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For King & Country
Joel Smallbone.jpg
Background information
OriginNashville, Tennessee, United States
GenresChristian pop, alternative rock, soft rock
Years active2007–present
Associated actsRebecca St. James
MembersJoel David Smallbone[1]
Luke James Smallbone[1]

For King & Country, stylized as for KING & COUNTRY and formerly known as Joel & Luke as well as Austoville, is a Christian pop duo composed of Australian brothers Joel (born 5 June 1984) and Luke Smallbone (born 22 October 1986).[2] The Nashville-based brothers' 2012 debut record Crave, has received praise, and the brothers were declared by Billboard as one of the "New Artists To Watch" for 2012.[3] American Songwriter described them as "Australia's answer to Coldplay."[4]

SUSIE Magazine raves, "It takes only one listen to the brothers' rich, upbeat, alternative sounds and thoughtful lyrics to understand their sudden popularity."

They describe their philosophy as such:

"The power of music can impact our mood, emotions, our day. But when you merge the strength of music with the heart, hope and passion of the Gospel... it has the ultimate power not only to change someone's day, but to impact them for eternity. This is why we write music and sing songs - we hope that people will be moved, encouraged and stirred to live a life for Someone greater than themselves."[5]

They cite U2, Mutemath, OneRepublic, the Beatles, Goo Goo Dolls, and Switchfoot, as well as film scores such as those from Braveheart and Gladiator, as their musical influences.[6]


  • 1 History
  • 2 Personal life
  • 3 Discography
    • 3.1 Studio albums
    • 3.2 EPs
    • 3.3 Singles
    • 3.4 Featured performer
    • 3.5 Film
      • 3.5.1 Novel
  • 4 Awards and nominations
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


The brothers were born in Sydney, and moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1991.[5] The Smallbones are the younger brothers of Christian recording artist and speaker Rebecca St. James, and the brothers-in-law of Jacob Fink, bassist for the band Foster the People.

Their father was a music promoter, and Joel recalls, "going to these rock concerts, sitting on my father's shoulders, plugging my ears...Honestly, in a lot of ways I feel like music chose me and as I grew older, I made a clear decision to fully lean into it."[7]

During high school, the brothers did background vocals and other supporting roles for their sister, Rebecca St. James, and various bands in concerts across America.[5] Shortly after Luke graduated from high school, the brothers decided to explore the possibility of forming a band, and in 2007, they began performing as their own band. They began their career with the band name "Joel & Luke", which they later changed to "Austoville". In 2008, they released an EP, A Tale of Two Towns with six songs, three of which appeared on Crave with slightly different melodies and lyrics ("Missing", "Sane", and "Love's to Blame") and three others entitled "Broken Lullabies", "Believe Me Now", and "Something's Gotta Give". Love's to Blame was co-written by St. James.[5]

In 2009, they signed on with Warner Music Group with Ben Glover as their producer. They changed their name to "For King & Country", after a British battle cry. Luke said,

"We wanted a band name that carried more meaning. We were in the studio recording our debut record that Joel had the idea of All The King's Men, like the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme. Our producer overheard our conversation and swung around in his chair and said, 'What about For King & Country?' And we all felt a sense of providence in that moment. "For King and Country" was the battle cry of English soldiers willing to lay down their lives for their king and their country. And now it has become our mission, to lay down our lives for our King and our country."[5]

In 2011, they released For King & Country: The EP. Their song "Busted Heart (Hold On To Me)" was released as a single and peaked at No. 3 on Billboard's Christian Songs chart.[8] They described "Busted Heart" as "really a universal cry of humanity for something greater than ourselves...We think we've got it all sorted out, and life will deal you those blows."[9] "Busted Heart" was the fastest-rising single of 2011 in their genre, climbing the Top 10 for weeks.[citation needed]

Their debut album Crave was released on 28 February 2012. The album hit No. 2 on the iTunes top Christian & Gospel albums on its day of release and No. 42 on the overall chart. It peaked at No. 4 on Billboard's Christian Albums chart, and remained on the chart for 41 weeks.[10] It also reached No. 128 on the Billboard 200 chart.[10] The album has received rave reviews from critics.

