The Gospel Music Association (GMA) announced the induction of Amy Grant into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. The Blind Boys of Alabama and Pat Boone will join Grant as inductees and will be honored during the 34th Annual Dove Awards on April 10, 2003 in Nashville.
The Gospel Music Hall of Fame was established in 1971 and has inducted 122 members since its inception, including Elvis Presley, Mahalia Jackson, Andrae Crouch, Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Oak Ridge Boys, Petra, Bill and Gloria Gaither, the Rambos, Thomas A. Dorsey, the Fairfield Four, Billy Graham and the Jordanaires. Selection into the Hall of Fame is made by approximately 300 members of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame electorate, who each have at least 10 years experience in the gospel music field.
Amy Grant was born in 1960 in Augusta, Ga., and grew up in Nashville. She used to play guitar in her high school and in her church. Amy's Sunday night performances at a local church were legendary in Nashville. Her discovery by the music industry is like a piece of fairy tales. Working at a local studio sweeping floors, a tape that she had made for her family was overheard by an executive in Nashville. Soon after, Grant was signed at the age of 17 to Word Records and quickly became the label's premiere artist and one who has been credited with paving the path for contemporary Christian music. With 17 albums, 24 million records sold, 20 Dove Awards, five Grammy's and numerous other music awards to her credit, Grant is not only the most successful contemporary Christian music artist in history but she is also the industry's most prominent ambassador for music of faith. It was her 1982 album Age To Age, that proved to the world there was room for faith and gospel in pop, becoming the first Christian music artist to reach Platinum status. She received a Grammy for Best Contemporary Album in 1983 and followed it up with more Platinum records: Straight Ahead, Unguarded, The Collection and Lead Me On. Heart In Motion in 1991 produced "Baby, Baby," the single that introduced her to the rest of the music world and became the first of her three multi-Platinum recordings and made her the first "Christian" musician to hit the number one spot on the Billboard charts. Among her other landmarks, Lead Me On was named by CCM Communications as the greatest album in Christian music, while four other of her albums also landed in the 2001 book Top 100 Greatest Albums In Christian Music. Her song "El Shaddai," was recently named by the Recording Industry Association of America as one of the "Songs of the Century," and Grant is the only gospel artist to be honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Grant is married to country music artist Vince Gill and has four children.
"I am moved by the GMA's invitation to be a part of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame," said Grant. "Being a part of the Hall of Fame feels like a handing down to the next generation, a celebration of roots. Being part of the root system of Christian music is something of which I am very proud. I've had the opportunity in my career to sing a lot of different kinds of songs, but without exception the songs that have made a difference, the songs that have caused people to write me letters, to come up to me after concerts, are those that have eternal significance, my songs of faith."
By Angela Lee