It’s publication day for dc Talk’s Jesus Freak! In today’s post, the authors delve into where the members of dc Talk are nowadays…
As a teenager, one of my favorite things about going to the orthodontist was the opportunity the waiting room afforded me to read People Magazine and catch up on the afterlives of my favorite 1980s sitcom stars. “Where Are They Now” headlines still make for easy clickbait: a fun way to chase celebrity gossip and track your favorite stars on their fall off the mountain. It has long been decidedly more difficult to track the afterlives of CCM stars, in part because they are rarely featured in grocery-store-racked magazines and tabloids. (One exception is Amy Grant, who following her divorce from Gary Chapman, on the heels of a supposed affair with country star Vince Gill, did find herself the subject of such public scrutiny.)
Here we refrain from the gossip, preferring to let the dc Talk boys have their private lives, and focus instead on what happened to them after dc Talk disbanded in 2000.
1. Toby McKeehan, aka TobyMac, has gone on to be one the biggest CCM pop stars, developing dc Talk’s pop-rop song while never abandoning its hip hop roots. He released his first solo album, Momentum, in 2001. His most recent, This is not a Test (2015), features on of several dc Talk reunion songs, “Love Feels Like.” But the gem here is “Backseat Driver,” which twists the well-known bumper sticker “God is My Co-Pilot” into a catchy-as-hell hook: “I don’t wanna be no backseat driver / You got the wheel.”
2. Kevin Max also released a solo album in 2001, Stereotype B. But the apex of his solo releases is undoubtedly 2007’s The Blood, featuring dc Talk on a cover of Prince’s “The Cross”, and Amy Grant and Vince Gill on “Up Above My Head I Hear Music in the Air.” It’s a solid gospel rock album, digging deep into their groups own musical roots and influences. He briefly joined forces with Audio Adrenaline, another 1990s CCM stalwart, for the release of their 2013 album Kings and Queens.
3. Michael Tait released two solo albums, 2001’s Empty and 2003’s Lose this Live, but rocketed back to fame as lead singer of the Newsboys, a group perhaps best known now their guest appearance in the film God’s Not Dead (2014). The film grossed over $62 million on a $2 million budget, and also featured Willie Robertson, star of the reality television series Duck Dynasty. In February 2016, Tait, a confirmed bachelor, told Fox News Radio that he supported Ted Cruz for president.
dc Talk reunited in 2017 for a family friend Christian music cruise. Dubbed the Jesus Freak Cruise, the boys performed “Colored People” and “Luv is a Verb” to an audience comprised mostly of middle-aged, moderately wealthy former teen evangelicals. Folks perhaps like us.