Amy Grant‘s plans for last year included touring and music — not heart surgery and staying home, But now that she has recovered from her operation, to fix a congenital heart defect, and is gearing up to hopefully be able to perform later this year, the gospel music superstar feels immense gratitude for everything last year unexpectedly handed her.
“What a strange year,” Grant reflects to Forbes. “We were launching into the most touring I’ve done in a decade — and then everything shut down. And then all of the new awareness of everybody stuck at home, everything that needed a lot of looking at — race relations, the political climate.
“Honestly it was the year for a lot of fixing things,” she continues. “It was a great time to recover because everybody was being very still. For all of the really hard things about this last year, there have been so many hidden gifts.”
Grant used the unexpected time at home to work on a new book, based on messages written on napkins by her mother’s first cousin, who is deceased.
“She’s the only babysitter I ever had, and she taught me my love of poetry, grammar and writing,” Grant reveals. “Her friend gave me the napkins and I photographed all of them. They’re all the things that she taught me as a kid—all this wit and wisdom. And so I’m creating a book to continue the conversation, because she passed quicker than I thought she would.”
The book, Grant admits, could also potentially turn into another album as well.
“I don’t know that I really have ever written a group of songs around stories about people,” Grant acknowledges. “That might not be my forte. But working on this conversation with a very specific person who’s now gone is bringing up a lot of elements that would make great songs. So I’m working on a book that I hope will lead to being the next record.”
Grant just celebrated the 30th anniversary of her pivotal Heart in Motion album. The record included songs like “Baby Baby,” “Every Heartbeat,” “Good for Me,” “That’s What Love Is For” and “I Will Remember You,” songs that catapulted Grant into the pop world as well.
“It feels like I could blink and I’m right back there,” Grant says. “And then it also feels like: ‘Who is that?’ I’m twice the age I was then. I enjoyed—especially during that stretch—being part of such an incredible massive team. I wasn’t even aware of how big it was, and everybody doing their part. I had young kids and I was trying to enjoy every moment.”
While Grant had no idea how much Heart in Motion would change her life and career at the time, she now sees it as one of the most pivotal moments of her entire life.
“Without a doubt, even if I had never continued singing, what I experienced was a much larger platform than I ever had,” Grant admits. “And honestly, at 60, I think about all the things that I’m able to do…that I get to be an influencer for change. What gives me that leverage is the platform that came from that record. It was that big—which is the still same music, still the same girl singing it. I think that has enabled me to continue having a voice and some kind of influence.”
Heart in Motion will be released later this year as a double-record, with bonus material.