Steven Curtis Chapman is leaving Sparrow records after 25 years and will release a new Christmas album in October on a new label.
Chapman, Christian music’s most-awarded artist, will release Joy on Oct. 16 on Reunion records, a Provident group label.
Chapman’s three previous Christmas discs have all been well received.
The Music of Christmas, released in 1995, and All I Really Want for Christmas, released in 2005, were both certified gold. Christmas is All in the Heart, a Hallmark limited edition release in 2003, sold out all 400,000 copies.
No word yet on what songs will be included on his new release. However, Chapman has been asking fans on Facebook and Twitter what song he should record that hasn’t been on his other Christmas albums. The fan consensus at this point seems to be Mary Did You Know or Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow.
In a statement, Chapman called his recording deal with Reunion/Provident a “new chapter,” while adding that he deeply values his relationships and friends at Sparrow/EMI.
“I am so grateful to the people there for their belief in me, and the amazing things God accomplished through us together these past 25 years,” he said.
Chapman, who attended Anderson University, will perform some of his new Christmas music on the 12 Gifts of Christmas Tour in November and December. Laura Story also join the tour, which will include several speakers, including Chapman’s wife Mary Beth.
The tour’s closest stop to Indiana will be Moline, Ill., on Nov. 30.
After the tour, he will record a new studio album for release in 2013.
During his 25-year career, Chapman has recorded 46 No. 1 Christian singles, received 57 Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association and been awarded five Grammys.