One of the most successful performers in the history of contemporary Christian music, Carman was born Carman Domenic Licciardello on January 19, 1956. He was saved at an Andrae Crouch concert, and later discovered by Bill Gaither; he eventually founded his own ministry and recording arm. Debuting in 1982 with Some-O-Dat, he issued a series of LPs which gradually launched him to the top of CCM playlists, and between 1987 and 1989 he was named Charisma magazine's readers' choice for favorite male vocalist for three consecutive years. In 1990, Carman was also named Billboard's CCM Artist of the Year, with his LP Revival of the Land winning Album of the Year honors; he won countless awards in the years to follow, as well as a series of gold and platinum records. On August 15, 1993, in the wake of the release of his Yo! Kidz: Heroes, Stories and Songs from the Bible, Carman mounted his "Music for Peace" crusade at Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, the 50,000 ticket holders in attendance making it the largest solo Christian concert in history. He broke his own mark a year later, appearing before a crowd of 71,132 at Dallas' Texas Stadium. In 1995 he released R.I.O.T. (Righteous Invasion of Truth), accompanied by a book of the same name; Mission 3:16 followed in 1998. The double-disc hits compilation Heart of a Champion was issued two years later.
Although he recorded and released relatively little material during the 2000s, Carman remained popular as a host on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Personal tragedy struck in double measure during the 2010s: first he was severely injured in a 2011 traffic accident, then in 2013 he was diagnosed with myeloma and told he would live only three to four more years. A crowd-funded album project was eventually released in 2014 as No Plan B, and promptly became one of his highest-charting recordings ever; it reached number 66 on the main albums chart. ~ Jason Ankeny