Grant sings surprise duet with long-time fan
Contemporary Christian artist Amy Grant surprised concert-goers April 2 when she asked an audience member to join her on stage in Reynolds Performance Hall.
Batesville resident Darin Martin, long-time fan of Grant’s music, was invited to sing the chorus of “There Will Never Be Another” after Grant accepted song requests from the audience.
“She has been one of my favorite artists [for] most of my life,” he said. “I always said I would meet her one day, but never [thought it would be] like this.”
Martin said Grant’s music has affected his life in a positive way.
After performing with Martin, Grant said she was impressed by his talent and that she would remember the unanticipated experience for a while to come.
“What really stood out [from the concert] was when she pulled out music from the past,” he said.
Backstage, Grant gave Martin a copy of her new yet-to-be-released album, signed the CD and took a picture with him.
“I hope everyone was as blessed as I was [from being at the Grant concert],” he said.
Martin said he was grateful to get the concert tickets from his nephew, freshman Jarred Goodman.
Grant’s new album, “How Mercy Looks From Here,” will be released May 14. It is her first full album with all-new songs in 10 years.
To preview the album, Grant performed “Don’t Try So Hard,” a song encouraging listeners to accept their flaws and embrace the idea that not everything is perfect.
Grant said it was the first time she performed the song with her four-member band on stage. The inspiration for the song came from when she met women who were stressed because of work and family, she said.
The need for connectedness and belonging were two of the themes Grant repeatedly mentioned throughout the performance. Her songs spoke about such topics as praising God, getting through tough moments and understanding the meaning of life.
Grant began the concert with an old hymn she said reminded her of Easter. The song, “Anywhere with Jesus,” introduced several Christian-themed songs.
“I love how music brings people together,” she said. “It does so creatively too.”
Junior Mary Nabholz said she enjoyed the genre of music Grant performed.
“I enjoyed seeing a Christian artist at UCA,” she said.
Nabholz said she would like to see other Christian artists such as Tenth Avenue North and Needtobreathe perform at Reynolds.
The Grammy award-winning artist performed hits such as “Baby, Baby,” “Thy Word,” “Takes a Little Time,” “Saved by Love,” and “Better Than a Hallelujah.”
“Better Than a Hallelujah,” Grant’s most recent single, was nominated for “Best Gospel Song” Grammy in 2011 and received a nomination for “Music Video of the Year” at the 42nd Gospel Music Association Dove Awards.
Throughout her music career, Grant has won six Grammy awards and has been nominated 12 times.
Grant said the inspiration for her 1991 song “Baby, Baby” came from her six-week-old daughter Millie.
Before many of the performances, Grant shared personal stories with the audience, receiving applause and laughter from such topics as a giant inflatable “Easter dragon” she purchased this Easter at her Nashville, Tenn. home.
“Nothing says Easter like an Easter dragon,” she said. “It was taller than our two-story house.”
She said the holiday is one of her favorite times of the year since she is able to see more members of her family who live in different regions of the country.
Grant closed the concert with “I Will Remember You,” a symbolic farewell song to audience members, and an encore featuring another duet with Martin.
Freshman Amy Bell said her favorite song of the night was “El Shaddai,” derived from direct quotes in scripture. The title comes from a Judaic name of God translated as “God Almighty.” About half of the chorus lyrics are in Hebrew.