Queen Elizabeth II Bestows Modern Hymn Writer Keith Getty With Prestigious Award

Keith and Kristyn Getty
Keith and Kristyn Getty (Courtesy)

Nashville-based music artist Keith Getty was honored June 16 as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The award, which commemorates Getty's contribution to "Music and Modern Hymn Writing," marks the first occasion that the award has been given to an individual involved in the world of contemporary church music.

Getty, along with collaborators including his wife, Kristyn, as well as Stuart Townend, has written over 60 of the most popular 2,000 hymns sung in the U.S. and United Kingdom, according to Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI). The Getty-Townend hymn, "In Christ Alone," is the No 1. most popular hymn sung in the U.K. for the past nine years and is also among the top 10 in the U.S. According to their publishers, it is estimated that over 100 million people sang this one hymn in the last 12 months. Getty-penned hymns are popular across all Christian denominations, and their music has been performed at national celebrations in several countries, as well as recorded by well-known artists.

Later this year, Keith and Kristyn will launch their Sing! campaign with their first book, Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family and Church (August 2017, B&H Publishing Group). Their first Sing! conference will take place in Nashville from September 18-20.

Keith Getty says, "When I first received the call, I was shocked. As a Brit living in America, it is an incredible gift to receive from home, especially given the long history of the award and the legacy of individuals who have received it. It is also wonderful to see hymnody and the great hymn-writing heritage I am from in the U.K. be recognized in this way. I am very grateful to her Majesty, the Queen for this honor."

On June 25, the Gettys will lead their second Global Hymn Sing (www.globalhymnsing.com). The Gettys' 2016 hymn sing resulted in more than 1.1 million congregants from 5400-plus churches in 100 countries around the world joining together in song.

Keith and Kristyn met in Belfast, Northern Ireland when they began songwriting together. They were married in 2004, and two years later, they recorded their first project as a couple. They currently reside in Nashville along with their three young daughters.

"It has been thrilling to see the impact of these hymns around the world. Kristyn and I feel utterly privileged to be able to serve the church in such a way and will continue to write and lead people in singing as we have breath to," Keith added.

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