Grant, feeling creative, set for sold-out concert

May 11, 2017

Is Amy Grant ready for a later-career renaissance?

The Christian-pop singer, who had recorded sporadically for the better part of a decade, re-emerged in 2015 with a new album, “How Mercy Looks From Here.”

“I feel most settled in life, and creatively I feel like a kid again,” Grant said upon the album’s release.

That record, on which Grant invited the likes of James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, Carole King and Eric Paslay to collaborate, came at a point when Grant was ready to reassess. Her children were “launching,” as she said, but at the same time her mother recently had died.

“At some point in life, you realize that some things really matter and some things don’t,” Grant said. “Living matters. Celebrating life matters.”

And so does making music, which Grant, who performs Friday at Autumn Ridge Church in Rochester, has been doing with phenomenal success since she was in her teens.

Some of the highlights:

— Despite growing up in a religious denomination that didn’t allow musical instruments in church, Grant started taking piano lessons at age 10 and later added guitar. She began performing at devotional meetings while attending a private all-girls prep school in Nashville.

— Grant was signed to her first recording contract while still in her mid-teens and released her debut album in 1977 when she was 16 years old.

— Her early albums produced numerous hits on the Christian music charts. But it was Grant’s ability to cross over to the pop charts, with Top 40 hits, sold-out concerts and frequent videos on MTV, that made her a superstar and influenced a generation of Christian artists.

— Among Grant’s best-known songs: “El Shaddai,” “Angels,” “The Next Time I Fall” (a duet with Peter Cetera) and “Baby Baby.”

— Grant was married to songwriter Gary Chapman for 16 years before they divorced in 1999. She married country music singer Vince Gill in 2000.

— Grant has been a popular singer of Christmas songs and has released four holiday albums, including the latest, “Tennessee Christmas,” in 2016.

Grant’s concert at Autumn Ridge is billed as “An Evening of Stories and Songs,” with author Sally Lloyd-Jones. Tickets for the 1,200-seat church sold out within a week of going on sale in February.