Every so often the music industry is graced with a unique voice, sound, personality and image which captures all; “she has this style that can’t be put into a typical label box,” says Gotee Record’s TobyMac. Not to mention, a seasoned Christian singer-songwriter who happened to be the youngest (19 years) songwriting nominee at the GRAMMY ® Awards this year, earning a nod for Best Contemporary Christian Music Song for “Hold Me.” The list of accolades continues to grow, from blowing up Billboard charts, radio play, concert dates and not to leave out four GMA Dove Award nominations; “Song of the Year,” “New Artist of the Year,” “Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year” and “Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year.” Jamie-Grace is that girl. I think that’s called the WOW factor!
To be perfectly honest, Jamie-Grace slipped under my ‘keen ear for music radar”. Where have I been to miss this fresh new talent, under a rock or just not paying attention? Well, during the GMA artist announcement all the buzz and great anticipation was all about Jamie-Grace. My ignorance of not knowing was disguised by perusing the crowd and eavesdropping on conversations, who is Jamie-Grace? Thanks to my friend Eli Smith, Gospel Radio WYZE 1480am radio personality, for filling the gaps and bringing me up to speed. There was obvious excitement in the room when Ms. Jamie-Grace entered wearing her famous pink cowboy boots along with Pastor Montell Jordan and A.J. Styles. Yes I said Montell Jordan “This is how we do it.” After the announcement of the 2012 Dove Award nominees, for our listening pleasure Ms. Grace performed a few of her songs.
Jamie-Grace’s strong yet pleasurable effect on Christian music fans was not an overnight success it begins at a very young age, learning to play guitar, along with five other instruments. “As a PK (Preacher’s Kid) I grew up singing in church.” Her journey also came with a few obstacles which have not slowed her down. It was around the age of eight; Jamie-Grace noticed involuntary movements and sounds most commonly associated with Tourette’s. From multiple tests it has determined that she was not only suffering from Tourette’s but also Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Echolalia. It’s safe to assume this news was hard to bear as well as a list of questions to God. Over the next several years Jamie-Grace grew up and “realized not to be bitter about my situation but enjoy life.” Jamie-Grace took pains and seemingly incurable problems and turned them into the one thing she loved – singing by sharing life’s struggle through music and song, thus the birth of her debut album One Song at a Time. Now that her focus is on praising God through music and song Jamie-Grace also feels it befitting to advise others. A few words of wisdom to aspiring artist “know why you do it [your calling] and once you know you’re calling make sure to have fun doing it.” No matter if performing for twenty or two hundred thousand people, know you are doing it for the Lord.”
The crescendo of this year’s Dove Awards is only days away, April 19, 2012, Atlanta’s Fabulous Fox Theatre and Ms. Grace still don’t believe it’s true her song has been nominated as song of the year, she states “If I don’t win I wouldn’t become disappointed.” My prediction on the star-studded night, don’t be surprised to see Jamie-Grace walk across the stage with her ‘pink boots ‘accepting the famous Dove Award. In summing up this Gala Night, I have to take a few verses from her song: “I’m so grateful and thankful for all you have done Wish I could tell you in a short story or poem but, all I have is my voice and this guitar And You have my heart.”