HILLSONG UNITED'S EMPIRES DEBUTS AT NO. 5 ON BILLBOARD 200

HillsonUnitedAlbumCoverNASHVILLE, TENN. (June 04, 2015) – Hillsong UNITED released their highly anticipated new studio album, EMPIRES, last week to much acclaim and fan response. EMPIRES debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart, at No. 1 on the Billboard Christian albums chart and No. 2 on the Digital Albums chart. The album also remained in the Top 5 peaking at No. 2 on the iTunes overall albums during street week.

UNITED's album was named the Album of the Week from USA Today last week featuring the band and project. The publication stated that "(EMPIRES') message may be paramount to Hillsong UNITED, but the melodies are almost as important. Like Coldplay, the group has mastered the engaging melody, and not just the ones that accompany the lyrics, but the ones in the soothing guitar patterns, the ostinato synthesizer lines, the simple piano motifs." In addition to the USA Today mention, UNITED was recently featured in the May 30 issue of Billboard along with exclusively shot photos of the group in Central Park. Click here to read the feature. This week UNITED is the featured performance on NBC's Beyond A.D. with the single "Touch the Sky." Click here to watch their performance.

Leading up to the release last week, Hillsong UNITED launched EMPIRES performing to 10,000 people in New York City for a free concert at Central Park's Rumsey Playfield as well as an one-off performance at Los Angeles' Club Nokia. In April, UNITED appeared live on The Today Show performing the hit "Touch The Sky."  UNITED was also named Top Christian Artist at the recent Billboard Music Awards.

Other media outlets have praised the group and album saying:

"Part of what makes (the) message so accessible are UNITED's lyrics. The group's missive -- 'that God is love,' says Houston -- is often communicated subtly, through universal themes.” - Billboard

"The songs here -- meaty, meaningful tracks like "Even When It Hurts" -- remind us that there is much more to life than what we can see with our eyes.” - Rhapsody

"EMPIRES is a stunning display of universally relevant themes such as doubt, wonder, fear, joy, triumph and the ultimate victory of surrender." - CCM Magazine

"On EMPIRES, Hillsong UNITED continues to stretch the boundaries of worship music while experimenting and combining progressive sounds of EDM, Synth Pop and Contemporary music." - Breathecast

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ABOUT UNITED AND EMPIRES:

The release of EMPIRES follows the band's largest growth and international impact in over the last two years. With the 2013 release of ZION, UNITED's notoriety increased with their No. 1 single "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" as it became a RIAA Platinum certified single. This was the group’s first No.1 radio song, cracking the longest reign on Billboard's airplay/sales/streaming-based Hot Christian Songs chart.

In 2014 Billboard Magazine named Hillsong UNITED the top artist of the year, and the group was awarded five GMA Dove Awards, including the coveted Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for "Oceans." They were also nominated for their first American Music Award. Hillsong was included in 10 of Billboard's End of Year charts topping five of the charts: Top Christian Artists, Hot Christian Songs, Hot Christian Songs Artists, Christian Airplay Artists and Christian Digital Songs.

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. Releasing their first album in 1999, UNITED has toured six continents and more than 40 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. In addition to the Staples Center, UNITED has also sold out major venues in Seattle (ShoWare Center), New York (Radio City Music Hall – Hillsong Conference), Denver (Red Rocks Amphitheatre) and Los Angeles (Hollywood Bowl). They will embark on The Outcry Tour this summer - visit HillsongUnited.com for more information.