Five-time Grammy winner and Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman says he doesn’t see himself ever retiring and is enjoying making music now more than ever, declaring there is “great joy” in watching his songs impact people of all generations.
Chapman earlier this year celebrated his 50th No. 1 song with Don’t Lose Heart and recently performed a two-hour concert with a full orchestra commemorating the occasion.
That concert will be televised on TBN on Nov. 24 at 8 p.m. Eastern as part of a special, Steven Curtis Chapman: Celebrating 50 No. 1 Songs. It was performed with the Nashville Recording Orchestra.
“The idea that I'd ever put my guitar in the case for the last time and go, ‘Well, you know, I'm retired,’ -- I can't imagine that,” Chapman told Christian Headlines.
Asked if he will be singing at age 95, Chapman -- who recently turned 60 -- responded affirmatively while laughing, “George Beverly Shea rocked it out right to the end.” Shea died in 2013 at the age of 104 and was best known for his performances at Billy Graham events.
“I genuinely can't think of a time that I've ever enjoyed more, singing the songs, the new music, the older songs,” he said. “... I still love it so much.”
Such longevity and success is rare in music, much less in the Christian industry. His first No. 1 song, His Eyes, was released more than three decades ago, in 1988. He followed that up with hits such as I Will Be Here (1989), The Great Adventure (1993), Dive (1999) and Do Everything (2011).
There is, he said, “great joy” in seeing how God has used his music. At concerts, he said, “You see the tears, you see the smiles, you see life lived together, you know that these songs have been a part of their journey.”
“And that's just such a cool thing that I get to experience now that I didn't experience when I first did that song,” he said. During performances of I Will Be Here, he said, “You see couples holding hands, going, ‘We've battled and struggled, and you know, this song is our story.’”
Meanwhile, Chapman said he enjoys playing with orchestras, which he describes as “kind of the sound of heaven.”
“When you get all those instruments playing together, it creates some kind of emotion and feeling and sound that you can't create any other way,” he said. “And I love that so much. It's why I've incorporated it in my music over the years, wherever I could.”
Photo Courtesy: ©Getty Images/Jason Kempin/Staff
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.
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