Growing up in Nashville, Amy Grant is very familiar with the T.J. Martell Foundation. In fact, she pegged it a “household word” and gave kudos to Tony Martell for taking the tragedy of his son passing away from cancer and turning it into something vibrant, alive, and helpful in memory of him.
Grant received the Tony Martell Outstanding Entertainment Achievement Award last night at the annual gala and when asked what one does to prepare to receive such an honor, she simply replied “Just go to work!” She made a list and reached out to those who have been instrumental in her life to personal invite them to attend. She is passionate about “practicing generosity” and inviting others in to partake in the act alongside her.
Grant spoke of the coming of age in this town, and how the baton is being passed to her. Reminiscing of being a younger artist and coming to realize that giving back is all part of it, Grant expressed this evening is one that you can sense the community, and see how it is passed down from one generation to the next. Not to mention the fun list of people that are recognized and perform.
Speaking of performers, Grant herself has been in the industry as a well recognized name in both Christian and Pop for several decades. She claims her desire for music to be a connector as the very reason she has had so much longevity.
“It’s a great connector of people, and it connects us to ourselves; it connects us to what we think or what we feel or what we dream about. And then somebody else can have a mutual connection. And I guess I’ve always seen music as a connector. You don’t ever outgrow that. I mean, styles change. I mean, musical interests and influences change and broaden, but the purpose of it is always there.”
Grant proceeded to express she never imagined herself doing anything else. In her mind music was her life. “There are a million ways you can live life, and I think the music that I’ve made is just a reflection of one person’s journey talked about through music, and so it’s not rocket science, but I think because I have just tried to … I don’t know. Just because I’ve tried to never be somebody else. Never to be somebody that I wasn’t. I hope my music has created a space that welcomes people, and so I think that’s why it has lasted so long, I guess.”
Grant takes a humble approach in her success, and undoubtedly accepted her Outstanding Achievement Award with grace. When closing up conversation with this legend, I asked how she wanted to be remembered. I loved her answer. Simple, yet profound. Sweet, and honest… “With a smile.”