She will put your ‘heart in motion’, it’s Amy Grant! With “Every Heartbeat”!
Amy Grant (b.1960) has been recording now for over forty years and released her first, self-titled album, at the age of 16 in 1977. Amy is one of the most popular Christian recording artists of all time with FOURTEEN number one albums on the US Christian music chart, but it wasn’t until 1985 that her music crossed over to the mainstream commercial charts and the beginning of the 1990’s that she was ‘discovered’ globally. After fifteen top ten hits including three number ones on the Christian singles chart, Amy achived her first US singles chart hit in early 1985 with “Find A Way”, the lead single from her sixth studio album, “Unguarded”.
“Unguarded” would become a million seller in America and give Amy three hits on the Adult Contemporary singles chart. Her 1988 album, “Lead Me On”, took a more rockier approach and featured the epic lead single, which also made the US singles chart. The album would go on to sell over 500,000 copies Stateside and include five other hit singles, three of which, “Saved By Love”, “1974” and “What About The Love?” would all top the Christian singles chart, the most from any one of her albums to top that chart. “Lead Me On” saw Amy produce hits from early 1988 through and into 1989, but for her next project, she took on an even more commercialised and mainstream style as she crossed over into pop music.
Amy had begun writing and recording for the album that would become “Heart In Motion” while still releasing singles from Lead Me On” in 1989. Working with songwriters and producers Michael Omartain (Whitney Houston) and Keith Thomas (Vanessa Williams) gave the album a more contemporary pop feel, particularly when the lead single, “Baby Baby” was released in early 1991. Although the faith aspect was still present, it was dumbed down in favour of happy beats and an easy to remember hook. “Baby Baby” was an instant smash and went to the very top of the singles chart. More importantly, however, the song made an impact internationally, charting top ten in over twenty countries including the UK, where it peaked at No.2, becoming her very first top 40 hit there.
“Heart In Motion” was also a global smash, shifting over five million copies in America alone and featuring a staggering SEVEN commercial single releases, the most successful of these being “Every Heartbeat” (US No.2), “That’s What Love Is For” (US No.7) and “Good For Me” (US No.8). “Heart In Motion” also featured any number of standout tracks from the haunting “Ask Me”, a song about rape, to the beautiful downtempo sounds of “How Can We See That Far?” and “I Will Remember You”. Flushed with this new found success, Amy continued this theme with her next album, “House Of Love”, in 1994. The album featured the chart hits “Lucky One”, “Say You’ll Be Mine”, Amy’s cover of “Big Yellow Taxi”, which gave her another UK top twenty hit, and the title track, performed with country music singer Vince Gill, someone who would later get to know Amy on a much more personal level!
“House Of Love” would shift over two million copies Stateside and also feature the other recording of Simon Climie (Fisher)’s 1992 song “Oh How The Years Go By”. The song was intended as the lead single from Climie’s debut solo album in 1992 but flopped. Amy Grant picked it up and recorded it for the “House Of Love” album and while it was not released commercially, none other than Vanessa Williams would record her version in 1997 and take it into the charts. In my opinion, there isn’t a definitive version as both Grant’s and Williams’ versions are magical and completely amazing. Amy released her tenth studio album, “Behind The Eyes”, in 1997, which featured the chart hits “Takes A Little Time”, “Like I Love You” and “I Will Be Your Friend”, while the album went on to be Gold certified in America. While Amy’s music career was at its peak in the 1990’s, the same could not be said for her marriage to musician Gary Chapman, who had been one of the driving forces behind her earlier successes, not least her Grammy nominated album “My Fathers Eyes” in 1979.
Amy married Chapman in 1982 and had three children together, but after seventeen years the marriage ended in divorce in 1999. Maybe Amy’s earlier collaboration with Gill had something to do with that as twelve months later, she and Vince married. Amy gave birth to their daughter Corinna the following year. While the best years musically had now passed, Grant has continued to release albums in the 21st century, her first, “Legacy…Hymns and Faith” in 2002 was another Gold certified album while her most recent, “How Mercy Looks From Here” in 2013, was her highest charting since “Behind The Eyes”. Amy has also released numerous Christmas albums and best of’s which have kept her in the charts and helped her sell over thirty million albums worldwide. Amy was due to tour this year (2020) but those dates have now been rescheduled for early 2021, this will also allow her to recover from the heart surgery to repair partial anomalous pulmonary venous return Amy underwent in June 2020. We wish you a speedy recovery Amy.
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