Behind the Music
Take a Look Back at Air1's 2021 Most Beloved Worship Collectives
By Katie Clinebell
UNITED began as the youth ministry band of Sydney, Australia. Originally dubbed United Live, the group was first led by singers/songwriters Reuben Morgan and Marty Sampson. Their 1999 debut, Everyday, established their creative template: each album was recorded live at the annual October youth conference Encounterfest -- enabling contributions from a variety of church members, friends, and supporters, including the popular Christian folk chanteuse Brooke Fraser -- and released on CD and DVD early the following year. When Morgan left United Live in 2002 to mount a solo career, Joel Houston took his place, prompting the name change to UNITED.
In the years to follow, their popularity snowballed on both sides of the equator, with 2006's United We Stand emerging as the year's best-selling Christian LP at Canadian retail. All of the Above found similar success in 2007, as did 2009's a_CROSS//the_EARTH: Tear Down the Walls and its accompanying live album, Faith + Hope + Love. The CD/DVD set We're All in This Together showed up in 2011, with the double-disc Live in Miami: Welcome to the Aftermath arriving a year later.