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For KING & COUNTRY Discusses Touring With Their Sister, Standing Up for Women, and Recent Health Struggles

Photo by Jesse T. Jackson

Joel and Luke Smallbone are the brothers who make up the 4-time Grammy award winning Christian pop duo for KING & COUNTRY. Following the success of their sister, Rebecca St. James (Christian musical artist, actress), the Smallbone brothers have been making a name for themselves since their 2012 release of “Crave.”

Two years later, for KING & COUNTRY’s sophomore release “Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong” sold over 500,000 albums and climbed to #2 on the U.S. Billboard Christian Albums chart.

Earlier this year, for KING & COUNTRY released their fifth full-length album, “What Are We Waiting For?,” which received the Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year award at this year’s Dove Awards.

The band is currently on their “A Drummer Boy Christmas” tour. They are scheduled to embark on their “What Are We Waiting For?” tour on March 25, 2023.

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ChurchLeaders caught up with the talented duo and asked them about their latest album and tour, their anti-human trafficking efforts, and Luke’s recent health issues.

CL: It has been almost four years since you’ve released a non-Christmas album. What did writing and releasing this album mean to you?

FK&C: Every new album takes on its own iteration and purpose and meaning. Obviously, this album was made mostly during the pandemic, and the pandemic made you ask the question, “what are you thankful for?” and “what are your hopes and dreams?” … Ultimately, we ended up with the question, “What are we all waiting for?”

I think we were also provoked to start to realize there are certain things that lay dormant in all of our lives—certain dreams and certain things God has laid on our hearts. We have the temptation of “if I just give it a few years, just give it a few weeks,” and the pandemic made us realize that life is short and these moments that we have, we need to make them purposeful. So that’s how we came up with “What Are We Waiting For?” And I hope that, for every individual person, that speaks a little differently.

CL: Can you share what it’s like being on the road with your sister, Rebecca St. James? 

FK&C: It was a wonderful thing to grow up touring with our older sister. We had an incredibly unique childhood. I’d come back from three weeks of touring and would go to church and my friends would be like, “So, hey, where have you been?” And I realized at the age of 10, 11, 12, it was pretty difficult to explain. So I would just say, “It’s too complicated.” So, it was unique but taught us a lot about where we find ourselves today, and ultimately was our training ground.

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