Grammy Award-winning Christian and pop music artist Amy Grant began her Wednesday morning intent on being a blessing to someone else.
“I pray, ‘Lord, lead me today to those I need and to the ones who need me. And let something I do have eternal significance,’” she said while brushing her teeth. She then reached for four bills and stuffed them into her pocket.
A few hours later before an audience of more than 1,100 Belmont students, staff, faculty and administrators, she shared $200 with two students, one whose birthday is Aug. 29 and another whose mother shares the birthdate.
At the University’s first chapel convocation of the new academic year, the lesson Grant sought to share was one of selflessness.
“Sinful behavior keeps us from talking to God. The root of who we are is self-serving, and you learn in the course of life that life is more exciting if you beat that thing down to a nub in the corner,” Grant said.
During her 30 minutes on stage in the Massey Performing Arts Center, Grant recited original poetry, told stories from her childhood, admitted how Dr. Phil made her feel “pompous and arrogant” for not being punctual and crooned acoustic renditions of Psalm 46:10 and John 6. She told students she puts Scripture to music to memorize Bible verses.
“When I think about all of the talents and lives represented in the room and how we are all different, if we all believe in Jesus, that will be enough to let our lives shine,” she said, giving words of encouragement for Belmont’s aspiring artists. “I hope my music selections [today] have helped someone here in music understand that someone who makes average music can make a decent living.”
Preceeding convocation, Grant signed autographs and took pictures with Belmont students, including members of her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta.
Grant has sold more than 30 million albums, won six Grammy Awards and 25 Dove Awards and had 17 Top-40 songs as well as a string of Contemporary Christian hits. She has been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and received Belmont’s Applause Award. Grant and her husband Vince Gill are long-time friends of Belmont University. The University recognized Gill with an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in 2011.