Shortly after Crave's release, they released "The Proof of Your Love" as a single, remixed and titled "The Proof of Your Love: The Monologue Mix". The single differs from the album version with a monologue spoken by Joel from 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (The Message) as the bridge instead of the guitar riff on the album version. The single reached No. 8 on Billboard's Hot Christian Songs chart and spent 29 weeks on the chart.[11]

The band toured on the 2012 Winter Jam Tour Spectacular. In May 2012, they appeared on the Huckabee show on Fox News Channel.[12]

Their debut hit song, "Busted Heart (Hold on to Me)" was featured on 28 October 2012 episode of VH1's "Rehab with Dr. Drew."[13] Among other television placements, their songs "People Change" and "Love's To Blame" have been featured The CW's Vampire Diaries, and "Light It Up" and "Sane" have been featured on the Lifetime show Drop Dead Diva.[14][15]

In July 2012, they announced The Proof of Your Love Tour with Jason Castro and Dara Maclean to visit 30 cities from September through November 2012.[16]

In October 2012, they released an original Christmas song entitled "Baby Boy"; it reached No. 20 on the Hot Christian Songs chart.[17]

During the summer of 2013, the band was forced to take time off when the 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) Luke dropped to 125 pounds (57 kg) due to an attack of ulcerative colitis.[18]

In June 2013, Joel Smallbone appeared in a non-singing role as King Xerxes in the film, The Book of Esther from Pure Flix Entertainment.[19]

In August 2013, the band released Hope Is What We Crave: Live, a live album and DVD, both recorded at The Factory in Nashville on the last night of the band's first headlining tour. They also released "Hope Is What We Crave" as a single. It is a reworked version of "Crave" from their album.[20]

The band toured with Casting Crowns starting in February 2014.[citation needed]

For King and Country released their new album Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong. on 16 September 2014.[18] The album spent 17 weeks on the Billboard 200, peaking at No. 13,[21] and reached No. 12 on the Digital Albums Chart.[22]

The band performed their songs "Run Wild" and "Fix My Eyes" on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on 25 March 2015.[23][24] They were part of the Winter Jam Tour 2015 in the central and eastern parts of the United States[citation needed] and part of Winter Jam 2016.[25]

The duo released a deluxe anniversary edition of the album on 23 October 2015 including three new songs: "Priceless", "Ceasefire" and "Wholehearted", as well as a reworked version of "It's Not Over Yet", called "The Encore".[citation needed]

Personal life

The brothers were born in Sydney, Australia, to David and Helen Smallbone, and they moved to Nashville, Tennessee, after their father's job relocation, in 1991. They were raised with two sisters, Rebecca and Libby, and three other brothers, Ben, Dan, and Josh.[26]

Joel David Smallbone was born on 5 June 1984.[1][27] On 7 July 2013, Joel married Moriah Peters in California. The couple saved their first kiss for their wedding day.[28] They now reside in Nashville, Tennessee.[29]

Luke James Smallbone was born on 22 October 1986.[1][30][2] On 26 June 2010, Luke married Courtney Helm.[31] Their first child, Jude James Smallbone, was born on 19 December 2012.[32] They also have a son, Phoenix Alexander.[33][34] In late 2016, Luke announced via social media that he and his wife are expecting their third child.[35]


  • A"Hope Is What You Crave" is a re-worked version of "Crave" from the album Crave.[20]
  • B"Priceless" and"“O God Forgive Us" (featuring KB) are only available on the deluxe anniversary edition of Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong.
  • C"Glorious" is only available on the extended edition of Into the Silent Night: The EP

Featured performer

Joel Smallbone was featured on "Take this City" by Everfound.[40]


Joel Smallbone was the lead actor in a 2016 drama about human trafficking entitled Priceless, which was released in theaters in October 2016. Luke was one of the producers (together with their father) and their brother Ben directed the movie. Some of the music for the film was written by For King & Country.[41]


A novel, Priceless: She's Worth Fighting For, based off the film, Priceless, was released on September 6, 2016.[42]

Awards and nominations

In December 2012, iTunes selected Crave as their Breakthrough Christian & Gospel Album of 2012[43] while at the inaugural K-LOVE Fan Awards held 1 June 2013 they collected the "Breakthrough Artist of the Year".[43] In 2015, they won two Grammy Awards at the 57th Grammy Awards, one for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album and one for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song.[44]

