Carmelo Domenic Licciardello, known by the stage name Carman passed away yesterday in a Nevada hospital after a battle with complications stemming from surgery to repair a hiatal hernia.
He was 65 years old.
While out of the public eye for several years, he surfaced in 2014, when he came out in defense of Joel Osteen, as well as two more arch-heretics. He called Osteen in particular a “world-class sower” and a “God-ordained bridge between the mainstream world and the church.” He further explained:
God has a seed sower for every generation. Whether it’s Norman Vincent Peale or Robert Shuller or Joel Osteen. We support our troops in the military, now let’s support our troops in the church. Joel Osteen is one of our finest soldiers and he needs our support.
Carman shared a message on January 25 that he’d caught a bout of pneumonia and then started experiencing organ failure, resulting in the need for surgical intervention. His Facebook page was updated on February 11, asking for prayer for the singer, explaining that his body was weary from his long fight with cancer.
His page updated late last night, notifying his fans that he had passed, writing:
Born January 19, 1956 in Trenton, New Jersey, Carman began his musical career playing drums in his mother’s band at the age of 15. Carman holds the world record for having the largest audience to see a single Christian artist. He set the record for the largest concert at Texas Stadium with more than 71,000 fans and led more than 80,000 fans in worship in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Among his many awards, Carman received the House of Hope of Humanitarian Award for his positive influence in the lives of American youth in 2006, other noted recipients of this award include Ronald & Nancy Reagan and Billy Graham. The Gospel Music Association honored Carman with induction into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2018. Billboard named Carman “Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year” in 1992 and 1995, and in 1993, his album, Addicted to Jesus, earned the distinction of Contemporary Christian Album of the Year. Carman was Grammy-nominated multiple times as the Best Pop Contemporary Gospel Artist. His recording, “A Long Time Ago in a Land Called Bethlehem” was nominated for “Album of the Year” by the Recording Academy in 1986.
In 1985, the release of his first #1 song, “The Champion,” solidified his place in music history and defined his soul-winning career as one of endurance, grit, dedication, and pure talent. Anyone who knew Carman knows that he counted only this as his greatest lifetime achievement – winning millions of souls to Christ.
Matt Felts, Carman’s manager, states: ‘When Carman resumed touring again a few years ago, he was concerned that no one would care that he was back. He was wrong. Every night fans packed out venues and his ministry was as powerful as it ever was. This world has lost a light in the darkness but today Carman saw first hand the fruit of his labors.’
Carman was planning to embark on a 60-city tour later this month.
Please pray for Carman’s family.
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