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JFH Music News

HILLSONG UNITED'S ZION CLAIMS
THEIR HIGHEST EVER BILLBOARD 200 DEBUT


DEBUTED AT NO. 5 ON BILLBOARD 200;
NO. 1 ON BILLBOARD CHRISTIAN & GOSPEL CHART




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NEWS SOURCE: Merge PR
March 6, 2013

NASHVILLE, TENN - 06 March, 2013 - Last week Hillsong UNITED released the widely acclaimed studio project, Zion, which has earned the international worship band its highest ever Billboard 200 debut at No. 5 with a 25 percent increase from their last studio album Aftermath. The project, selling more than 34,100 units its first week, also topped the Billboard Christian & Gospel album and digital charts.

During street week, UNITED peaked as the No. 1 album overall on iTunes in the United States, South Africa, Sweden, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Singapore, Ghana and Columbia in addition to reaching the Top 5 at iTunes in Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Switzerland, Uganda and Ecuador. Zion also debuted at No.1 on the Australian ARIA Albums chart making this album an international hit.

UNITED's release stirred a social media response as they unveiled a special share to unlock viral video campaign. The first music video for "Heartbeats" was unlocked after 100k shares, which occurred within 24 hours of the album's release. The next video "Relentless" will be unlocked after 300k social media shares. Click here to view the videos and help unlock the next special video.

Zion's first radio single is "Scandal of Grace" and was written by UNITED's Joel Houston and the song's vocalist, Matt Crocker. The single can be heard on the likes of K-LOVE and Air1 as it is currently charting at No. 29 on the National Christian Audience chart. Last week it received five additional adds at radio. It is clear this album's songs are resonating with listeners.

"We have always set out to write songs and create a musical expression that is almost uncomfortable in its uniqueness. Not for the sake of progression, or to keep pace with whatever the trend-monitor says, but simply because we feel like it's an essential aspect of what we believe worship is," explains Houston on the heart behind Zion. "It's supposed to be costly, it should always cause us to step into a place where our strength is made invisible in the complete pervasiveness of His power in all that we do, and that involves taking risks."

Media have also fallen in love with UNITED's 12th full-length album and third studio recording as they were featured in Relevant, Worship Leader and Charisma. Here is what media says of Zion:

"There's an unmistakable intimacy here, especially on a song like 'Scandal of Grace'" - Rhapsody

"The grandeur, depth, unabashed awe, hope, emotionally and theologically rich worship at the heart of this album is simply beautiful." -Worship Leader

"Zion continues to mark the Aussies as one of the most forward-thinking acts in Christian worship. The collective doesn't follow trends, they create them." -GMCtv

"Not only is it [Zion] the best album United has ever released, it's one of the best mainstream worship albums I've heard in a long time. Well done, Hillsong United, we tip our hats to your art."
- JesusFreakHideout

"The latest ripple of that impact is Hillsong United's Zion, a richly textured release that manages to achieve an intimate, organic feel despite the band's massive international reach." - New Release Tuesday

"It should easily find its place as one of the top albums of the year. " - Charisma

UNITED will tour the United States this summer coming in June. Dates and markets will be announced shortly as well as where to go to purchase tickets. UNITED spent their street week touring in South Africa before returning home to Australia this weekend.

About Hillsong UNITED:
UNITED is a worship band that originally rose out of the youth ministry of Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. This progressive worship band is a global recording and touring entity sent out to share the ever-evolving worship music of Hillsong Church to an international audience through live performances and records. UNITED desires to see a generation across the earth awakened to real love, rising up with hearts as one and finding value in the broken, hurting and lost connecting with Jesus.

Releasing their first album in 1999, UNITED has toured six continents and 42 nations since 2006. The touring entity of UNITED has made a huge wave in the United States as they became the first Christian artist to ever sell out Los Angeles' Staples Center last year. In addition to the Staples Center, UNITED has also sold out major venues in Seattle (ShoWare Center), New York (Hammerstein Ballroom), Atlanta (Gwinnett Center), Miami (BankUnited Center), Dallas (Music Hall) and two back-to-back sold out events in Boston (Orpheum Theatre).

For more info on Hillsong UNITED visit the JFH Artists Database.

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