About the Artist
For King & Country, stylized as for KING & COUNTRY and formerly known as Joel & Luke as well as Austoville, is a Christian pop duo composed of Australian brothers Joel (born June 5, 1984) and Luke Smallbone (born October 22, 1986). The Nashville-based brothers’ 2012 debut record Crave has received praise, and the brothers were declared by Billboard as one of the “New Artists to Watch” for 2012. American Songwriter described them as “Australia’s answer to Coldplay”.
During high school, the brothers supplied background vocals and other supporting roles for their sister, Rebecca St. James, and various bands in concerts across America.Shortly after Luke graduated from high school, the brothers decided to explore the possibility of forming a band, and in 2007, they began performing as their own band. They began their career as “Joel & Luke”, which they later changed to “Austoville”, before settling on their current name.
In 2008, “Joel & Luke” released a six-song EP titled A Tale of Two Towns. Three of those songs (“Missing”, “Sane”, and “Love’s to Blame”) appeared on Crave with slightly different melodies and lyrics. The other three songs were “Broken Lullabies”, “Believe Me Now”, and “Something’s Gotta Give”. Love’s to Blame was co-written by St. James.
“We wanted a band name that carried more meaning. We were in the studio recording our debut record that Joel had the idea of All The King’s Men, like the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme. Our producer overheard our conversation and swung around in his chair and said, ‘What about For King & Country?’ And we all felt a sense of providence in that moment. “For King and Country” was the battle cry of English soldiers willing to lay down their lives for their king and their country. And now it has become our mission, to lay down our lives for our King and our country.”
Joel David Smallbone was born on 5 June 1984 and Luke James Smallbone was born on 22 October 1986.Both were born in Sydney, to David and Helen Smallbone, and moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1991, after their father’s job relocation. Their father was a music promoter, and Joel recalls, “going to these rock concerts, sitting on my father’s shoulders, plugging my ears…Honestly, in a lot of ways I feel like music chose me and as I grew older, I made a clear decision to fully lean into it.”The Smallbones are the younger brothers of Christian recording artist and speaker Rebecca St. James, and the brothers-in-law of Jacob Fink, former bassist for the band Foster the People. They were raised with another sister, Libby, and three other brothers, Ben, Dan, and Josh.
On 26 June 2010, Luke married Courtney Helm. Their first child, Jude James Smallbone, was born on 19 December 2012.They also have a son, Phoenix Alexander.In late 2016, Luke announced via social media that he and his wife are expecting their third child. On 7 July 2013, Joel married Moriah Peters, who is also a recording artist, in California. They now reside in Nashville, Tennessee.
The brothers are both dual citizens of Australia and the United States. They have won two GRAMMY awards and four GMA Dove Awards.