OneRepublic Lead Singer Chose Secular Instead of Christian Industry

Ryan Tedder, the lead singer of the popular song, “Apologize,” is a professing Christian with an incredibly diverse music talent. His rock band, One Republic from Colarado, continues to have mainstream success spawned by the release of their first album Dreaming Out Loud.

Tedder’s Story

“I don’t like weirld attention,” said Tedder. ” I don’t drive flashy cars, [and] I don’t wear clothes that draw attention to myself.”

According to Tedder, he was raised in a Pentacost home which plays a key role in his songs. In fact, Houston Chronicle conducted a Q&A interview with him after he became popular in 2008. He was asked about his faith and music. Tedder responded by saying he grew up in the church and was even offered a Christian recording deal early on.

However, Tedder refused the deal based on two personal conclusions. One, he didn’t feel the need to tour around churches to get his music out. Second, he felt the time spent in the South with other “popular” Christian artists changed his mind about the industry.

“I saw some stuff in Nashville that turned my stomach,” Tedder said. “Some of the most pretentious, insecure people I ever met were Christian recording artists.”

Why the Name OneRepublic?

A year after the release of OneRepublic’s debut album, Voice of America conducted a video interview on Youtube with Tedder. The lead singer said that he wanted to pick a name that would be strong and unifying.

His group members tried to put together a name, and one day somebody told them republic meant a group of people brought together for a common cause, united for the same goal. Tedder thought republic was a great name, thus “OneRepublic” was established.

Beyond the Business

Despite turning down the Christian music industry, Tedder has since achieve muched recognition in mainstream music even earning a certified gold album. OneRepublic will always remember their humble beginnings on MySpace, which may not seem like the ideal gateway into mainstream, but it did give Tedder and his band an opportunity to shine.

Today, he is one of the most well-respected song writers, producers and singers in the entertainment industry. Most of his songs are uncomparable to other songs on mainstream radio. He has made an impact with the skills that God has given him without having to be labeled as a “Christian artist.”

“If you don’t have the passion forget it,” says Tedder. “I know a handful of artist who are in it for the business, and there good at it and made millions of dollars, but to me it’s not worth it.”

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Posted on April 26, 2011, in Faith, Feature, Music. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. This site really has all the information I wanted
    concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  2. Hmm, figured as much, I think there’s another reason too. His songs are very much based on who he is as a person. I think that for him to have taken the path that he did was a pretty good decision. Being labelled as a Christian artist is binding in that every song needs to have a certain Christian message about it. But sometimes, maybe an artist just wants to sing or write about something else. Look at King David. He was a God-loving man, but he had his woes, he had his struggles and he recorded a substantial amount in song. Personally, I feel that those words and songs are in the bible so as to justify being able to write a song that a huge church might not want to play.

    Furthermore, he’s being honest about why he didn’t want to be in the Christian industry. He saw an industry that simply wasn’t honest with itself. He saw pressures, and he saw un-Godly influence. He didn’t mention names, and he didn’t mention actions. He just said he didn’t it was right for him given what he experienced, and I think we can all respect that. Also, He’s super popular and he’s Christian, think about all the opportunities for evangelism! Its yet another common topic through which we can share the gospel!! I love it.

  3. I thought christian music was a lead to praise the lord, strip everything else away and that is and should be the main objective!!

  4. How Laodicean of You Tedder.

  5. Matt, what Tedder said had nothing to do with his spirituality. He was stating how lots of big time christian singers and bands have a knack for being very insecurely cocky and stuck up. He doesn’t need to repeat the name of Jesus in each song to know that his talent is gifted by God. In my own personal experience, my father was a pastor in one of the largest churches in North America and we hosted multiple christian artists for live concerts throughout the year. Many were sincere and a joy to be around, but some of the biggest christian singers that are so well-known were beyond rude and arrogant. There’s NO Godliness in self-indulgent pride. None. And in my honest opinion, it’s what’s tearing the christian world apart. Christian singers will often take the quick route to get a contract and gain some easy fame through signing with a christian label. It happens, a lot. Good for the people who wish to steer away from that lifestyle and live in a world in a pure manner without the judgment and constant big brother watching over your shoulder. Lots of christians are taking this ”non christian band, but christians in the band” route and it’s splendid IF done for the right cause.

    Proof enough to me that Ryan is being two-faced about this is that you never see him trying to pierce his way into some talk show. Nor do you see him making the front page of anything, really.

    God Bless you Ryan.

  6. You might have to ask Tedder that question. But I don’t think it’s critical. I think he made an assessment based of his own experience and now he’s making a difference. Besides I think a better question would be what does it mean to “be in the world but not of it?”

  7. Tedder is critical. It seems he would rather be a friend of the world. To be a friend of the world is to be an enemy of God.
    Two things necessary: Love God and love your neighbor.
    Where does Tedder fit in?

  8. Sean,

    1.Church should be united in love and proclaiming “amazing grace” (We are one in Christ)
    2.Chrisitainity can become binding if it centers on traditions of men rather then Spirit of God and His Word (believers are free in Christ)
    3.I’m all for it, sing your heart out Tedder! But remain humble.

  9. i think tedder chose a less christian industry because A churchs arent a way to get the word out of an amazing bound
    B its binding to be christian dont lie about it
    C-he can choose the way he wants to F’in sing he and the band went through alot to get where they are and if it werent for a lot of luck,passion and skill,(and timberland)they wouldnt be in the AT40 and it may have never been and there would be several several more dead people

  10. I think the main thing Ryan was concerned about in Nashville was wordly atmosphere in the church. Obviously, he did not want to tour churches as a way to boost his career or a way to gain money. The House of God is suppose to be a house of prayer for all nations, not a business. You are right though that there aren’t perfect Christians. That would be silly to seek a perfect Christian or perfect church. However, God does have high expectations for the body of Christ. The church will surely be judged first (1 Peter 4:17), and if we aren’t seeking first His Kingdom and His righteouesness then we need to prioritize our obligations once again and start walking in Christ for His glory.

  11. I wish Tedder had just left it at something like “some people are called to lead the body of Christ in worship and reach them within the Church, and others are called to more of a missional ministry to those outside the body of Christ”. Some of the apostles were called to stay within Israel, but other like Paul were called out to those unfamiliar with this new/different message of hope & understanding of God. Doesn’t make one job better than the rest – just a different.

    But the reasons he gave comes off like Tedder has a general misunderstanding of people at best, or at worst – the gospel itself. Is he saying Christian musicians are more hypocritical so we wants to be around people who are less so?

    From my experience in life, anyone is a hypocrite if I get to know them well enough, unless they don’t openly stand for anything. And that’s fine – because I am too. That’s where the love of Christ comes in. What good is it to love only people we agree with, respect, or find no (or less) fault in?

    I have yet to meet a 100% person who is consistent with their beliefs and trying to put people somewhere on a rating scale… if we believe God’s word then that would be a serious error in judgement.

    Anyway, comes off as a bit bitter and bit more up on a high horse. Hopefully Tedder’s heart is softened a bit toward whatever/whoever he experienced in Nashville.

  12. Thanks, yes he’s in the industry for the music not just the money.

  13. The whole tab page was very captivating. Keep up the good work. It seems like Ryan is interested in music not the whole business. Good for him.

  14. Tedder’s success is a result of his dislike of Christian hyprocrisy.
    I am glad for Tedder that he did not feel compromising
    was necessary for him to make it in the music field.

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