Music Friday: TobyMac Wants to Magnify Your Light Like a Perfectly Cut Diamond

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Welcome to Music Friday when we often bring you inspirational songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Christian hip-hop recording artist TobyMac collaborates with American Idol star Hollyn on “Lights Shine Bright,” an uplifting tune about making “this third rock glow” by magnifying God’s light with the brilliance and intensity that only a perfectly cut diamond could achieve.

He sings, “I wanna magnify Your light / I wanna reflect the sun / Cut like precious diamonds / With the colors by the millions.”

Written by David Garcia, Truett McKeehan and Solomon Olds, “Lights Shine Bright” appeared as the fourth track on TobyMac’s 2015 release, This Is Not a Test. The album topped out at #4 on the Billboard 200 and scored a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album in 2016.

TobyMac explained on his website that the songs on the album provide an essential reminder that “we only have one shot at life.”

“What hits me now more than ever is that you really don’t get a practice run at life,” he noted. “This is it. In my friendships, raising my children, loving my wife, loving people, performing with my band and stepping on stage at arenas, I want to make every moment count.”

“Lights Shine Bright” features the vocal stylings of Hollyn, who is best known for her successful run on American Idol during Season 12. A native of Waverly, OH, the 27-year-old, whose birth name is Holly Marie Miller, released an album in November of 2023 called Christmas Morning Magic.

Born Kevin Michael McKeehan in Fairfax, VA, in 1964, TobyMac has sold more than 16 million records and has earned seven Grammy Awards out of 18 nominations. He first came onto the Christian music scene in 1987 as a member of the vocal trio DC Talk. In 2000, the group announced a hiatus and TobyMac embarked on what has been a successful solo career during which he released nine studio albums and five remixed albums.

He is currently touring with appearances set for Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Tennessee, Washington and North Carolina.

Please check out the official video of “Lights Shine Bright.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Lights Shine Bright”
Written by David Garcia, McKeehan, Truett McKeehan and Solomon Olds. Performed by TobyMac, featuring Hollyn.

Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people to illuminate the soul
Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people, makin’ music for the people

I wanna magnify Your light
I wanna reflect the sun
Cut like precious diamonds
With the colors by the millions
This is the only world we know
And for now this rental’s our home
If we gonna be a reflection
Gotta make this third rock glow
(Just so you know…)

Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people to illuminate the soul
Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people, makin’ music for the people

Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people to illuminate the soul
Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people
Jesus music for the people

Everywhere we go
Lights shine bright, lights shine bright
Everywhere we go
Lights shine bright, lights shine bright

Lights in the city might be more than pretty, pretty
That freaky shine might be more than meets the eye
Anytime you see that sparkle in the dark you might look deeper, deeper
It might be more than simply theatre

Yo, that smile might be joy that’s connected to the spirit
The spirit might be contagious if you dare, you dare come near it
I remember, can’t forget, peace that you can’t second guess
Sparkle as the light reflects we writin’ pay it forward checks

Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people to illuminate the soul
Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people, makin’ music for the people

Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people to illuminate the soul
Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people
Jesus music for the people

Everywhere we go
Lights shine bright, lights shine bright
Everywhere we go
Lights shine bright, lights shine bright

The lights in the city shine bright
The lights in the city shine bright
So let your heart light shine tonight

Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people to illuminate the soul
Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people, makin’ music for the people

Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people to illuminate the soul
Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people
Jesus music for the people

Everywhere we go
Lights shine bright, lights shine bright
Everywhere we go
Lights shine bright, lights shine bright…

Credit: Photo by Luke Jones, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.



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