top 10 hit 'Never Alone (Nunca Solo),' a duet with Jadyn Strand (now known as Jadyn Maria), was culled. Janna Long also released a solo album, 'Janna,' off which the #2 smash 'Greater Is He' was lifted.

In 2004, Avalon released the studio album 'The Creed.' Three singles were released off 'The Creed': the carrier 'All,' which made the top 10 on Billboard' Hot Christian Songs chart; the Jody McBrayer showcase 'You Were There,' a #2 Inspirational Charts hit, and the Greg Long-led 'I Wanna Be With You.'

Avalon's latest album, 'Stand,' was released in January 2006. Carrier single 'Love Won't Leave You' peaked in the Top 20 of both Billboard Hot Christian Songs and Hot Christian Adult Contemporary charts. New single 'Orphans of God' was sent to radio on April 7, 2006, and peaked in the Top 5 of Radio & Records' Inspo chart the week of August 11, 2006.

On May 16th, Avalon did something they had never done before. They released an exclusively online album called For Freedom- EP. The album has 3 songs, and can only be purchased using online services such as iTunes and Napster. Two of the songs on the album, "The Creed" and "We Will Stand", were title tracks for their respective albums. "For Freedom" is a brand new song, Songwriter Matt Moran wrote the song as a tribute to his grandfather, a WWII veteran. One other unique thing about this album is that, since "For Freedom" is the title track of the EP, all 3 songs on it are title tracks.

Avalon has a new album hitting the shelves on October 17, 2006. The title for the new album is, Faith- A Hymns Collection.
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