Rebecca St. James, born Rebecca Jean Smallbone; July 26, 1977, is a Christian pop rock singer, songwriter, musician, author, and actor. She began performing in Australia in the late 1980s and released her first full-length studio album in 1991. In 1993 she was signed to the record label ForeFront Records and released her major label debut a year later.
St. James rose to fame in the late 1990s with her RIAA certified Gold albums God and Pray, the latter of which won a Grammy Award in 1999 for Best Rock Gospel Album. The albums spawned multiple singles including "God", "Pray", and "Yes, I Believe in God". Since then she has established herself as one of the most prominent musical artists in CCM with four additional full-length studio albums; Transform, Worship God, If I Had One Chance to Tell You Something, and I Will Praise You. Staple songs such as "Wait for Me", "Reborn", "Song of Love", "I Thank You", "Alive", and "Shine Your Glory Down" have all been derived from these releases. Since the beginning of her career, St. James has sold a total of two million albums.
"St. James rose to fame in the late 1990s with her RIAA certified Gold albums God and Pray, the latter of which won a Grammy Award in 1999 for Best Rock Gospel Album."
Outside of her musical career, St. James is an accomplished author and actress. To date, she has released nine published books and starred in five films, a musical stage show, and a VeggieTales episode (Spring for Strawberry Shortcake). Her ninth book "What Is He Thinking" was released on September 26, 2011, and she has starred in the films Unidentified, Sarah's Choice, Rising Stars, The Frontier Boys, and Suing the Devil. St. James is also an outspoken sexual abstinence and pro-life advocate, as well as a spokesperson for Compassion International. She is also the sister of Joel and Luke Smallbone, who compose the band for King & Country, and the wife of Foster the People bassist Jacob "Cubbie" Fink.
Early life Rebecca St. James was born Rebecca Jean Smallbone on July 26, 1977 in Sydney, Australia to parents David and Helen Smallbone.
In 1990, at twelve years of age, she opened shows for CCM artist Carman during his Australian tour. The following year she released an independent album titled Refresh My Heart in Australia, under the stage name of "Rebecca Jean". Soon after its release, her family moved to the United States where her father received a job offer. She signed with ForeFront Records, and took her stage name at the label's request. In 1994 she released her major label debut titled Rebecca St. James. She also released an EP titled Extended Play Remixes in 1995.
On June 25, 1996, Rebecca St. James released her second major album God, led by the title track. The album took St. James' music in a new direction, focusing more on rock. It opened to positive reviews and debuted at 200, and peaked at 168 on the Billboard 200. It also charted at No.10 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and No. 6 on Billboard's Contemporary Christian chart. In 1997, she was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Gospel Album for God and in 2005 the album was RIAA certified gold for selling over 500,000 copies. To promote the album, St. James released a devotion book titled 40 Days with God: A Devotional Journey in 1996. In 1997, St. James released the sequel to her devotional book, titled You're the Voice: 40 More Days with God. On October 7 of the same year, she released her first holiday album, simply titled Christmas. The album charted at No. 12 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart and No. 14 on the Top Contemporary Christian chart. On October 20, 1998, St. James released her third studio album, Pray, which opened to mixed reviews. The album managed to chart at No. 168 on the Billboard 200, and No. 5 on both the Heatseekers Chart and the Contemporary Christian Chart. The album won a Grammy in 1999 for Best Rock/Gospel Album, and in 2006 it was RIAA certified gold for selling over 500,000 copies. In 1999, St. James released a song titled "Yes, I Believe In God" to radio only, in memory of the lives lost at the Columbine shooting. The song was later released on the album Wait For Me: The Best From Rebecca St. James. Also in 1999, Rebecca released a VHS titled No Secrets featuring interviews of her and her family, behind-the-scenes footage and the music video for the song "Pray". In addition to her own projects, St. James took part in a CD release titled Heaven & Earth: A Tapestry of Worship, which featured female Christian artists such as Nichole Nordeman, Jennifer Knapp, herself and others. The album was released in November 1999 and features two songs by St. James; "As We Wait" and "River of Life".
On October 24, 2000, St. James released a brand new album titled Transform. The album charted at No. 166 on the Billboard 200, No. 7 on the Heatseekers Chart and No. 14 on the Contemporary Christian Chart. The album garnered positive reviews and featured the songs "Wait For Me" and "Reborn". Also in 2000, St. James made a cameo in the film Left Behind: The Movie. A year later, the devotional book, 40 Days with God was re-released with a new layout and five new devotions. In 2002, to promote the single "Wait For Me" from Transform, St. James released the book Wait For Me: Rediscovering the Joy of Purity in Romance, which went on to sell over 100,000 copies and spawn a journal and study guide. The song and book promotes sexual abstinence before marriage, and St. James has since become a major spokesperson for the subject.On February 26, 2002, St. James released the album Worship God. The album opened to extremely positive reviews and charted at No. 94 on the Billboard 200, marking St. James' first Top 100 album, and No. 5 on the Contemporary Christian chart. She released a DVD to promote the album November 19, 2002 that featured music videos, interviews, etc. On March 25, 2003, celebrating 10 years signed to ForeFront Records, St. James released her first compilation project titled Wait For Me: The Best From Rebecca St. James which features 16 of her most popular songs and two new ones, including "I Thank You" which managed to peak at No. 2 on Billboard's Hot Christian Songs chart. The album failed to make the Billboard 200, but charted at No.16 on the Contemporary Christian chart. On February 24, 2004, St. James released her very first live album titled Live Worship: Blessed Be Your Name which features 7 new songs and 2 studio recorded songs. The album charted at No. 187 on the Billboard 200 and No. 12 on the Top Christian Albums chart. Later that year, St. James released a compilation album titled The Best of Rebecca St. James, and her book SHE: Safe, Healthy, Empowered: The Woman You're Made to Be. Also in 2004, St. James starred in the stage musical "Hero" as a modern day Mary Magdalene aka "Maggie". St. James later lent her voice to the VeggieTales episode An Easter Carol as Hope the Music Box Angel She also took part in a pop/rock VeggieTales album titled Veggie Rocks! She covered "The VeggieTales Theme Song" for the album.
