Biggest Christian Female Singers

Some of the Women Who Make Music Their Ministry

While the number of women in Christian music grows every year, the names you see in the contemporary Christian music charts are still predominantly male instead of female. Since 1969, the Dove Awards have honored the best female vocalists in Christian music, but through the first 30 years of the award, only 12 different female vocalists have taken home the honor.

Meet some of the women who make music their ministry and use their talents as singers for Jesus.

Francesca Battistelli
Francesca Battistelli. © Word

The 2010 and 2011 Dove Awards Female Vocalist of the Year was born on May 18, 1985 in New York.

Both of her parents were in musical theater and she thought that was where her path would lie until, at 15, she became a member of the all-girl pop group Bella.

After the group broke up, she started writing her own music and released an indie album, Just a Breath, in 2004. Her debut with Fervent Records (My Paper Heart) hit stores in July 2008.

Franny is married to Matthew Goodwin (Newsong). They welcomed their first child in October 2010 and their second in July 2012.

Francesca Battistelli Starter Songs:

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Christy Nockels
Christy Nockels. © sixstepsrecords

Christy first hit the national spotlight as part of the Passion conferences. From there, she added to her musical resume by forming Watermark with her husband Nathan.

After five albums with Rocketown Records and seven #1 hits, the husband and wife team decided to retire Watermark and focus on other areas of their ministry.

Christy's first solo project came out in 2009 and she has been continuing to bless us with her voice ever since.

Christy Nockels Starter Songs:

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Tamela Mann
Tamela Mann. © Tillymann Music Group, Inc.

Tamela Mann isn't just a Dove Award-winning singer; this wife and mom is also an acclaimed actress and NAACP Image Award nominee.

After starting her career in 1999 with Kirk Franklin and The Family, she has blossomed in all of her roles.

Tamela Mann Starter Songs:

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Amy Grant

Amy Grant
Amy Grant. © Sparrow Records

By the time she was 16, Amy Grant had released her first album and was on her way to becoming a dominant voice in the Christian music movement.

Since then, she has sold 30+ million albums, including albums that have been certified double, triple and quadruple platinum by RIAA by selling 2 million, 3 million and 4 million copies each.

She has gone gold four times and platinum six times. She has won six Grammy's and 25 Dove's, and has performed everywhere from the White House to Monday Night Football.

Amy Grant has taken Christian music to a wider audience than any other artist in the Christian genre.

  • Amy Grant Biography

Amy Grant Starter Songs:

Audrey Assad
Audrey Assad. © Sparrow Records

At the age of 19, Audrey Assad answered God's call to take her walk to the next level, and for her, that meant leading Worship in the foyer of a church that she didn't even attend!

Local events and a demo CD came next. Then, at 25, a move to Nashville, a Christmas tour with Chris Tomlin and a five-song EP were on her path. That CD caught the attention of a Sparrow Records A&R exec. Shortly before Audrey's 27th birthday, her national debut, The House You're Building, hit stores.

Audrey Assad Starter Songs:

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BarlowGirl
BarlowGirl. © Word

Becca, Alyssa, and Lauren Barlow are best known to the world collectively as BarlowGirl. The three sisters from Elgin, Illinois live together, work together, worship together and make incredible music together.

After spending years singing with their dad, Fervent Records picked them up in 2003 and they have released five albums since, with one being a Christmas album.

Although they officially retired in 2012, their music lives on.

BarlowGirl Starter Songs:

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Britt Nicole
Britt Nicole. © Sparrow Records

Britt Nicole grew up singing in a trio with her brother and cousin in her grandfather's church. By the time she was in high school, she was performing on the church's daily TV program.

She was signed by Sparrow in 2006 and her debut release, Say It, came out to much acclaim.

Britt Nicole Starter Songs:

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Darlene Zschech
Darlene Zschech. © Integrity Music

Born and raised in Australia, Darlene Zschech is known around the world as a singer, songwriter, speaker and author. She led worship at Hillsong Church for 25 years and became very well known for her song, "Shout to the Lord."

