Longtime Contemporary Christian Music artist Amy Grant has been named a 2022 Kennedy Center honoree.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine ever receiving this prestigious Kennedy Center Honors,” Grant said in a statement.
“Through the years, I’ve watched so many of my heroes serenaded by colleagues and fellow artists, always moved by the ability of music and film to bring us together and to see the best in each other,” she added.
“I cannot wait to celebrate with my fellow honorees, friends, and family. Thank you for widening the circle to include all of us,” she concluded.
Grant, whose music career spans over four decades, is part of the 45th class of honorees at the Kennedy Center, along with renowned actor and filmmaker George Clooney, singer Gladys Knight, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Tania León, and Irish rock band U2.
Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein lauded Grant in a statement, saying that she was “the first artist to bring contemporary Christian music to the forefront of American culture, then equally thrived after crossing over into mainstream pop with hit after hit, and today is revered as the ‘Queen of Christian Pop.’”
According to Religion News Service, Grant is a six-time Grammy Award winner, has sold over 30 million albums and her music has more than one billion global streams. The pop singer also has three multi-platinum, six platinum and four gold albums.
Grant was the first CCM artist to have a No. 1 hit on the pop charts with her song “Next Time I Fall,” which she performed with Peter Cetera of the band Chicago. Further, she was the first CCM artist to perform at the Grammys.
In 2021, Grant celebrated the 30th anniversary of her 1991 platinum album “Heart in Motion,” in which her hit song “Baby” further elevated her career to greater heights.
Deborah F. Rutter, the director of the Kennedy Center, told the Associated Press that Grant is the first Christian pop artist to be named an honoree.
“We’ve had gospel before. We’ve had plenty of R&B and soul. … We’ve had country music, but we haven’t necessarily had Amy Grant and Christian pop in the same way,” she said.
The 2022 honorees will be celebrated at the center’s Opera House on Dec. 4 in a star-studded Met Gala. The celebration will be broadcasted on CBS at a later date.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Jason Kempin/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.