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Christmas with Amy Grant

Amy Grant

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Sometimes we're so busy moving ahead it's hard to stop and look back, but if there's anything Amy Grant has learned over the course of her multi-platinum career, it's that -- sometimes -- reflection can be as important to the creative process as invention. It's her penchant for simultaneously celebrating the past while forging ahead that make this period unique in her career, and it's what fuels her two most recent releases: "The Christmas Collection" and the special 20th-anniversary re-issue of her landmark album "Lead Me On".

"I was so inspired looking back. It really has energized me for the next season of my life spiritually and creatively," says Grant, a music industry icon who has sold over 25 million albums and earned six Grammy and 23 Dove Awards.

For many families, Grant's Christmas music has become part of the soundtrack of their lives, having sold over 6 million Christmas albums alone. Her first Christmas project, 1983's "A Christmas Album", has been certified platinum. Her second holiday effort, 1992's "Home for Christmas", has been certified triple platinum and 1999's "A Christmas to Remember" has been certified gold by the RIAA.

In assembling "The Christmas Collection", Grant culled her favorite songs from her three previous holiday albums and added four new recordings -- two are covers of longtime favorites and two are brand-new Christmas tunes. "I don't very often listen to my old stuff, but I sat down one night and I just went through each of those three earlier Christmas records and I picked songs that were favorite moments for me. There were the obvious choices like 'Tennessee Christmas' and 'Breath of Heaven,' but I also wanted to include some that artistically meant a lot to me."

There are also new covers of such perennial favorites as "Jingle Bells" and "Count Your Blessings" and two brand-new tunes. Grant wrote one of the new songs, "I Need a Silent Night," an instant Christmas classic people will find easily relatable, with Chris Eaton, who co-penned "Breath of Heaven" with her. She and her husband, Vince Gill, also wrote a new song for "The Christmas Collection".

"Vince is constantly playing music around the house and was noodling with some music, which happened to coincide with us trying to find new songs for the new Christmas record," she says. "We wrote that over a cup of coffee one morning and it's a very romantic Christmas song. I don't think anybody really thinks about Christmas Eve as being the most romantic time, especially if you have children because you are exhausted, but if you could have a time like this, what would it be like? We tried to write a song that would bring that to life."

In addition to sharing her new Christmas music during a holiday tour, Grant will also be on the road this fall reviving the music from "Lead Me On", the legendary 1988 project that remains one of the most influential albums ever recorded in Christian music.

-- The Media Collective

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