Darlene Zschech Starter Songs:

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Ginny Owens
Ginny Owens. © Ginny Owens

From being named as the Dove Awards New Artist of the Year to selling nearly a million albums, Ginny Owens has done it all and she has done it with grace.

The Jackson, Mississippi native may have lost her sight as a young child, but she has never faltered in her drive or passion.

Ginny Owens Starter Songs:

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Heather Williams
Heather Williams. © Fair Trade Services

Heather Williams doesn't bring a picture perfect past to the table when she sings.

Instead she brings loss - the loss of her own childhood through abuse and the loss of her first born son six months after his birth. She also brings hope - the hope that can only be found when you completely give yourself to God. Heather also brings the kind honesty that is only found through wisdom.

Heather Williams Starter Songs:

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Holly Starr
Holly Starr. © Holly Starr

With three albums under her belt by 2012, at 21, Holly Starr was really just getting started.

Discovered by Brandon Bee on MySpace through some of the songs that she had recorded with her youth group, she has toured the country, sharing her music and her message with thousands.

Holly Starr Starter Songs:

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Jaci Velasquez

Jaci Velasquez
Jaci Velasquez. © Apostrophe Records

This popular artist has had two Latin Grammy nominations, three English Grammy nominations, five Latin Billboard Award nominations, a Latin Billboard Female Pop Album of the Year award, and six Dove Awards.

Even more, she got the El Premio Lo Nuestro Award for New Artist of the Year, Soul to Soul Honors, an American Music Award nomination, three RIAA-certified platinum albums, three RIAA-certified gold albums, 16 #1 radio hits and more than 50 magazine covers.

What's most surprising is that this all happened before the age of 30!

  • Jaci Velasquez Biography

Jaci Velasquez Starter Songs:

Jamie Grace
Jamie Grace. © Provident

The daughter of two pastors, Jamie Grace has been making music since the young age of 11.

Signed by Gotee Records in 2011, the talented young woman, who was discovered by tobyMac, added college graduate to her impressive resume in May 2012.

Jamie Grace Starter Songs:

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JJ Heller
JJ Heller. © Stone Table Records

JJ Heller has been performing full time since 2003 when she and her husband, Dave, took a leap of faith after graduating college and decided to fully pursue music.

That leap paid off. By 2010, her music was being heard by millions of listeners.

JJ Heller Starter Songs:

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Kari Jobe
Kari Jobe. © EMI

This worship pastor at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas is also a member of Gateway Worship, the worship band associated with Gateway Church.

Signed with Sparrow Records, Kari Jobe has won two Dove Awards. One was for Special Event Album of the Year and the other for Spanish Language Album of the Year.

Kari Jobe Starter Songs:

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Kerrie Roberts
Kerrie Roberts. © Provident

When Kerrie Roberts first started singing in church, she was so young (age 5) that in order to be seen in the choir, she had to stand on a milk crate. Her parents, a pastor and his choir director wife, continued to nurture her love of music.

This went on through Kerrie's degree in studio music and jazz vocal from the University of Miami to her move in 2008 to New York City.

In 2010, when she was signed by Reunion Records, the entire family saw her dreams come to fruition.

Kerrie Roberts Starter Songs:

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Mandisa
Mandisa. © Sparrow

After graduating college with a degree in music, Mandisa worked as a backup singer for a wide variety of artists including Trisha Yearwood, Take 6, Shania Twain, Sandi Patty, and Christian author and speaker Beth Moore.

American Idol's fifth season changed her life, moving her from the background to the forefront. Though she didn't win American Idol, she did make it to the top nine, and after the Idol tour, she was signed by Sparrow Records in early 2007.

Mandisa Starter Songs:

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Martha Munizzi
Martha Munizzi. © Martha Munizzi Ministries

As a Pastor's daughter, Martha Munizzi grew up in Christian music, going on the road with her family's traveling music ministry at the age of eight.

From Southern Gospel to Urban Gospel to Praise & Worship, she has done it all, and by blending all that she knew and loved, Munizzi went on to create her own personal style.

