Friday, April 24, 2009

Steven Curtis Chapman: Dove Artist of the Year

"It's a hope that makes us if we could say anything as a family, a broken family, having lost our little's just, let this hope make us so bold. Jesus is coming; he can't come soon enough for me."--Steven Curtis Chapman

Steven Curtis Chapman was named Artist of the Year at the Gospel Music Association Dove Awards in Nashville last night, and in my opinion, there's no one more deserving.

It's been a tragic year for Chapman and his family, with the loss of their 5-year-old daughter Maria last May. Steven and Mary Beth have shone as examples of grace in the midst of tragedy.

They never minimized their loss or failed to acknowledge their pain and bewilderment. But they clung, visibly and openly, to the hope that Steven mentions in that quote above.

From an article on the Doves:

He (Chapman) acknowledged he likely was a sentimental favorite following the tragic death of his 5-year-old daughter, Maria, last May.

"I realize there are some unique reasons this year that I'm standing here," Chapman said during an emotional acceptance speech with his wife, Mary Beth, by his side, acknowledging the flood of support from colleagues and fans.

"We've been given an opportunity we never would have signed up for to tell about our hope . . . it's a hope that makes us bold," he said.

Chapman had performed his ballad "Cinderella," which tells the story of a father-daughter relationship through the years, a song he had written before Maria's death.

However, I don't believe Chapman won the award solely as the sentimental favorite. His talent as a musician and lyricist have never been in doubt, and the words to his songs negate the perception that all modern Christian music lyrics are shallow. In his song, "Yours," Chapman wrote from the depth of his pain:

I’ve walked the valley of death’s shadow
So deep and dark that I could barely breathe
I’ve had to let go of more than I could bear
And questioned everything that I believe
But still even here
in this great darkness
A comfort and hope come breaking through
As I can say in life or death
God, we belong to you.

And it’s all Yours God, Yours God
Everything is Yours
From the stars in the sky to the depths of the ocean floor
And it’s all Yours God, Yours God
Everything is Yours
All the greatness and power, the glory and splendor and majesty
Everything is Yours
It’s all Yours

May God bless Steven Curtis Chapman and his family.


Sherry said...

He's a talented musician and a great role model.

Randy said...

This will go against the grain of most CCM lovers. Yes, I'm deeply saddened by SCC and Mary Beth's loss. However, hasn't Steven won enough awards already? And...I'm someone who really values his music. I don't mean to come across as sardonic.

There should be a new crop of artists that should be able to contend for the award. And...again, I have the utmost respect for Chapman.

We shouldn't base the awards on a trial someone went through. I know to some I might sound cold, actually I'm not.

Case in point. Rich Mullins was always deserving of awards but didn't get his until his death! So, does that mean that an artist along with their talent has to have personal loss to win? I hope not.

For those that read this, please know that I was horrified to what happened to the Chapman family. I was also devestated when Rich Mullins passed away. I got the news from Cindy, that's how I found out.

If the same artists in whatever catagory is out there keep winning it can mean two things. One, they are better at their craft "or" Music City isn't producing enough new talent.

Again, I know Steven and Mary Beth are great examples. I just wish the playing field was more broad when it came to picking winners.

Just my humble opinion. I know not every one will agree. You can be a great role model but not win just about every year. On a personal note, I still miss Rich Mullins. He should have won awards way before his untimely passing.

LauraLee Shaw said...

I'm in tears at your tribute. As a lover of contemporary Christian music, Steven Curtis Chapman ALWAYS leads me to the throne with his giftedness. Although his awards on this earth have been numerous, I can't help but think of all the people that the Lord has brought to Himself through his music, his ministry, and his life as a believer. The most important thing of all.

Love your heart, Cindy.

Cindy Swanson said...

Again, Randy, I don't believe SCC won just because of his tragedy. I feel he is deserving on every level.

There have been, and will be, other years and other Artists of the Year. For this year, it was right that it be Steven Curtis Chapman...for ALL the reasons.

Randy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Randy said...

We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one. His newer stuff has gone the way of the "formula" that I see a trend in. Again, Cindy, Rich Mullins should have won before his death. There's a trend there. I respect your opinion. It's all subjective anyway.

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