As the most decorated artist in Christian music history, Steven Curtis Chapman’s trophy case is overflowing with five GRAMMY Awards, an American Music Award, an astounding 58 GMA Dove Awards, an equally staggering 48 chart-topping singles, plus eight gold or platinum albums responsible for more than 11 million albums sold. And chances are he’s about to add a best-selling author credit to that ridiculously fruitful resume thanks to his first-ever memoir, Between Heaven & The Real World (Revell—buy), which was written with Ken Abraham and slated to reach physical and virtual shelves on March 7, 2017.
As anyone who reads Between Heaven & The Real World will instantly ascertain, Chapman’s life both in and out of the spotlight isn’t always as glamorous as it seems. Sure there’s performances at Carnegie Hall, elevator rides with Bruce Springsteen and Sting, plus movie premieres with Robert Duvall. But he also reveals surprising battles with self-confidence, a mountain of candid marriage struggles, the constant tug-of-war between touring and tending to family, plus an unthinkable tragedy of losing his daughter Maria at the hands of a freak accident that cast a shadow of grief and anger almost too enormous to bear.
Yet in spite of all the accolades, adoptions and episodes he’s encountered throughout thirty years in music biz (and the public spotlight in general), Chapman couldn’t be kinder, more humble, or more committed to touching lives. When he calls CCM Magazine from home in Tennessee, the singer-songwriter literally makes it sound like he has all the time in the world and is extremely generous in answering every question that comes his way with the openness of an old friend.
Indeed, no subject is off limits in the book, nor this conversation that ranges from the joyful to the bittersweet, horrifying, and ultimately, a peace that surpasses all possible human understanding. So, “saddle up your horses,” because there’s quite a trail to blaze surrounding the book (and filling in a few blanks that didn’t make the final cut) with an artist, husband, father and man loved by so many who truly walks the talk.
CCM Magazine: Why did you pick this particular time of your life to get your entire story down on paper?
Steven Curtis Chapman: I think it was like so many other things in my life. It was the culmination of the right time itself. It felt like I had come to a place in my journey, more by process of elimination if I could even answer it that way. This isn’t the first time I’ve considered and even been approached by publishing companies. “Hey, why don’t you write a book?” Time and time again, I found myself saying, “I don’t think right now is the time…”
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