A contemporary Christian music giant acknowledges he comes to Kent at a needed time.
The community, rattled by a recent hate-crime shooting, welcomes Steven Curtis Chapman to the ShoWare Center stage for the ninth annual Rock & Worship Roadshow.
The concert begins at 7 p.m. Friday.
The lineup includes Christian music favorites Francesca Battistelli, Rend Collective, Passion, Family Force 5 and Jordan Feliz, among others.
Chapman looks forward to returning to the Pacific Northwest and warming the audience with his blend of inspirational music.
“I’m thankful that we can come at a time like this,” Chapman said in a phone interview last week. “Certainly the music that I write and sing – and all of us on this tour – has a message. It has certainly sustained me and my family through great tragedy and loss and given us much comfort. So we hope to do that in your community at a time that is truly needed.”
Chapman is one of the most awarded artists in Christian music history. He has received five Grammys, 58 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, an American Music Award, 48 No. 1 singles, and has more than 11 million albums sold and eight RIAA-certified gold or platinum albums to his credit during his 30-year career.
The recent tour coincides with the release of Chapman’s first book, “Between Heaven and the Real World” (Revell, Baker Publishing Group), a memoir of his life story and music. The book, a three-year project, reveals honest and vulnerable stories about his life, his 32-year marriage to Mary Beth, their family and the miracle of adoption.
It also follows Chapman, a down-to-earth artist, husband and father, through many difficulties, including the loss of his youngest daughter, 5-year-old Maria, to a tragic accident nearly nine years ago.
“The point of sharing my story and journey ultimately is not just to go, ‘Hey, look at this amazing life that I’ve lived,’ as amazing as a lot of it has been, but really to say, ‘You know what? We’re not really different, my story and your story,’ ” Chapman said. “… Ultimately we’re all in this journey together. I hope you feel a lot less alone by taking this journey alongside me with my book.”
Through it all, faith, family and music have enabled Chapman to persevere and try new things.
Along with his just-released autobiography, Chapman has contributed his first worship music album, a theologically thoughtful collection of traditional songs. Lyrically, the album, Worship and Believe, presents 10 core truths from Scripture as “proclamations of truth that we can declare together,” Chapman described.
“The songs have been so much a part of my life in encouraging me. Honestly, it’s not an overstatement to say it has helped me stay sane, even keep me breathing in the last nine years of my journey,” Chapman said.
“These songs have come out of my own journey, particularly of the last seven years of learning the life-giving power of hearing my own voice and the voice of other believers around me declare what is most true and most real,” he said of his music. “What God says is true – even when pain, doubt, grief and confusion are very real as well. There’s an incredible power in agreeing with each other, and especially with God.”
Chapman, 54, of Franklin, Tenn., stays busy, in and out of the studio. Along with writing, producing and performing music, he is a businessman, an actor and a social activist. He also works with his wife in the community, running Show Hope, a foundation that helps families with the cost and concept of adoptions. The charity also works with children who are medically fragile, abandoned and orphaned.
The couple have five children: three biological and two adopted from China.
Whether it’s music or outreach, Chapman said there is so much more to do.
“I don’t feel like I’m at the finish line of any sort,” he said. “I feel like my story is to be continued. I’m sure there’s more just ahead. I’m not really sure what that is going to be just yet.”