Although dealing in heavy metal thunder, Texan alternative rock band Flyleaf hold their Christian faith central to their music with front woman Lacey Sturm confronting painful issues and offering messages of hope and inspiration since starting out in 2002. Growing up in Arlington, Florida, Sturm had a troubled upbringing but found solace in the music of Nirvana and Green Day and began playing bass and guitar. She struggled with drugs and depression until she had a life changing experience at church and decided to reject her atheist beliefs and fully embrace Christianity. Forming a band with drummer James Culpepper in Temple, Texas Sturm began pouring her experiences and emotions into her songs and, under the name Passerby, the group played hundreds of gigs across the country and independently released two EPs before landing a deal with Octone Records in 2004. They were forced to change their name to Flyleaf for legal reasons but, with a settled on a line-up featuring guitarists Sameer Bhattacharya and Jared Hartmann and bassist Pat Seals, their self-titled debut album reached platinum status and was full of raw, impassioned songs of redemption which connected powerfully with young metal, emo and Christian rock audiences. Sturm's empathy for lost outsiders helped the band stand out among a sea of thrashing alternative acts and the success of single 'All Around Me' took them to pop radio stations and a bill at the Z100 Zootoopia concert in 2008 which also featured New Kids On the Block, Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus. They hit a high point when second album 'Memento Mori' reached number eight in the US charts in 2009 and the band were polished into a massive emo-pop arena act on 'New Horizons' in 2012, but Sturm left the band soon after to spend more time with her young family. New singer Kirsten May joined for their fourth album 'Between the Stars' but they went on an indefinite hiatus in 2016, after which Sturm released an autobiography and her debut solo album 'Life Screams'.

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