David Crowder Band fans were stunned last year when the modern worship act announced it was disbanding. But faithful followers received a parting gift in the form of "Give Us Rest (A Requiem Mass in C [The Happiest of All Keys])," the band's 34-track, double-disc swan song on sixstepsrecords/EMI Christian Music Group (CMG). In turn, the act was rewarded with a No. 1 debut on Billboard's Christian Albums chart and a No. 2 bow on the Billboard 200 after the set's Jan. 10 release.
"We had a three-record contract and we went in for another three," frontman Crowder says. "But we got toward the end of things and could never see past record six. We all felt that we had done what we were supposed to do: use music to connect people to God."
Those six albums-beginning with 2002's "Can You Hear Us?" account for 1.3 million in sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan. "Give Us Rest (A Requiem Mass in C [The Happiest of All Keys])" has sold 69,000. Lead single "Let Me Feel You Shine" rises 25-23 on Christian Songs this week and has sold 21,000 downloads.
"Since their first record in 1999 [indie release 'All I Can Say'], the band has built a very loyal fan base," EMI CMG VP of marketing David Sylvester says.
The band played its last show at Atlanta's Georgia Dome during the Passion 2012 conference in January. But Crowder is still busy promoting the project. He hit the road Jan. 30 with the K-LOVE radio network morning team, visiting Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Memphis; and Indianapolis, and partnering with local food banks for the Souper Bowl of Caring campaign. Fans who donate food will receive tickets to an acoustic concert by Crowder.
As for the future, Crowder says he wants to pursue other passions, including bluegrass, and that other band members are already writing new music. Might a reunion tour unfold? "As far as we can tell, we're done," he says. "But in the words of Justin Bieber, 'Never say never.'"