Everybody says, 'Hey, you could sing the phone book, and it would sound pretty good.
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- Nashville's favorite couple endured heartache and pain — and found happiness.
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In stores Friday, Gill's new album, "Okie," tightens the focus on his songwriting. There's not a lot of guitar licks, big choruses or harmonies on the record by design — he wanted to minimize distractions from the lyrics. Through songs about his wife, Amy Grant, his precious mother, his heroes and hot-button issues including sexual abuse and teen pregnancy, Gill's ability to connect, reflect and provide an empathetic place for listeners to cocoon is at its peak. I'm not telling you how you should feel or what you should do, ever. Gill wrote or co-wrote all 12 songs on the album — nine by himself, including "Forever Changed," which confronts sexual abuse.
He debuted the song more than one year ago at a music industry event in Nashville to a rousing standing ovation from more than 3, people. Gill said he was in the seventh grade when his basketball coach, the man he thought was the greatest guy in the whole world, ran his hand too far up the singer's leg.
Gill didn't understand what was happening, he recalled. He didn't know anything about sex. He was alone with the coach in his office, and it scared him. If I had told my dad, I know what would have happened," he said with a laugh. But I didn't know any better. Once again, I think, 'Man, tell somebody. When he sang about teen pregnancy in "What Choice Will You Make," he purposefully left the lyrics open-ended so listeners could imagine their own resolution. The father of four adult daughters, the country singer knows what it's like to watch children struggle with tough choices.
Through "Okie," he hopes to step in the gap for young people in need of support. While some of the songs are driven by polarizing day-to-day conflicts, Gill recounts them with effortless objectivity. But in Music City, insiders tell you differently: The appealingly understated Vince Gill, 54, and Amy Grant, 50, are this town's most romantic, true power couple. Now, as Grant has just wrapped up a national tour and Gill prepares to release a new, all-originals CD, the couple find themselves reflecting on the long and painful journey that has brought them to what they each call the best time of their lives.
With his luminous tenor, and guitar licks so inventive that Eric Clapton studies his moves, Gill, who has accumulated 20 Grammy awards and 18 Country Music Association trophies, arrived on the music scene "just dripping talent," says close friend and fellow musician Rodney Crowell. But it was Gill's marriage to Grant who has six Grammys and 22 Dove Awards for gospel music to her credit that grounded him in a profound way.
They're the perfect couple and parents, fully realized human beings and philanthropists. And there's absolutely no pretension about them, which is very rare. Theirs is the story of how the prince of country and the princess of gospel risked their reputations to become the king and queen of hearts. Corrina's father, comfy in a T-shirt and jeans, clearly would concur. Despite their attraction, Gill and Grant initially wondered if they were a match, he fretting that she might find him too rough-edged, and she worrying he'd find her too quiet.
And their upbringings were different. Gill grew up in Norman, Oklahoma, the son of a judge who was, says Gill, "more red-dirt Okie than big-shot lawyer. He was a wounded child, close to his mother and born with crossed eyes. He had two surgeries while young, and to this day his left eye wanders when he's tired.
Look At Us
Two years ago he began wearing glasses nearly full-time. When Vince was 10, his older half brother, Bob, suffered a head injury in a car crash, and struggled the rest of his life. He died of a heart attack in Young Vince, to ease his pain, learned to hide himself behind humor or to retreat inside the sorrowful sounds of bluegrass and country music. Grant, the youngest of four children born to a Nashville radiation oncologist and his wife, was a dutiful child, albeit with a sharp sense of humor.
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For all their differences, Gill and Grant are the same philosophically — they make it a priority to treat people with respect and kindness. That's not always easy. Gill has a famous temper; Grant, a stubborn streak. And though they work in the same field, they refuse to compete, appreciating each other's gifts. When the two singers first worked together in late , their lives seemed settled. Grant, a mother of three, was married to gospel singer Gary Chapman. Gill was the husband of Janis Oliver of the singing duo Sweethearts of the Rodeo , with whom he had a daughter.
But neither marriage was especially joyful, and the Chapmans' union, as Grant describes it, "had been rocky from the get-go. I'd been holding steady for 15 years in something that was not easy to hold steady. Grant's pain was evident to her sister Nuismer: "Sometimes when people try to stay in [a marriage] with unresolved issues, they begin to shut down. It's like you see them dying. Around the holidays of that year, Grant and Gill played three events together in one night.
I was just so overwhelmed by him as a person that I finally came up behind him and wrapped my arms around him and said, 'I've needed to do this all night. The feeling was mutual, but Gill held on to his decorum.
It was all caught on film, too. Grant's obsession with Gill caught her by surprise. She incorporates prayer and worship into her daily life, and had become, at 19, the burgeoning Contemporary Christian movement's most celebrated singer. Michael Blanton, part of her management team for 30 years, instantly saw what was happening.
He and Grant sat up late one night in the middle of a tour and had a heart-to-heart. It brought into question everything about her faith and her desire to be a woman of integrity.nasoltise.ga
Guitar Songs Club - Vince Gill — One more last chance
At first, Grant and Gill did nothing but brood. In private, Grant noted on a legal pad each time she was around Gill. There was no cheating, Gill insists, and neither spoke to the other about leaving their spouse. To that end, Grant and Chapman sought marital counseling. One day in April of , Grant was surprised to read in the paper that Gill had announced he was getting a divorce.
Chapman, who by then was well aware of Grant's infatuation with Gill, glanced at the headline — it was on the front page — and turned to his wife, commenting that he was grateful someone had finally made the first move. Killed me for him," Grant remembers.
The following year, Grant and Chapman sought divorce mediation. In , Grant moved out. Soon after her divorce became final, she and Gill started dating. The relationship deepened quickly, and in March of , Gill and Grant married in an outdoor ceremony on her property.
From the beginning each started improving the other — Grant softening Gill's ire, which has often flared on the golf course, and Gill striving to keep Grant focused. Blending families was more challenging. The newlyweds returned from a honeymoon in Beaver Creek, Colorado, only to embark on a spring-break trip to hell in Hawaii with Grant's children — Matt, Millie, and Sarah, who were 12, 10, and 7 — all of whom resented the new man in Mommy's life.
Put a shirt on," Millie chastised Gill when he walked around bare chested.
Matt played his mom's protector, warning Gill: "If you ever hurt my mother, I'm going to kill you. Time passed, and "I hate you" and "I don't choose you" eventually evolved into acceptance. Corrina's birth in helped promote the healing. Like Gill's daughter, Jenny, 29, who has sung on her father's albums, Corrina shows a flair for music. Last year she performed with her mother at Lipscomb University. She did this double-fisted pump, 'Yeah! From her earliest success, Grant lent her talents to fund-raising.
He almost never turns down a request to play fund-raisers, he says, because he remembers when no one asked. Individually and together, the two have raised millions of dollars for causes including St.