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NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Nashville-based music artist, Keith Getty was honored today as an “Officer Of The Order Of The British Empire” (OBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The award, which commemorates Getty’s contribution to “Music And Modern Hymn Writing,” marks the first occasion that the award has been given to an individual involved in the world of contemporary church music.

Getty, along with collaborators including his wife, Kristyn, as well as Stuart Townend, has written over 60 of the most popular 2,000 hymns sung in the U.S. and United Kingdom, according to Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI). The Getty-Townend hymn, “In Christ Alone,” is the #1 most popular hymn sung in the UK for the past nine years and is also among the top 10 in the USA. According to their publishers, it is estimated that over 100 million people sang this one hymn in the last 12 months. Getty-penned hymns are popular across all Christian denominations and their music has been performed at national celebrations in several countries as well as recorded by well-known artists.

Keith Getty says, “When I first received the call, I was shocked. As a Brit living in America it is an incredible gift to receive from home especially given the long history of the award and the legacy of individuals who have received it. It is also wonderful to see hymnody and the great hymn-writing heritage I am from in the UK be recognized in this way. I am very grateful to her Majesty The Queen for this honor.”

Beyond just their work as hymn writers, Keith and Kristyn Getty have spent the last decade as ambassadors of the genre, leading a worldwide revival of congregational hymn singing.

Together with their band, the Getty’s have performed at such notable venues as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and London’s Royal Albert Hall. With performances for world leaders such as former US President George W. Bush and former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, some 200,000 people have also seen their annual Irish Christmas concert, which was also aired on American public television to more than 45 million homes… | READ full story at CCMmagazine.com

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