Number 758 - Amy Grant
"I Will Remember You"
"Although Amy Grant cannot claim to have invented the Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) style of gospel music, she did the most to popularize it in the 1970s and 1980s before successfully crossing over to pop music in the '80s and early '90s. When Grant came along as a teenager in the mid-'70s, "inspirational" (i.e., white) gospel music was a tiny subgenre, its records sold almost exclusively in Christian bookstores and almost exclusively in small numbers. By the mid-'80s, when she released Unguarded, her first album to be marketed to a secular as well as a Christian audience, gospel music constituted eight percent of U.S. record sales, a higher percentage than that for jazz or classical music."
"She achieved this breakthrough for CCM and for herself by forging a pop/rock sound that matched the production values, and often aped the styles, of pop/rock, and by writing lyrics that often were ambiguous in their meaning, sounding to Christian music fans like appeals to God and to more general pop fans like love songs. She also matched the staging of rock concerts in her shows, which often played in venues more typical of secular performances than religious ones. And her music videos, which emphasized her photogenic appearance, were on a par with those of pop stars. When it occurred, her complete crossover to pop was more a slight shift of emphasis than a major change of direction. Nevertheless, it made her a controversial figure in the Christian music community of the '80s in a way similar to Bob Dylan in the folk music of the 1960s: she was both the field's biggest star and came to be viewed as something of a traitor. As her career went on, however, she managed to mend fences with traditional fans and achieve a balance of pop and Christian-oriented songs on her albums as her career became less of a full-time focus for her and her record sales declined from the heights of her pop heyday."
"Heart in Motion, her eighth new studio album, largely downplayed the serious side she had revealed on Lead Me On in favor of frothy pop/rock music. Released in March 1991, it was accompanied by an aggressive promotional campaign on the part of A&M Records. (Grant later claimed that the label was trying to make up for its recent loss of Janet Jackson to Virgin Records by creating a new female pop superstar.) That campaign, along with a music video depicting Grant and a male actor pretending to be in love, helped make "Baby Baby" (which Grant said she actually wrote about her daughter) into a number one pop hit in April, leading to Grammy nominations for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. It was followed by four more Top 40 hits, each accompanied by a music video, the first three of which also reached the Top Ten: "Every Heartbeat," "That's What Love Is For," "Good for Me," and "I Will Remember You." As a result, the album sold five million copies by the end of 1997. (The Heart in Motion Video Collection, meanwhile, went gold.) The Christian market came along, too, with Heart in Motion enjoying 32 weeks at number one on Billboard's Top Contemporary Christian Albums chart, while Christian radio found six songs it could broadcast, though it tended to prefer more thoughtful fare such as "Hope Set High" and "Ask Me" (which treated the subject of pedophilia and even asked the thorny theological question of how God could let such a condition occur). "
"On March 10, 2000, Grant married Vince Gill (Nooooooooooooo !)She gave birth to her fourth child, Corrina Grant Gill, one year and two days later. In May 2002, she released Legacy...Hymns & Faith, her first album of overtly religious music since her pop crossover, consisting largely of traditional material with several originals included. It topped Billboard's Contemporary Christian Albums chart and entered the pop chart at number 21. Grant and her producers, Gill and Brown Bannister, won the 2003 Dove Award for Inspirational Album of the Year, and Grant and Gill won the Dove for Country Recorded Song of the Year for the track "The River's Gonna Keep on Rolling" (written by Gill). Grant returned to pop music with her first secular album in six years when she released Simple Things in August 2003. The album topped Billboard's Christian Albums chart and entered the pop chart at number 23, the same number achieved by the title song on the Adult Contemporary chart. Grant seemed to sum up her hitmaking period with the release of Greatest Hits 1986-2004 and the companion DVD Greatest Videos 1986-2004 in October 2004. Soon after, she announced that she had ended her association with A&M Records, noting that she no longer fit with the label. "
For Bob Dylan see Number 929, Number 841 & #491
For Vince Gill see Number 732
Oh well, lost out to Vince Gill. I can handle that. Vince Gill is actually in "The Definitive 1000 Songs Of All Time" as well as his wife! (I wonder if any other married couples will make the chart?) Only time will tell.
What does CCM Magazine think about Amy Grant? (Since Rolling Stone say diddly squat).....
"Amy, God made marriage for people. He didn’t make people for marriage. He didn’t create this institution so He could just plug people into it. He provided this so that people could enjoy each other to the fullest" ("Judging Amy," CCM Magazine, November 1999, p. 36).
And Amy's reply? "I'm a singer, not a preacher, I'm not looking to convert anybody" says Christian rock diva Amy Grant. (Los Angeles Times, 5/4/84, pg. 2-c) Grant goes on to demonstrate her spirituality by saying, "I'm not going to say too often that I like a cold beer while watching a football game. That might bother some of my fans." (Greensville News, 5/4/94)
For a fascinating artiarticle about CCM vs Amy Grant then check this out! (And i thought Rolling Stone were over hipohypercritical)
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