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Influenced by the Southern rock of Lynyrd Skynyrd and other artists such as U2 and Rich Mullins, Third Day were originally formed by vocalist Mac Powell and acoustic guitarist Mark Lee. The duo added bassist Tai Anderson and drummer David Carr from another local band, and recorded some demos. Third Day's live shows gradually built them a loyal fan base, and just after lead guitarist Brad Avery joined, the band signed to Gray Dot Records. Their eponymous debut followed in 1996, with Conspiracy No. 5 appearing a year later. In 1999 Third Day returned with Time, and the next year Offerings, a collection of new and live material, came out, followed in 2003 by its companion, Offerings II: All I Have to Give. That same year, the American Music Awards tapped them with a nomination in the Favorite Contemporary Inspirational Artist category. For their fifth studio album, 2004's Wire (which was followed shortly after by Live Wire), Third Day returned to their rock & roll roots, a trend they kept up for 2005's Top Ten hit Wherever You Are, which came out in CD/DVD format the next year. After the release of the holiday album Christmas Offerings in 2006 and the compilation Chronology the following year, the band announced the departure of Avery in February 2008. Despite the loss, Third Day soldiered on, releasing Revelation in July of that year. The album was produced by Howard Benson and featured appearances by Chris Daughtry and Lacey Mosley. They followed the record up in 2010 with the late October release of Move, which found the group exploring a more rootsy, Southern rock sound. In 2012 they teamed up with veteran producer Brendan O'Brien (the Killers, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen) for their 11th studio album, Miracle. Making a dedicated return to their faith-based material, Third Day released Lead Us Back: Songs of Worship in 2015. Described by Powell as a proper worship album, the choral-heavy record featured members of his home church choir along with notable guest artists from the CCM community like Michael W. Smith, Natalie Grant, Michael Tait, and All Sons & Daughters. ~ John Bush