Growing up in Kentucky – and long before her music was played on the radio – Cracker Barrel was a staple for Christian singer Anne Wilson.
So to have her new CD My Jesus sold in Cracker Barrels is a little surreal for Wilson – so much so that she highlighted it recently on her social media platforms.
"I went to Cracker Barrel all the time," a smiling Wilson told Christian Headlines this week before the K-Love Fan Awards in Nashville, Tenn.
Wilson, 20, is up for three K-Love Fan Awards this week: Female Artist of the Year, Song of the Year (My Jesus) and Breakout Single (My Jesus). The awards will be broadcast on TBN Friday at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Eastern.
The album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Christian Albums chart in May. The title track was inspired by the death of her older brother, Jacob, in 2017.
"This was written after losing my brother in a car accident five years ago," she told Christian Headlines. "I remember journaling for the first time after he passed away. I would just write down every day that God got me through another day. And I wanted to prove to myself that I would survive this tragedy."
About two and a half years later, Wilson began writing a song based on what she had written in the journal.
"I started going back through my journals, and I realized that I had never referred to God as any other name other than 'My Jesus,'" she said. "Honestly, from there on, it was just God opening doors."
She co-wrote the song My Jesus with Matthew West and Jeff Pardo.
Wilson says she enjoys partnering with other musicians to write music. Her songs, she says, often begin with a title or a concept before she and other songwriters develop it.
Closer to God, another song on the CD, is also a tune that's close to her heart, she said.
"It's one of my favorite songs I've ever been a part of," she said. "And it just talks about growing closer to God. I think it's really special."
"I love getting to lead people to Jesus and getting his name out there," she said.
Photo courtesy: ©Anne Wilson, used with permission
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.