Faith & Fame – Breaking Down Barriers

A decade after these episodes aired I finally tracked down my two favorite episodes of Gospel Music Channel’s Faith and Fame program.

These two are of Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant.

Both legends in the contemporary Christian space and broke down doors from transitioning into pop and adult contemporary spaces.

With Amy Grant she spoke on how she was influenced by Carol King just like Michael W. Smith was influenced by Doobie Brothers and Michael McDonald.

She felt the key early on and laid the blueprint for her career was putting “the messy side of life and faith always together”.

The goal for both was writing pop songs that express their faith.

Her Age to Age record was the first Platinum record in the history of Christian Contemporary Music.

Earning a Grammy and releasing classic records.

Her 8th album Heart in Motion sold 5 million copies and spawned four top 5 adult contemporary singles.

In 1992 this project was even nominated for Album of the Year.

With Michael records like Place In This World on Go West Young Man he crossed over to Adult Contemporary circles and eventually opened up for Guns & Roses and won an American Music Award.

Recently in the hip hop world Lecrae and NF are succeeding in similar ways.

For the album Anomaly it was certified gold a year after it’s release.

This lead to Lecrae transitioning from his independent label Reach Records to signing with Columbia Records for his next release

He has won two Grammy awards in his career, one for Best Gospel Album and one for his collaboration with For King & Country.

For his latest project All Things Work Together he got criticized for compromise because of collaborating with “secular” artists like Ty Dolla $ign similar to how Amy Grant received backlash for singing a love song with Chicago’s Peter Cetera.

Rapper NF for his latest project, Perception debuted at the top of the US Billboard 200 charts.

And this month it was announced that NF will be joining Logic & Kyle on tour.

This is huge because while NF has sold out smaller venues like House of Blues this is a 33 date tour across North America.

Some may criticize this move by NF for touring with a rapper who is not Christian but most are cheering the move seeing it as an opportunity to spread positivity and God’s love to a wider demographic.

With each generation there’s new hurdles but because of the work that has been laid before by the legends it makes it easier to walk through those doors and explore new options to push the boundaries from what was expected.

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