Sister Janet Mead, who turned the Lord’s Prayer into a ’70s rock hit, has died

(RNS) — An Australian nun whose rock model of the Lord’s Prayer at the time competed against Elvis for a Grammy, has died.

Sister Janet Mead was 84, in accordance to a report from the Australian Broadcasting Co.

Her 1973 variation of the Lord’s Prayer, showcasing distorted guitars, drums and bass, set to a rock tune that would have been at house in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” sold much more than a million copies in the United States and tens of millions additional around the globe, a 1974 profile of the then-36-12 months-previous Mead by the Sydney Morning Herald claimed

The music — which also resembled some of the early Protestant Christian rock songs — was nominated for a Grammy but in the end shed to Elvis Presley’s rendition of “How Good Thou Artwork.”

A 1975 publicity however of Sister Janet Mead. Photo courtesy of Pageant Records

The good results of the track caught Mead by shock. She once recalled that an American journalist prompt persons who experienced been freaked out by “The Exorcist” experienced run out and purchased her data — a recommendation she discovered challenging to believe that.

“But I simply cannot believe that people would go and purchase it just mainly because it is sung by a nun,” she instructed the Early morning Herald in 1974. I would hardly ever go and invest in a history just for the singer, in any case, but then the little ones do obtain David Cassidy’s data since they like him.”

A 1973 brief film, set to the tunes of Mead’s hit, exhibits the nun hanging out with youthful individuals and then singing her signature tune although backed by a youthful 4-piece band. The movie demonstrates Mead dressed in her habit and tapping her toes.  

Mead also would go on to manage Masses that featured rock audio.

“I consider that absolutely everyone has a track to sing genuinely, have not they,” she the moment advised the Australian Broadcasting Co.

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Mead, who reportedly donated all the proceeds from her strike track to charity, turned a nun at 17. She taught at a Catholic school and was recognized for her social activism on behalf of the homeless. She was at the time named Australian of the calendar year since of her charitable get the job done.

She was not the only singing nun to be a 1-hit ponder. In 1963, Dominican Sister Luc Gabrielle — acknowledged as “Soeur Sourire” or “Sister Smile”— had a pop strike with the tune “Dominique.” She would inevitably leave her Dominican purchase to go after a music profession but was hardly ever capable to recapture her original accomplishment.

Sister Janet Mead's 1983 album "Brand New World." Courtesy image

Sister Janet Mead’s 1983 album “Brand New Entire world.” Courtesy impression

In 2014, Sister Cristina Scuccia took the Italian model of the television display “The Voice” by storm. An Ursuline nun, she gained that year’s version of the television collection and, regarded as “Suor Cristina,” went on to indication a file agreement and carried out in a stage edition of the movie “Sister Act.”

Mead’s edition of the Lord’s Prayer was one of a number of hits with religious or spiritual themes in the late 1960s and early 1970s, from Jesus Christ Superstar and Spirit in the Sky to My Sweet Lord and Put Your Hand in the Hand.


Mead, who saw her 1970s musical stardom as a nuisance, claimed she grew to become intrigued in rock music as a way to join with younger people.

“I was frequently involved with youngsters by being a instructor and I arrived to realise how essential rock was to them,” she informed the Morning Herald in 1974. “I resolved to use it to carry them together in the title of God with the introduction of rock Masses to the cathedral.”

Relevant: Sister Cristina techniques into new part — performing