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The TOP 30 Catholic Music Artists of 2017

Cecilia Awards 2017 Poster


Cecilia Team - published on 11/22/17

Fan favorites from around the world on the feast of St. Cecilia

It was two years ago today that Aleteia’s Cecilia Music began our unprecedented mission to promote international Catholic recording artists and music that is good, true, and beautiful. Today, on the feast day of our namesake St. Cecilia, we are celebrating the 2nd edition of the CECILIA CATHOLIC MUSIC AWARDS.

2016 and 2017 have been strong years for Catholic music. Artists all over the world have been producing wonderful tracks that revel in the faith and explore the Catholic experience. Their languages and musical styles may vary, but their drive to create beautiful melodies and devise lyrics that inspire the soul is the same.

Download the poster with the TOP 30 Catholic artists of 2017!

We are now presenting our readers with the best-of-the-best Catholic musical acts, in no particular order, from all over the world. Here are the artists who have been most appreciated by readers from all 7 Aleteia editions.

Be sure to make your way to the end of our TOP 30 to discover what your favorite artists have “won” from Cecilia Music.


Matt Maher – Canada

Matt Maher is one of the biggest names in Catholic music. A prolific writer, Maher has released six albums in the last nine years and received five Grammy Award nominations. “Your Love Defends Me” was released on his 2017 album, Echoes, and co-written with Hanna Kerr.

Audrey Assad – USA

Audrey’s music resonates with so many because of her raw openness and honesty in everything she is facing: doubt, fear, depression. She often tells her audience that she writes her songs to preach to herself, knowing she needs it the most. “Deliverer” is the first single from her upcoming album, Evergreen, set to release February 23, 2018.

Renewal in Motion (RIM) – USA

The Fransican Friars of the Renewal started Renewal in Motion and began producing some of the nicest Catholic music you can find. Despite their vow of poverty they have been able to produce their media with the most cutting-edge technology available, thanks to the generosity of Spirit Juice studios, who produce their works. This video features Father Tansi on lead vocals, and was shot in one take.

Les Guetteurs – France

Les Guetteurs (The Watchers) are a French based Reggae band which incorporates themes of Catholic mysticism in their music. They draw inspiration from Bob Marley, Grounding, and Steel Pulse. In November they released their second full length album titled, Tattooed. As they say on their Facebook page they just want “to bring the message of the faith.” The lead singer is just 22 years-old.

Siervas – Peru

The group Siervas is now comprised of 11 nuns from Argentina, China, the Philippines, Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Japan. They came to the community responding to God’s call to serve their brothers and sisters, especially those who suffer the most, those who are most fragile, the sick, the poor, and the needy.

Alanna Boudreau – USA

Alanna makes some of the most introspective Catholic music. As an intellectual, she puts extreme thought into her music and often explores the experience of living as a Catholic woman. Alanna loves Finnish folk art, the writings of Josef Pieper, and Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album. She finds inspiration in the likes of Tolkien, Hans Urs Von Balthasar, Lewis, von Hildebrand, Wojtyla, and Tolstoy, just to name a few.

Michael Patrick Kelly – Germany

Michael Patrick Kelly has been on stage since he was 10 days-old. Born into the successful band The Kelly Family, Michael’s career has spanned his whole life. He released a new album this year called iD, which was incredibly successful in Germany.

Agnieszki Musiał – Poland.

Aga had been in the music industry for a while as the lead singer of several bands before she launched her solo career. He first solo album, Blessed, was well received by critics and made a big splash in Poland. Her music celebrates femininity as a reflection of God’s beauty.

Chris Bray – Canada

Chris Bray burst onto the music scene when his first release, The Worship Album, found two of its songs at the top of the Canadian Christian radio charts, in 2009. This year, he released “In the Name” on the album Joy in my Heart. The tune’s pop style and catchy guitar riff will keep playing in your head all day.

Camila Holanda – Brazil

Camila Holanda was born in João Pessoa, Brazil, in 1999. She inherited a devotion to Our Lady from her grandmother and matured surrounded by an environment rich in faith. She released her first full length album, Te imitarei (I will imitate you), in 2017 with Sony Music. Her latest music video appeared on Pope Francis’ Brazilian Facebook page and recorded 1 million views in just 2 weeks.

Dana Catherine – USA

We expect great things from Dana Catherine. This young woman is adept at writing catchy hooks and her sultry voice is flexible and charming. “My Savior in Me” was released off her debut album, Glorious Horizons. She wrote this song on the way home from Holy Hour.

Canto Católico – Chile

Canto Católico is a Spanish Catholic foundation which seeks to “proclaim the Gospel of Christ to the faithful men of good will through the rescue, renewal, and promotion of Catholic music.” This internet community is comprised of amateurs and professional specialists. They publish new Catholic recordings weekly.

The Sun – Italy

The Sun is an Italian rock band which evolved from the indy Punk Rock band, The Sun Eats Hours. They changed their name after the band almost broke apart due to artistic differences and litigation. Now they perform “Solar Rock” which is lighter than the Punk genre. They have always incorporated Catholic elements and themes into their music. They make it clear that they are open, practicing Catholics.

Glorious – France

Glorious was started by three brothers, after the World Youth Day in France. They have released 8 albums and have sold more than 100,000 worldwide. Since 2010, they started the “Lyon Center” project: once a month they perform at a church function for the public. They have played for thousands in the last 7 years.