That style won her the Best New Artist Award at the 2005 Stellar Awards - the first time a non-African American singer had taken home the trophy.

Martha Munizzi Starter Songs:

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Mary Mary
Mary Mary. © Sony Music Entertainment

Though they grew up singing in church choirs since 2000, sisters Erica and Tina Atkins have been wowing fans of Urban Gospel with some of the biggest hits in the genre.

Seven Dove Awards, three Grammy Awards, 10 Stellar Awards and major mainstream success has followed them, and they just keep getting better!

Mary Mary Starter Songs:

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Moriah Peters
Moriah Peters. © Provident

Growing up, Moriah Peters always loved music, but her "life plans" didn't include making it.

The high school honor student planned to take the college route with a major in psychology and a minor in music, which would lead her to law school and a career as an entertainment lawyer. A simple prayer for God to use her and lead her in the direction He chose for her led her to music.

At an early audition, the American Idol judges told her to go out and get experience. She didn't stop following God. Instead, she made a demo and headed to Nashville with three songs and no experience. Several record labels made offers and she signed with Reunion Records.

Moriah Peters Starter Songs:

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Natalie Grant
Natalie Grant. © Curb Records

Natalie Grant was only 17 when she got involved in music at her church. It wasn't long before she was singing with the group the Truth. She spent two years with them before heading to Nashville to pursue a solo career.

She signed with Benson Records in 1997, and released her self-titled debut album in 1999. A move to Curb Records came next - she has released six albums with them.

Grant was the Dove Female Vocalist of the Year from 2006 - 2012.

Natalie Grant Starter Songs:

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Nichole Nordeman
Nichole Nordeman. © Sparrow Records

Nichole Nordeman got her start in Colorado Springs, Colorado, playing piano in her home church. Her Music Minister told her about the GMA's Academy of Gospel Music Arts contest and suggested she enter.

Nichole took his advice and won the contest, getting the attention of the Vice President of Star Song records, John Mays. Her first album produced four hits on the Christian adult contemporary charts.

Nichole Nordeman Starter Songs:

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Plumb
Plumb. © Curb Records

Plumb (otherwise known as Tiffany Arbuckle Lee), first came into the national spotlight when her band got signed in 1997. Three years and two albums later, the band broke up and she made the decision to leave the stage and focus on songwriting instead.

A fan's note about how her song had changed her life reversed her course and she started down the solo artist road, signing with Curb in 2003.

Plumb Starter Songs:

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Point of Grace 2010
Point of Grace (2010). © Word

Since 1991, the ladies of Point of Grace have shared their passion for the Lord with us through their music. Twelve albums, 27 #1 radio singles and 9 Dove Awards show that they've been doing a fantastic job!

Point of Grace Starter Songs:

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Rebecca St. James

Rebecca St. James
Rebecca St. James. © Provident

Rebecca St. James (real name Rebecca Jean Fink) isn't just a Dove and Grammy award winning singer and a songwriter; she is also an accomplished author, actress and advocate for sexual abstinence until marriage, and pro-life.

Her projects include nine albums, nine books and 10 films. As a spokesperson for Compassion International, she has seen over 30,000 of her fans reach out to sponsor children in need at her concerts.

Rebecca St. James Starter Songs:

Sara Groves
Sara Groves. © INO Records

Sara Groves has written songs almost her entire life, but for years, she didn't really consider them as life-changing for anyone but herself. After college, she spent a few years teaching high school, singing during her off hours.

In 1998, she recorded her first album as a gift for her family and friends. Little did she know that her gift to her loved ones would give her a new career.

For this wife and mom of three, that career has resulted in several albums, three Dove nods and the realization that her music does change lives by pointing people to God.

Sara Groves Starter Songs:

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Twila Paris
Twila Paris. © Entertainment One

Since 1981, Twila Paris has been sharing her heart through music. She's given us over 20 albums and 30+ #1 hits, and she's won 10 Dove Awards (including three for Female Vocalist of the Year).

With over 1.3 million albums sold, Twila has also shared her heart through books, penning five of them.

Twila Paris Starter Songs:

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