Grammy Awards

GMA Dove Awards


  1. ^ a b c d ASCAP. "Busted Heart". ASCAP. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b for King & Country (4kingandcountry) (12 August 2009). "@rochellesheree I'm (Joel) 25, and Luke's almost 23.". Twitter. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "for KING & COUNTRY: Billboard's Artist To Watch In 2012!". 17 January 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Live at American Songwriter—Ken Will Morton, For King & Country, Jack Tempchin, Garland Jeffreys". 2 November 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "For King & Country: From Rebecca St James sidemen to CCM success". 23 May 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Writer of the Week: for KING & COUNTRY". 7 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Biography | for KING & COUNTRY". Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "Billboard 3/10/2012". 10 March 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  9. ^ #296 - "Busted Heart" by for KING & COUNTRY
  10. ^ a b "For King & Country - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  11. ^ "For King & Country - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  12. ^ "For King & Country on 'Huckabee'". Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "Rehab With Dr. Drew | Songs By Episode". 11 November 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "For King & Country Releases Debut Record on Feb. 28". Music News Nashville. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Biography | for KING & COUNTRY". Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "'Proof of your Love Tour' Brings three of Christian music's brightest new Artists - for King & Country, Jason Castro, and Dara Maclean". 12 July 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "Christian Songs,, issue date December 22, 2012". Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  18. ^ a b Adams, Brent (12 December 2013). "For King & Country returning to Southeast Dec. 21-22". The Southeast Outlook. Middletown, Kentucky: Southeast Christian Church. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  19. ^ "Pure Flix Entertainment Presents 'The Book of Esther',, issue date June 8, 2013". Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  20. ^ a b "FOR KING & COUNTRY". New Sound Magazine. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  21. ^ For King & Country - Billboard 200 History
  22. ^ For King & Country - Billboard Digital Albums Chart
  23. ^ "for King & Country Perform 'Fix My Eyes' on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' Tonight; 'And so it begins!' Band Says on Facebook [PICTURES] : Music". 25 March 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  24. ^ "Catch for KING & COUNTRY on Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! Tonight! | for KING & COUNTRY Latest Updates". 25 March 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  25. ^ Winter Jam 2016 spotlights Crowder, For King & Country, Matthew West (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
  26. ^ Watts, Cindy (27 November 2014). "For King & Country gives thanks for family, early trials". The Tennessean. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  27. ^ for King & Country (4kingandcountry) (5 June 2010). "RT about Joel's birthday. Joel from @joelandluke is turning 26 this year. I thinks he's starting to feel a little old! -L #happybirthday". Twitter. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  28. ^ Dinger, Anna. "For King & Country's Joel Smallbone Married Moriah Peters on July 7 [Photo] : Articles". MusicTimes. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  29. ^ Dinger, Anna. "For King & Country's Joel Smallbone Married Moriah Peters on July 7 [Photo] : Articles". MusicTimes. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  30. ^ for King & Country (4kingandcountry) (22 October 2013). "In the last year Luke faced severe illness & became a dad! He's one of the most hope-filled people I know! Happy birthday little brother! -J". Twitter. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  31. ^ "Simple Wedding - Wedding Photo Book". Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  32. ^ "Music News, December 2012: IT'S A BOY FOR LUKE SMALLBONE OF AUSSIE DUO FOR KING & COUNTRY". 20 December 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  33. ^ Janet Van Vleet. "Christian pop group For King & Country to play Abilene". Abilene Reporter News. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  34. ^ "Smallbone/Fink Flashcards". Quizlet. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  35. ^ "Luke Smallbone Family Growing – 3rd Child Coming!". The Fish 95.9 fm. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  36. ^ "For King & Country". 
  37. ^ "Christian Music: Praise and Worship Songs Chart". Billboard. 20 October 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  38. ^ "Christian Music: Praise and Worship Songs Chart". Billboard. 29 December 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  39. ^ "Going for Adds – Christian AC". Radio & Records. VNU Media. 6 October 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2015. 
  40. ^ "New Single - "Take This City (feat. Joel of for KING & COUNTRY)". Everfound Official Website. 
  41. ^ "Joel Smallbone to star in Priceless Movie". Inquisitr. 
  42. ^ For KING & COUNTRY Announce "Priceless" Novel
  43. ^ a b Shi, Tony. "For King & Country Is Named Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the First-Ever K-Love Fan Awards". Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  44. ^ "Grammy Awards 2015 Winners: Lecrae, for King & Country, Erica Campbell Win Big In Christian Gospel Categories". Christian News, The Gospel Herald. 

External links

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