When contemporary Christian singer Amy Grant released, “Tennessee Christmas,” her first Christmas album in nearly 20 years, she had no idea that the seasonal offering would provoke a bit of controversy.
Retail publisher LifeWay Christian Resources, which carries Grants other offerings, decided not to stock, “Tennessee Christmas,” on their shelves. Their reason? Grant’s manager has gone on record as saying that the store deemed the album, “not Christian enough.”
It goes without saying that the retailer has a right to choose which products they sell. But their decision, which has not been explained in full, is curious.
Gospel Music Association award winner Grant was the first Christian music artist to record a platinum album. During her long and critically acclaimed career she has scored three multi-platinum records, six platinum records, and four gold records. She’s achieved 10 Top 40 pop singles.
For her part, the ever-gracious Grant has taken the high road. She recently told FOX411 Country, “I owe LifeWay the biggest thank you note,” referring to the free press that their decision has engendered.
Listeners of the newest addition to Grant’s body of work, “Tennessee Christmas,” can confirm that the album is magical enough to stand on its own without any press, either positive or negative!
Her latest album is a magnificent mix of both traditional Christmas classics and contemporary tunes. Sure to delight fans are Grant’s beautiful rendition of, “Joy to the World, as well as her take on the timeless classic, “White Christmas.”
But to many individuals the Christmas season is neither joyous nor pleasant. To her credit, Grant chose to spotlight this reality by including songs that examine the sadness many people experience during the holidays.
Her songs, “Melancholy Christmas,” and, “Another Merry Christmas,” were included to acknowledge this stark reality. Grant has stated that, “her hope is that those who are struggling will find a sense of peace by realizing that they are not alone,” after listening to the songs.
Grant’s views on inclusion are refreshing and welcome, but not surprising to her legions of devoted fans.
Throughout her decades long career Grant has been vocal about the source of her faith and creativity. “I think all creativity comes from God”, she recently told Fox411 Country.
I think my faith, the way I understand God’s love is only two rules,” she continued. “Love God and love everybody no matter who they are no matter what they say and to me that’s the most freeing way to live life.”
LifeWay Christian Resources is a chain retailer based in Nashville and has more than 186 stores across the US.
The publishing house started out as a resource for Sunday school materials. Today they publish church literature and Bibles as well as video and audio recordings.
Grant is currently touring with Michael W. Smith, and “The Voice,” winner Jordan Smith. This month she joins hubby Vince Gill for, “Christmas at the Ryman.”
Written by Tanya Clark