She won't accept this statement herself, but Rebecca St. James is today's most loved and respected international Christian music artist. With diversity and depth, the Sydney, Australia native has made the globe her mission field since debuting in 1994 at age 16. Almost 10 years into the journey now, it's remarkable to remember what has transpired and to consider what still may come in the life of this 25 year-old. That's the stimulus of Wait for Me: The Best from Rebecca St. James.
In the United States, Rebecca's a Grammy winner who quoted Scripture during her acceptance speech and who writes compelling faith editorials and bestselling devotional books away from the microphone. In Romania, she's the kind young woman who climbed down past manhole covers to share the Gospel with homeless children living underground. And in Europe, St. James is the rare performer willing to play outreach concerts in off-the-radar countries, even though it will never be a safe economic bet.
"Rebecca's commitment to God and His Word have clearly been the central tenets of her music and ministry, and I think that's the main reason for her success and her popularity," says Mark Moring of Campus Life magazine. "Sure, her music is hip and innovative, but it's her underlying commitment to Christ and her unabashed proclamation of God's love that primarily attract the listener."
Those observations point to the dual growth that continues in Rebecca St. James, the missionary and musician. As she matures in spiritual wisdom, her artistry becomes likewise exceptional. A trio of early pop and alternative rock albums in 1994 (Rebecca St. James), 1996 (God), and 1998 (Pray) brought increasing commercial success and ministry platforms; an open door at Christian radio and a groundbreaking cover story in Focus on the Family magazine (circulation 2,000,000).
In 1999, Rebecca's reach extended dramatically with the song, "Yes, I Believe In God," which tapped the social and spiritual soft spots of American culture in the aftermath of the Columbine High School tragedy. By 2000, critical acclaim poured in with the release of Transform, a progressive mix of pop, rock, symphonic, and techno treasures that an Amazon.com journalist called "sublimely catchy" while naming St. James the top Christian artist of the year.
The project also featured "Wait For Me," a defining song that addressed Rebecca's inspiring commitment to remain abstinent until marriage. The intelligent, poetic lyrics and graceful melody secured her place as a lifetime artist removed from shifting trends.
Soon after, Crosswalk.com called Rebecca St. James the most influential woman in Christian music. In 2002, she was named Best Female Artist by the readers of CCM and Campus Life magazines and by the listeners of K-Love and Air1 radio networks, and she released her fastest selling album to date, Worship God.
2003 brought the release of Wait for Me: The Best from Rebecca St. James, featuring sixteen handpicked fan-favorite hits plus two distinctive new songs for the future, "Expressions of Your Love" (with Chris Tomlin) and "I Thank You." Already this year, the singer has traveled throughout the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada and received three Dove Award nominations.
Today, Rebecca St. James remains charmingly unconventional. In between performing 200 concerts per year, she hangs out with friends at church, nurtures an incredible family bond with her parents and six siblings, and does life in the modern world, filtering it through her faith, just like her fans do. One week may find her on stage at a Franklin Graham Crusade, the next feeding animals at her family's farm outside Nashville, and the next back Down Under, volunteering behind the counter at a student coffeehouse.