Third Day is a popular contemporary Christian music group. Since their formation they have released multiple albums and have won numerous Dove Awards. They have received several Grammy Award nominations, finally winning in 2003 in the best rock gospel album category for Come Together.
The band started in 1991 with Mac Powell and Mark Lee in Powder Springs, while the two were still attending McEachern High School.
Third Day recorded their first demo in lieu of payment for a performance and then quickly recorded their first album, Contagious (1994), which was well received locally. Billy Wilkens left the band during recording, however, and the group replaced him with Brad Avery, who brought more of a rock-n-roll sound to their music. Third Day's first big success came with their self-titled album, which was released in 1996. Critics had trouble categorizing their sound, labeling it as a mixture of southern rock, gospel, and pop music. At the same time the band's positive, biblically based message established them as Christian music role models.
Due in part to constant regional touring, the band gathered a sizeable audience and was able to launch a cross-country tour. Their next two albums, Conspiracy No. 5 (1997) and Time (1999) were nominated for Grammy Awards, and the tours that followed were consistently well attended. In 2000 Third Day released Offerings: A Worship Album, which was not expected to be as commercially successful as their earlier albums but far surpassed expectations. Powell lent his voice to the song "God of Wonders" on the compilation album City on a Hill in 2000, and the group also contributed a song to the album.
In spring 2001 the band gave a homecoming concert at HiFi-Buys Amphitheatre in Atlanta, where a crowd of 15,000 fans welcomed them. The band released an interactive DVD of the concert, the first of its kind for Christian music. Offerings II: All I Have to Give was released in early 2003.
Third Day released the albums Wire in 2004 and Wherever You Are in 2005, which earned the group its second Grammy Award.
Anna Drewry, University of Georgia
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