Already a massive star in the Christian music world, Amy Grant became a huge crossover success story with the release of her ninth studio effort, “Heart in Motion,” in 1991.
The album reached the top 10 on the pop charts and sold some 5 million copies in the United States alone. Much of this success can be attributed to the #1 hit “Baby, Baby” and the album’s four other top 20 pop singles – “Every Heartbeat”, “That’s What Love Is For”, “I Will Remember You” and “Good for me”.
The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter is celebrating the 30th anniversary of “Heart in Motion” with a tour that will land at the City National Grove in Anaheim on October 20 and the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills on October 22.
Fans can also pick up a copy of the recently released two-disc anniversary edition of “Heart in Motion,” which includes a remastered version of the original album along with remixes and previously unreleased tracks. Visit amygrant.com for details.
I recently had the chance to chat with Grant about the milestone anniversary of his greatest business triumph.
Q: Let’s start by looking back at the days leading up to “Heart in Motion”. You were already a star in the industry, having landed several No. 1 albums on the Christian music charts. Did you have any idea that you could achieve an even higher level of business success?
A: I don’t think I was very good at seeing the big picture. I think if I have a talent, or a natural gift, it’s just that I’m so absorbed in the present moment. I had some great managers, who I’m sure were looking ahead and just trying to encourage me in different ways – probably wanting to expand the audience.
Q: And that would definitely happen with “Heart in Motion,” which turned out to be a big crossover pop hit.
A: I was just making music that I liked and felt appropriate for every chapter of life. For the “Heart in Motion” record, I had two young children at home and we had dance parties every night. It doesn’t get any more innocent fun than that. I feel like that’s really what this record captured – along with some more thoughtful songs. For me, every record is just a snapshot of a moment in life and I just try to capture it as best I can.
Q: Also, the album had so many great songs – “Every Heartbeat”, “That’s What Love Is For”, “I Will Remember You”, etc.
A: The other night I did a private show here in Nashville. The first half of the concert, I interpreted this record from top to bottom. And I had never done that.
It was a pretty exceptional song group.
It made me say, “If you ever make another record, you gotta make sure there aren’t any bad songs.” (Laughs)
I feel like these have stood the test of time.
Music. You need a song for every day. A song for the highest, a song for the lowest. Songs that celebrate faith, songs about heartbreak. Because music connects us and we need connections in all areas of life.
Q: Beyond the pop hits, name a song that’s really close to your heart in “Heart in Motion”.
A: One is a song called “Ask Me” and I wrote it about a friend of mine. We didn’t become friends until she was 20, but she had a history of childhood sexual abuse. When she finally told me her story – we were taking a long walk one day – you could have knocked me over with a feather. I just thought, “How many people walk around with that kind of story as part of their childhood?” I couldn’t get his words out of my head. I wrote this song really inspired by her and the life she had gone on to live. I felt so moved by her.
Q: How do you promote “Heart in Motion” on this concert tour?
A: I think there were 11 songs on the disc and we will do at least seven of them in the show.
Q: Most of these tour dates were originally scheduled for 2020 – before the pandemic essentially shut down the live music industry – so fans have been waiting a long time to see these shows. How was the reaction so far from the public?
A: I think people are so happy to be together and enjoy the music. Really, what brings us together are sports and the arts. I went to see Jackson Browne and James Taylor at the Nashville Arena and most of us were singing through our masks “Shower the People” and “Fire and Rain” at the top of our lungs. Like everyone else, I thought, “I missed it so much.” Just missed that kind of togetherness – because every night is unique, every crowd brings its own energy.
This kind of infinite energy that goes from the crowd to the stage, then from the stage to the crowd, it’s a beautiful thing.
Q: It certainly is.
A: He is. And that makes every night a once-in-a-lifetime (event). Every night is different – for all sorts of reasons. We are all so grateful to still be alive and making music.
Q: You appear in “The Jesus Music,” the Erwin Brothers’ fascinating new documentary tracing the rise and origins of contemporary Christian music. What are your thoughts on the film?
A: I was very moved by this documentary. I think the Erwin Brothers have done a great job of showing the beginnings of the Jesus Music movement – especially Billy Graham’s role in giving the thumbs up. It was huge.
I love the questions and the conversations that come out of it. For me, it just sparks an ongoing conversation.
If you are going to
Anaheim: 8 p.m. Oct. 20. City National Grove of Anaheim, 2200 E. Katella Ave. $31.50 to $58.50. www.citynationalgroveofanaheim.com. All participants will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of entry time. Masks are mandatory except for eating or drinking.
Beverly Hills: 7 p.m. Oct. 22. Saban Theater, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., $49-$115. wheremusicmeetsthesoul.com/saban-beverly-hills. Participants must present proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter. Masks are mandatory.