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One of the most successful performers in contemporary Christian music, Carman was born Carman Domenic Licciardello on January 19, 1956. "Saved" at an Andrae Crouch concert, he was later discovered by Bill Gaither, eventually founding his own ministry and recording arm. Debuting in 1982 with Some-O-Dat, he issued a series of LPs which gradually launched him to the top of CCM playlists, and between 1987 and 1989 he was named Charisma magazine's readers' choice for favorite male vocalist in three consecutive years. In 1990, Carman was also named Billboard's CCM Artist of the Year, with his LP Revival of the Land winning Album of the Year honors; he won countless awards in the years to follow, as well as a series of gold and platinum records. On August 15, 1993, in the wake of the release of his Yo! Kidz: Heroes, Stories and Songs from the Bible, Carman mounted his "Music for Peace" crusade at Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, the 50,000 ticketholders in attendance making it the largest solo Christian concert in history. He broke his own mark a year later, appearing before a crowd of 71,132 at Dallas' Texas Stadium. In 1995 he released R.I.O.T. (Righteous Invasion of Truth), accompanied by a book of the same name; Mission 3:16 followed in 1998. The double-disc hits compilation Heart of a Champion was issued two years later.