A number of Christian singers are swapping music for the written word this spring with books on lessons they’ve learned from the stage and the stories behind their songs. With diverse backgrounds in gospel, country, and contemporary music genres, each artist explores how their faith intersects with their fame and what music means to them.
This Life I Live: One Man's Extraordinary, Ordinary Life and the Woman Who Changed It Forever
Country music singer-songwriter Feek rose to fame as part of a duo, Joey + Rory, with his wife Joey Feek, but his life drastically changed following Joey’s death from cancer in 2016. The book chronicles how Feek met his wife, the final months of her battle with cancer, and his experiences with fatherhood and grief. It debuted at #2 on PW’s Hardcover Nonfiction bestsellers list.
Christian singer and songwriter Chapman shares stories about his struggles and successes, from winning five Grammy Awards to the tragic death of his five-year-old daughter and the impact it had on his faith. Comparing his life to lyrics in his song The Great Adventure, Chapman describes his life as a ride through high mountains and low valleys. “Still through it all we’ll find that this is the greatest journey the human heart will ever see,” he writes. “The love of God will take us far beyond our wildest dreams.” According to our review, Chapman’s songs are “a strong thread throughout the book, but the story’s real treasure is his relationship with his wife, Mary Beth, and their children.”
Need, Want, Choose: The Lessons in Between
Velasquez, a contemporary Christian singer, teams up with Gonzales, vocalist and guitarist for the Christian band Salvador, to reflect on their individual careers and on life in the spotlight, including the opportunities and difficult choices along the way. The book reveals their mistakes and hardships with the aim to help readers make decisions between “what you want, what you need, and what God has for you.”
Jessi Colter—one of few women in the “outlaw” country music genre during the 1970’s that included her husband Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Willie Nelson—recalls the challenges and triumphs she faced when it came to her music as well as her marriage. Our review called the book a “touching memoir and a fast-paced chronicle of her life, loves, and Christian faith.”