Steven Curtis Chapman (born November 21, 1962) is an American Christian music singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, author, and social activist.
After starting his career in the late 1980s as a songwriter and performer of contemporary Christian music, Chapman has since been recognized as one of the most prolific singers in the genre, releasing over 20 albums. Chapman has also won five Grammy awards and 58 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, more than any other artist in history. His seven "Artist of the Year" Dove Awards, his latest in 2009, are also an industry record. As of 2014, Chapman has sold more than 10 million albums and has 10 RIAA-certified Gold or Platinum albums.
Chapman is also a vocal advocate for adoption, along with his wife Mary Beth. Together, they have started a charity organization called Show Hope (formerly called Shaohannah's Hope), that mobilizes individuals and communities to care for orphans through its international orphan care work as well as adoption aid grants to help put more orphans from overseas and the U.S. in loving families. In 2009, Show Hope finished building Maria's Big House of Hope, a medical care center in China that provides holistic care to orphans with special needs. He is also a contributor to Compassionart, a charity founded by Martin Smith of British Christian band Delirious?.
Chapman was recognized in the Fall 2010 issue of Wood & Steel discussing the new Taylor 714 Signature Series guitar in honor of his youngest daughter Maria Sue. The guitar features the flower from Maria's picture and the word "SEE" on the 12th fret in Maria's handwriting. In 2003, Chapman starred in the Christian film Christmas Child.
Steven Curtis Chapman was born to Judy and Herb Chapman in Paducah, Kentucky, on November 21, 1962. Chapman's father is a guitar teacher in Paducah, and young Steven and Herb Jr. grew up playing the guitar and singing.
Upon finishing high school, Chapman enrolled as a pre-med student at Georgetown College in Kentucky. After a couple of semesters he transferred to Anderson College in Indiana. However, he soon dropped out and went to Nashville to pursue a career in music. While in Nashville he briefly attended Belmont University. He began working a music show at Opryland USA while dedicating time to songwriting.
In the 1980s, Chapman wrote a song called "Built to Last", which was recorded by prominent gospel group The Imperials. The strength of the song prompted him to be signed to a songwriting deal with Sparrow Records, where he rose to prominence. As of 2007, artists like Sandi Patty, Billy Dean, Glen Campbell, the Cathedral Quartet and Roger Whittaker have recorded Chapman's songs.
In 1987, Chapman released his first album, First Hand. The album included the song "Weak Days", which peaked at No. 2 on the Contemporary Christian Music chart. In 1988, he followed with his second album, Real Life Conversations, which earned him four more hits, including the No. 1 song "His Eyes". The song, which was co-written by James Isaac Elliott, earned the Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year award from the Gospel Music Association in 1989. That year, he also won a GMA Award for Best Songwriter of the Year.
After that, Chapman followed with more albums like More to This Life and For the Sake of the Call. All of these albums featured several No. 1 singles and were awarded several GMA Awards. The latter also gave Chapman his first Grammy in the Best Pop Gospel Album category. These achievements strengthened his position in the Christian music scene.
In 1992, Chapman made a successful shift into a more mainstream audience with his album The Great Adventure. The album garnered Chapman two more Grammys, for the album and for the title track video. After Sparrow Records was purchased by EMI/Liberty, they began to market the album to a broader audience, pushing it to gold status in 1993. The success of the album prompted Chapman to record one of his concerts and release it as The Live Adventure, both as a video and a CD. This continuation won Chapman more GMA Awards, and also a new award from American Songwriter magazine for Songwriter and Artist of the Year.
Chapman continued to enjoy success with albums like Heaven in the Real World, Signs of Life, and Speechless. In 2001, with the release of Declaration, Chapman got more attention in the Top 200. That album, along with 2003's All About Love, peaked in the Top 15. The follow-up, All Things New, made it to No. 22.
Chapman has also released three Christmas albums, beginning with 1995's The Music of Christmas. In 2005, he released All I Really Want for Christmas, and this was followed by a re-release of The Music of Christmas in 2004, distributed only at Hallmark Cards stores.
In the Christian video game Dance Praise, four songs from Chapman are included: "All About Love", "Dive", "Live Out Loud", and "Only Getting Started". The Dance Praise expansion pack, Dance Praise Expansion Pack Volume 1: Modern Worship, adds the following songs to the game: "Children of the Burning Heart", "Let Us Pray", "See the Glory", "Fingerprints of God", and "I Do Believe".
Chapman also hosts the Gospel Music Channel show, "The Best of the Dove Awards".
