Christian music artist Carman Licciardello, known by his stage name “Carman,” has been diagnosed with cancer.
The musician and evangelist wrote on his Facebook page Thursday morning: “I have delayed writing this but those of you I call friends and supporters, who have prayed for me and this ministry need to know about this new battle that lies ahead. One week ago I was diagnosed with myeloma cancer. It is incurable and I've been given a 3- to 4-year window of time.”
Often described as part evangelist, part Vegas showman, the 57-year-old's concerts “are more like a rock-and-roll Billy Graham crusade than a Christian music event,” his website says.
Carman wrote that he will go in for his first bone biopsy and begin the process this week.
“I used to go to movies in the afternoon, now I go see doctors,” he said.
The singer listed three reasons for his post: “First, I want to put an end to all the rumors. Second, I ask for your prayers. And 3rd, I want you all to know that I will continue to minister and win souls until I can't do it any longer.
“My life has always been about ministry,” he explained. “I have a call of God to touch lives with the gospel of Jesus Christ and that's what I will do until the Lord calls me home.”
He asked his Facebook followers not to fill his page with cancer treatment remedies, but encouraged them to come see him the next time he's in their area.
“Bring someone who doesn't know the Lord or who needs to be healed,” he wrote. “I will always pray for the sick and I'm also going to step up the intensity of my message at these events. I will not leave this world quietly and I want the devil to know that he put cancer on absolutely the wrong Italian.
“I have a few good years and before it's too late I want to see your faces, shake your hands and hug your necks. But mostly I want to see one of you get healed of what threatens your future and I really want to see someone you love come to Christ. Now lets get back to business, we have to work while it's day for soon the night comes,” he concluded.
Carman, who was born Carmelo Domenic Licciardello, released his first LP, God's Not Finished With Me, in 1980. Bill Gaither invited him to tour with The Bill Gaither Trio the following year. His song “Sunday's on the Way,” from the 1983 live album of the same name, began a string of successes on the CCM chart.
Carman was named Charisma magazine's Readers' Choice for the first “Favorite Male Vocalist of the Year” 1987-1989. Billboard magazine also recognized his influence in Christian music by naming him the first “Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year” in 1980.
He has received 15 gold and platinum albums and videos, and has sold more than 10 million records. Carman holds attendances records for the largest solo Christian concerts in history with 80,000 outdoors in Charlotte, N.C., and 50,000 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Carman is currently on tour, and has dates on carmanlive.com through July. His newest album, Anthems of a Champion, released last month.