Amy Grant and Gary Chapman
, himself a Christian
artist and former host of TNN
's Prime Time Country
, announced their decision to separate
in late 1998, and Grant filed for divorce in March 1999. No one denies that their relationship was troubled for several years before that. blaaf
would do well to avoid highly subjective writeups
; whether the relationship between her and Vince Gill
is at least somewhat up for question
. As, I suppose, can be expected, Grant claims they did not become sexually involved until after the divorce; Chapman believes otherwise, as does Gill's ex-wife Janis Gill
. Grant and Gill
were married in March 2000.
CCM Magazine's November 1999 cover story was an in-depth interview with Grant. (Chapman was similarly interviewed for the January 2000 issue.) Some selected quotes from this article are cut-and-pasted below.
"I know why God hates divorce," Grant says, "because it rips you from stem to stern, and children are the total innocent recipients of a torn and shattered life.
"There’s not a week that doesn’t go by that I don’t really cry out from the soles of my feet and just say, ‘God, let me go back. How could [the relationship with Chapman] have worked out differently?’
"And yet—just as a functioning, somewhat intelligent woman, I also got to the point of saying, how many times can I re-duct tape myself and go through the charade and not feel like what I’m really passing on, especially to my daughters, is [a false sense of] ‘This is OK.’ Neither the charade nor the duct tape is OK."
Probably the most insightful comments, though, came as a reaction to the interviewer's questions about the relationship between her and Gill. She acknowledged their friendship before the divorce, starting in 1993 when Gill asked Grant to do a television Christmas special with him, but denied that she served as a "confidant" to Gill during his own divorce in 1997, and denied that their relationship became sexual until after her divorce. Her final reaction was as follows:
"If people say, ‘She was leaning on a man emotionally that she wasn’t married to; she developed a friendship that was inappropriate….’ I want to go, ‘You know, if you’re gonna list my faults, let’s get to the real meat. You ain’t even scratched the surface with that stuff. Let’s get real. Humanity is humanity. You want to know what my real black ugly stuff is? Go look in a mirror and everything that’s black and ugly about you, it’s the same about me.’ That’s what Jesus died for. This should not be a surprise to any of us."
Backlash against artists that divorce or commit other acts that evangelicals believe to be immoral is a historical trend in Christian music. Probably the most famous cases of this backlash ending careers are those of the affair between Michael English and First Call's Marabeth Jordon revealed in 1994, and the 1995 revelation of two affairs involving Sandi Patty. Time will tell whether the same thing will happen to Amy Grant; she has not released a studio album since her 1999 Christmas album. One difference for Grant is that she has a fan base outside the Christian market, as a result of crossover marketing to the secular market starting with her 1990 album Heart In Motion.