In 2006, Chapman went on tour to several Asian countries. His website claims his concert for U.S. troops serving in South Korea was the first Christian concert ever performed for the troops in that country, and a concert in Shanghai, China, was "the first public performance by a Gospel recording artist event in the city open to China passport holders", and the third-largest concert in Shanghai that spring. The tour also took the artist to Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Singapore. During the same period, his song "The Blessing" reached No. 1 on Thailand radio charts. His No. 1 songs are "Dive", "Live Out Loud", "Cinderella", and "Do Everything".
In 2007, Chapman co-headlined Newsong's annual Winter Jam tour with Jeremy Camp. For the tour, he brought his sons' band, Colony House, out on tour to play as his backing band, along with longtime keyboardist Scott Sheriff. Chapman also released This Moment, which included the hit singles "Cinderella" and "Yours", in October 2007. He was chosen for WOW Hits 2009 for Cinderella. He continues to tour with his sons, Caleb and Will.
On April 20, 2008, Chapman was awarded a star on Nashville's Walk of Fame for his contributions in Christian music.
On November 3, 2009, Chapman released his seventeenth album Beauty Will Rise. Many of the songs from this album are inspired by the death of his daughter, Maria Sue. He claims that the songs on the album are his "personal psalms". Chapman, his wife and two sons each got a tattoo of the flower that Maria drew before her untimely death. "Beauty Will Rise", "Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope", Chapman's new song "Meant to Be", and "re:creation" are dedicated to Maria's memory.
Chapman's album, re:creation, contained six new songs as well as new versions of some of his most memorable songs of the past. Stated that he felt that this album is an opportunity to let everyone know he and his family believe God is recreating many wonderful things in their lives after the death of Maria Sue.
In August 2012, Chapman announced his departure from Sparrow Records and his signature to Sony's Provident Label Group.
He released the Christmas album, JOY, on October 16, 2012. Sales were disappointing for a new release, ending the week after Christmas stood at 36,382.
Chapman released Deep Roots exclusively through Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. on March 11, 2013.
In September 2013, Reunion Records released Chapman's eighteenth album (the second with Reunion Records), The Glorious Unfolding, which is also his first studio album in seven years that features completely original material. The album received critical acclaim, with many critics ranking it among his other chart-topping albums. The album peaked at No. 27 on the US Billboard 200.
Beginning in September 2014 until April 2015, Chapman hosted the "Sam's Place: Music for the Spirit" concert series at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and featured performances by the likes of MercyMe, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith and Third Day.
In 2015, Chapman released "Warrior" as the official song for the soundtrack to War Room.
A new single, "Amen", had been sent to Christian AC radio on October 6, 2015.
Chapman is a devout Christian and is married to Mary Beth Chapman (née Chapman). The couple met in the early 1980s at Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana, and married in the fall of 1984. Since 1991, Mary Beth has suffered from clinical depression, which she keeps under control with Prozac.
The couple currently live in Franklin, Tennessee, and have six children: three biological, and three daughters adopted from China. After going on a mission trip to Haiti with Mary Beth in 1997, one of his daughters asked her parents about adopting and they initially refused but later adopted three young girls from China.
Together, Chapman and his wife have written three children's books with adoption themes: Shaoey And Dot: Bug Meets Bundle (2004), Shaoey and Dot: The Christmas Miracle (2005), and Shaoey and Dot: A Thunder and Lightning Bug Story with illustrations by Jim Chapman (2006). Chapman's modern fairytale, Cinderella: The Love of a Daddy and His Princess (2008) chronicles and celebrates the blessings of childhood, family, love, and life. Together with minister Scotty Smith, Chapman has authored two books for the adult inspirational market: Speechless (1999), and Restoring Broken Things (2005). Chapman's song "All About Love" has been featured in commercials for the Fox television show Celebrity Duets.
Chapman and his sons recorded "I Love My Lips" under the name of "Stevenson" after his oldest son Caleb Stevenson for the 2003 Veggie Rocks album. His sons Caleb and Will perform together as the band Colony House. Chapman recorded a new song for the brand new Veggie Tales Movie "It's a Meaningful Life" called "Meant to Be". Chapman is best friends with Geoff Moore. The Chapmans are members of Christ Community Church. The Chapmans own two dogs, Duke and Winston.
On November 10, 2011 Chapman and his wife became grandparents for the first time when a baby girl, Eiley Eliza Richards, was born to Emily and her husband Tanner Richards, in Ireland. The baby was born at 9:30 am. Ireland time or 3:30 am. Tennessee time.
