Calling herself a "Christian music junkie," Natalie Grant told The Beat she couldn't be more excited to be on tour with MercyMe and Brandon Heath.

CLARIFICATION: Contrary to initial publicity materials for this concert, Natalie Grant will not be on the April 29 date with MercyMe and Brandon Heath, but rather she will be one of the musical guests at the Women of Faith event Friday and Saturday at Nationwide Arena. Grant is, indeed, touring the MercyMe and Brandon Heath but the Columbus date was changed. Our apologies for any confusion.


Calling herself a "Christian music junkie," Natalie Grant told The Beat she couldn't be more excited to be on tour with MercyMe and Brandon Heath.

Grant said she has hosted the Dove Awards (the Christian music industry's version of the Grammys) with Bart Millard of MercyMe and has hosted Brandon Heath in concert at benefits for her Home Foundation, which builds and operates safe houses for victims of human trafficking.

"I suppose we have a lot of fans in common, so the tour makes sense," she said, "but I am a huge fan, too."

Grant has been a huge fan of Christian music for a long time, she added, having grown up singing in church in her hometown of Seattle.

"I grew up loving black gospel music," she said. "I might have been the only kid in Seattle who was hooked on (BET's) The Bobby Jones Gospel Hour. My music has always had a definite thread of soul running through it."

In high school, she joined a local band, at which time she learned that there were people out there who were making this music for a living and that she enjoyed being on the road. Soon after completing a bachelor's degree in elementary education, she decided it was time to move to Nashville.

She was far from an overnight success.

"I'm on my third record deal," she said, adding, "The first two I put out of business.

"It's been a long road."

In 2005, her fourth record, Awaken, yielded the break-through hit song Held.

"All artists want to have one of those (songs) in their career," Grant said. "I knew it was powerful when I heard it, but I didn't know it would translate to so many individual stories."

Since then, she has registered top sales among Adult Contemporary female artists three times, won four consecutive Gospel Music Association Vocalist of the Year awards and four Dove Awards for female artist of the year.

The honors she counts as blessings, having "done this for a long time before finding this kind of success.

"But at the same time, I hold it loosely," she said. "It's important, but not important really at all."

The success of Held has made Grant one of a handful of artists to achieve significant sales and chart success in both Contemporary Christian and mainstream markets.

"I always wanted to create music that was the same as what you heard in the mainstream, that the quality of the music was something you could hear on any radio station, with a message that set it apart," she said.

Her new record, Love Revolution, is being debuted live on this tour. She said the message of the songs is "the hope that people are compelled to live love out loud."

Taking the songs on tour with two of her personal favorite artists?

"It's going to be a blast," she said. "I'm really excited."


For more from Natalie Grant, read the BeatBlog.