Nine-time Grammy nominee Natalie Grant sang the National Anthem at last week's Republican presidential debate, but that doesn't mean she's making a statement about politics. Grant says it simply means she's supporting her country.
"I am patriotic," Grant told Fox News. "I like to keep politics to those who know how to do that best and talk about it best. And I love my country. I love our anthem. And it's just an honor and a privilege."
Although Christian music fans know Grant well, her profile received a boost in January 2022 when she sang the national anthem at the nationally televised College Football Playoff national championship game. Her name trended on Twitter that night, and at one point, "Natalie Grant" was the fifth-most searched item on Google.
Grant said her appearance at the first GOP debate wasn't about politics.
"This isn't about endorsing a candidate or a party," Grant said in a news release. "I simply love this country, and I love what our anthem represents. At a time when public faith in our democracy is low, I'm excited to be a part of the democratic process by doing what I do best – and that's performing. I've had the distinct privilege of singing at events for both Republicans and Democrats in the past, and this is no different. It's a privilege."
Singing the National Anthem on a big platform, she said, is difficult.
"It's so hard I think mostly because you're so nervous," she said, laughing. "You know the words [and] you're just like, 'I don't want a viral clip of me singing the words wrong.'"
Grant is set to release her next album, Seasons, in October. It includes collaborations with Cory Asbury, Tauren Wells, Dolly Parton, Jekalyn Carr and CAIN.
"Dick Clark said music is the soundtrack of our lives, but for me, it's been Jesus and Jesus music that's been the soundtrack of my life," Grant said. "And so these are just songs that have meant a lot to me."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Gabe Ginsberg/Stringer
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.