Chapman's brother-in-law, Jim Chapman, was the bass vocalist in the 1990s country music group 4 Runner.
Chapman's youngest daughter Maria Sue Chunxi Chapman died from injuries sustained in a driveway accident on May 21, 2008. Chapman's son, Will, was pulling into the driveway of their house after auditioning for a musical at school. It was reported that Maria saw Will's car and ran down the driveway to greet him. Neither saw each other and Will's car struck Maria. Maria was airlifted to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. The paramedics were unable to revive Maria. She was pronounced dead on arrival. At the time of Maria's death, the Chapman family was preparing to celebrate Caleb's high school graduation from Christ Presbyterian Academy and Emily's engagement just hours before the accident.
During the memorial service for Maria the family expressed their faith in God and their love for one another.
After Maria's accident, the Chapman family spoke publicly about their loss and the role that faith played in their healing. They have appeared on Good Morning America, Larry King Live, in People magazine, The 700 Club, and Huckabee. Maria was buried in the flower girl dress that she was planning to wear to her sister Emily's wedding in October. The family put Maria's ballet shoes, her favorite doll, letters from her brothers and sisters, and other personal momentos to Maria in her coffin. During the funeral service, Will kept Maria's security blanket around his shoulders. Maria is buried in Williamson Memorial Gardens in Franklin, Tennessee. Chapman's subsequent album, Beauty Will Rise, focuses on Maria's death and its aftermath. Chapman almost quit his singing career due to Maria's death and he nearly chose to never sing "Cinderella" again, but soon realized that Maria would have wanted him to continue singing and to honor her memory by singing "Cinderella". An investigation of Maria's death was performed by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. However, it was ruled as a tragic accident and no charges were filed. In November 2009, a year after Maria died, Chapman performed at a special concert at Harvest Christian Fellowship. Greg Laurie, the pastor of Harvest, suffered the loss of his own son, Christopher Laurie, just months after Chapman's loss. Chapman performed several songs from Beauty Will Rise.
Since Maria's unexpected death, Mary Beth Chapman has written and released a book about the death of her daughter called Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope, Honorary Doctorate.
On May 7, 2011 Chapman received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Anderson University and was the commencement speaker for the Class of 2011.
In the late 1990s, Chapman became involved in youth violence prevention efforts following the 1997 Heath High School shooting at his alma mater in West Paducah, Kentucky. Chapman even dedicated a song, "With Hope", from his 1999 album, Speechless, to the families who lost someone in the shooting. In addition, he was asked to sing at the joint funeral held for the three victims. Chapman later gave a memorial concert and joined Charles Colson and others in creating a video designed to sensitize teenagers to the signs of serious violence planning among peers and to encourage them to report plans that are told to them.
In 2009, Show Hope finished building Maria's Big House of Hope, a medical care center in China that provides holistic care to orphans with special needs. Maria's Big House of Hope is also dedicated to the memory of the late Maria Sue Chunxi Chapman. Also in 2009, Chapman and his wife received the Children's Champion Award from the charitable organization Children's Hunger Fund for their work with Show Hope.
In September 2011, Chapman and his wife were awarded the Congressional Angels in Adoption award by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) in Washington, D.C.
Chapman also has promoted the international charity World Vision for at least a decade, serving as spokesman for Project Restore, its program serving the U.S. Gulf Coast region in recovery from Hurricane Katrina, in cooperation with the Gospel Music Association. He has also occasionally traveled to Uganda to help with the problem of street children, and to help orphans and adoption organizations. He has played at local churches, including KPC (Kampala Pentecostal Church) in Kampala.
Chapman has released 18 studio albums, more than 20 albums total in his career, including three Christmas, one live, and several compilation albums. He has sold more than ten million total albums (including two certified Platinum albums, seven certified Gold albums) and has had 46 No. 1 Christian radio hits.
First Hand (1987)
Real Life Conversations (1988)
More to This Life (1989)
For the Sake of the Call (1990)
The Great Adventure (1992)
The Live Adventure (1993)
Heaven in the Real World (1994)
Signs of Life (1996)
All About Love (2003)
All Things New (2004)
The Abbey Road Sessions (2005)
This Moment (2007)
Beauty Will Rise (2009)
Deep Roots (2013)
The Glorious Unfolding (2013)
Sources: Last.fm, Wikipedia
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(03/02/2015)||Songs by Steven Curtis Chapman|