After taking a hiatus from recording music, St. James returned to the studio in early 2005 to record new songs. On October 24, 2005, the first single from the album, "Alive", was released. The song managed to chart at No. 3 on R&R's CHR Chart and No. 13 on Billboards Hot Christian Songs Chart. The new album, titled If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something was released on November 22, 2005. The album opened to fairly positive reviews. It charted at No. 14 on Billboard's Top Christian Albums Chart, but failed to make the Billboard 200. On July 1, 2005 St. James released a Teen Edition of her book, SHE and on October 1, 2005, she released another book titled Sister Freaks: Stories of Women Who Gave Up Everything For God. In early 2006, St. James embarked on her If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something Tour with fellow Christian group BarlowGirl. She also recorded the theme song for the National Day of Prayer. The song was titled "America" and was released to iTunes on May 2, 2006. She also recorded a cover of Chris Tomlin's song "Forever" for the album WOW Worship: Aqua. The same year, ForeFront Records put together a compilation album titled The Early Years, that covered ten songs from her earliest releases: Rebecca St. James, GOD and Pray. Aside from music, St. James made her major character film debut in Unidentified as Colleen in 2006. In 2007, ForeFront Records took live footage and recordings from the If I Had One Chance... Tour and released a CD/DVD collection on March 20 titled aLIVE in Florida. The album features 14 live songs and an exclusive remix of "You Are Loved". The album charted at No. 43 on Billboard's Top Christian Albums Chart. At the time of the album's release, it was announced that St. James has sold over 1.8 million albums to date.
In the midst of a musical hiatus, ForeFront Records put together a two-disc compilation album titled The Ultimate Collection which was released March 11, 2008. Another compilation titled Greatest Hits was released later that year on October 28, 2008. On September 3, 2008 Rebecca released another book titled Pure: A 90-Day Devotional for the Mind, Body, & Spirit. In late 2008, St. James announced she would star as the lead role in a new film titled Sarah's Choice, which was released November 17, 2009 to DVD. The film also features a song by St. James titled "Little One". The song was released almost two years later on September 2, 2011. The film received good reviews from Christian movie critics. On April 16, 2009, St. James released a new song titled "You're Alive" to iTunes as part of an album titled Resurrection Worship: Songs of Hope. Then, in June 2009, St. James released another new song titled "Wish" to her MySpace page. Aside from music, St. James' book Loved: Stories of Forgiveness was released on September 1, 2009.
On August 19, 2009, Christian Cinema reported that St. James had wrapped up filming a new movie titled Rising Stars, which was released on October 22, 2010. On April 28, 2010, it was announced that St. James is working on another film titled Frontier Boys, and a book titled What Is He Thinking?, both to be released in 2011. It was also later announced that she will star in a film titled Suing the Devil, which was released in August 2011. In late 2008, St. James announced she was filming a new movie with Stephen Baldwin and Candace Cameron, titled Faith of Our Fathers (previously To the Wall), which has not yet been released. On October 19, 2010 Rebecca St. James released her version of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" on the album The Essential Christmas Collection. On November 18, 2010, St. James announced that she had parted ways with ForeFront Records and would be releasing a new worship album in April 2011 via Beach Street/Reunion Records. Her ninth studio album, I Will Praise You, was released on April 5, 2011. It was preceded by the single "Shine Your Glory Down", which was released to Christian radio on February 11. The album was met with positive reviews from Christian music critics and was highly successful, debuting at No.18 on Billboard's Hot Christian Albums chart and later peaking at No.9. It also peaked at No.153 on the Billboard 200, her highest charting effort after Worship God. Her ninth book, What Is He Thinking?, hit shelves on September 26, 2011.On June 16, 2011 it was announced that St. James will be starring in a new romantic comedy film titled A Strange Brand of Happy, to be released in 2013. The film revolves around a single Christian life coach Joyce who falls for an agnostic client. The movie began filming on August 15, 2011 in Cincinnati. On March 12, 2013 Rebecca announced via her Facebook page that she is currently publishing her first Christian fiction novel titled The Merciful Scar, co-authored with Nancy Rue. It will be released on September 10, 2013.
Originally from Australia, St. James currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee. Her brothers are Joel and Luke Smallbone from the band for King & Country. On January 3, 2011 she announced her engagement to Jacob Fink, a Colorado native and sometime missionary to South Africa, via her website, mailing list and social networking sites. Fink proposed on Christmas Day 2010 at St. James' family farm in Franklin. The couple were married on April 23, 2011 at the Junípero Serra Museum in San Diego, California.
Awards Include: 2000: Grammy Award for Best Rock Gospel Album – Pray 2002: GMA Dove Award for Special Event Album of the Year – Prayer of Jabez 2004: GMA Dove Award for Special Event Album of the Year – !Hero 2006: GMA Dove Award for Special Event Album of the Year – Music Inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Albums Include: 1991: Refresh My Heart 1994: Rebecca St. James 1996: God 1997: Christmas 1998: Pray 2000: Transform 2002: Worship God 2005: If I Had One Chance to Tell You Something 2011: I Will Praise You