Alba Pantaleón – Dominican Republic

When Alba was 15 she discerned a religious vocation with the Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus congregation of nuns. It was there she discovered her talent as a singer and learned the guitar. At 18, she decided to experience lay-life and not long after she met her husband, with whom she has two children. Now she is an educator and coordinator of the Ministry of Animation and Music of the Archdiocesan team of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

Veronica Sanfilippo – Argentina

Veronica started out singing at her school’s Masses. After one Mass a teacher guided her to realize that her voice was a gift from God, one which she became determined to share with the world. She started performing at Catholic functions, where fellow Catholic artist Athenas discovered her and helped Veronica record her first album.

Athenas – Argentina

Argentinian sensation Athenas Venica realized her desire to be a Catholic singer when she was 15 years-old. She was discovered by producer Jonathan Narvaez, who helped her record her own songs and videos. She became so popular that she was invited to sing for Pope Francis during World Youth Day, 2013.

Marília Mello – Brazil

Marília’s musical style runs from ballad to pop, and leads to worship, praise, and prayer. It is her intention to awaken one’s desire to have a personal experience with God through music. She has stood out on the national scene as one of the great revelations of Brazilian Catholic Music.

Father Rob Galea – Malta

Father Rob Galea is a Catholic priest who is producing some of the hippest Christian music available, bar none. His tunes are so catchy we wouldn’t be surprised to hear them on a secular radio station.

He completed his seminary studies in Melbourne in 2010. Together with Bishop Joe Grech, he founded “Stronger Youth”, which organizes spiritual retreats and rallies for young people. Currently, Father Rob Galea and his team meet with some 200,000 young people each year.

Cimorelli – USA

Cimorelli is a unique band comprised of 6 sisters who write and sing their songs together. They got their start singing covers on YouTube, but grew a large enough following to start releasing records. “Alive” is the title track from their second full album.

Mathias Michael – USA

Mathias is relatively new to the music scene. He expanded his EP, Amplified, into a full length debut album at the end of 2016. This young artist finds inspiration while running, and fishing on the Susquehanna River. Here, he collaborated with Dana Catherine. These are two of the youngest Catholic musicians on the scene, giving you a taste of what’s to come.

Ana Gabriela – Brazil

Ana Gabriela is a pop musician out of Brazil. Her music is ultra-trendy, utilizing all kinds of effects to create pop-styled music that is fun to dance to. She is one of the most modern of the religious musicians and creates a sound that can easily draw a secular audience. This makes her music an invaluable tool for evangelization.

Juan Grullon “El Centinela” – Dominican Republic

Juan Grullon is nicknamed “The Sentinel”. Currently living in the Bronx, NY, Juan makes Spanish Catholic music. His themes are reverent while his music videos are sweet and spiritual. He is quite adept at writing a catchy melody.

Celinés – Dominican Republic

Celinés is a Catholic singer with a magnetic faith. Following a spiritual retreat where she experienced the power of Christ’s love, Celinés decided to offer her life and her voice in service to the Lord. Today, she is a full-time Catholic missionary who brings the Word of God to the world through her music.

La Voz del Desierto – Spain

La Voz del Desierto is a musical group from the diocese of Alcalá de Henares, Spain. Three of the band’s members are Catholic priests. They have performed in Spain, Portugal, and the United States. The band appeared in the documentary The Last Summit, based on the life of Madrid priest Pablo Domínguez Prieto, who died in a 2009 accident at the top of Mount Moncayo.

Jonatan Narvaez – Argentina

Jonatan Narvaez is a producer from Argentina who helps many Catholic artists get off the ground. He was responsible for discovering Athenas, as well as Veronica Sanfilippo. He is an accomplished guitarist and lends his talent to many of the tracks he produces, as seen above, where he accompanies Sanfilippo. Jonatan’s YouTube page has more than 100,000 subscribers.

Alfareros – Dominican Republic

Alfareros came together in 1995 with the dream of making evangelizing music through innovative musical elements. Nearly 25 years later, they have performed all over the Dominican Republic, Latin America, and the United States.

The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia – USA

Nashville Dominicans - Fair Use

Also known as the “Nashville Dominicans, The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia are a group of teaching nuns who record sacred music in their free time. This “Salve Regina” is from their second album, 800 Years of Gospel Mercy, which they released in 2016 in honor of both the Jubilee Year of Mercy, and the 800 year-anniversary of the Dominican order. You can listen to all their music free of charge on their website.

Aline Venturi – Brazil

Aline Venturi has been on a mission to “bring to the public a beautiful message of full trust in God and His Love” for 20 years. Even though she is a full-time mom, she found the time to release 3 independent albums: My Steps (2003), Well Near (2006), and Flourished (2013). All of her albums have met with critical success and put her among the great Catholic singers and composers of Brazil.

Jimmy Mitchell – USA

Jimmy is a pianist and speaker from Nashville, who believes that beauty will change the world. He’s the founder and chief curator of Love Good, a media discovery platform and crowdfunding initiative that accompanies young people and artists who are transforming culture with beauty. He frequently travels the world with the mission of helping others fall in love with God, and realize their capacity for holiness.

Bravo to all of these hard-working artists, who have put so much of themselves and their faith into their craft. It is no small or easy thing to expose your soul or, sometimes, the shadows we experience within the light, and so we are grateful for those who do.

Cecilia Music started two years ago as a special project from Aleteia and is still young, but we’re growing. For now, though, the awards we offer are modest: they are our prayers. But we are all believers, so we know that this is a small prize of great power and potential! Today, the 22nd of November 2017, we will be praying for each one of these artists, for their professional and personal intentions, at the Basilica of St. Cecilia, Patron of Musicians, in Rome.

Happy feast day of St. Cecilia to all!


Cecilia Music

You can download a lower resolution poster here.

poster Cecilia medium

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