Steven Curtis Chapman is a Christian singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, author, and social activist from the United States. He is the only performer in music history to win 56 Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association, as well as five Grammy Awards. His music is noted for being a unique blend of country music, soft rock, and orchestrated pop, which helped him become a popular performer in the 1980s Christian music scene. Due to his father’s preference for country music, Chapman grew up in a poor setting where he discovered his calling for music. He picked up instruments like the guitar and piano by hanging around in his father’s music store and listening to him and his friends play. When he relocated to Nashville, he became serious about music and was discovered by Sparrow Records, who he stayed with for the rest of his career. He has 19 studio albums under his belt, with over 10 million albums sold to date. Chapman, like his father, is a family man with a large family that includes his wife Mary Beth and three biological and two adoptive children. He is an outspoken proponent of adoption and has fought to eliminate the problem of youth violence on a social level.
Childhood and Adolescence
Steven Curtis Chapman was born in Paducah, Kentucky, on November 21, 1962, to Herb and Judy Chapman. His father was a country musician and songwriter who passed up possibilities to make it big in the music industry in order to focus on his family. His mother was a mother who stayed at home with her children.
His father ran a music store out of his basement, where he also used to play music with his friends. Chapman’s life was inspired by his creative atmosphere at home from an early age, and he bought his first guitar at the age of six.
Chapman enrolled in Georgetown College in Kentucky as a pre-med student, but after a few semesters, he transferred to Anderson College in Indiana. However, he eventually abandoned his plans to study and relocated to Nashville to pursue his first love, music.
He created the song ‘Built to Last’ in the 1980s, which became extremely successful after being recorded by the evangelical group ‘The Imperials.’ Chapman received a songwriting agreement with Sparrow Records as a result of the song’s success.
Career of Steven Curtis Chapman
‘First Hand,’ Chapman’s first official album, was published in 1987. With tracks like ‘Weak Days,’ the album became an instant hit, reaching number two on the Contemporary Christian Music list. The album featured a blend of country, soft rock, and pop music.
Chapman released ‘Real Life Conversations’ in 1988, following the success of his first album. The ‘Gospel Music Association’ awarded its hit single ‘His Eyes’ the ‘Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year’ award. It was co-written by him and James Isaac Elliot.
With his album ‘The Great Adventure’ in 1992, he made a quick transition to popular music after a few years. It garnered him two Grammy Awards, one for the album and the other for the album’s title song.
After achieving steady success with albums like as “Heaven in the Real World,” “Signs of Life,” and “Speechless,” Chapman’s next great album, “Declaration,” was released in 2001, and he toured 70 cities in support of it.
‘All About Love,’ released in 2003, reached number 15 on the Christian Music charts. It was released through Sparrow Records, and Chapman gratefully credited his wife Mary Beth as the album’s inspiration.
In 2004, Chapman’s album ‘All Things New’ was released, and it earned him another another Grammy. He won in the category of Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album this time. It was nominated for a Dove Award as well.
‘All I Really Want for Christmas,’ Chapman’s second hit Christmas album after ‘The Music of Christmas,’ was published in 2005. It included festive classics such as “Go Tell It on the Mountain” and “Silver Bells.”
In 2006, Chapman elevated his music to new heights by performing a concert in South Korea for US troops stationed there. It was the first Christian concert ever held in that country for the American army.
He released ‘This Moment’ in 2007, which had hit hits like ‘Cinderella,’ earning him a spot on WOW Hits 2009. He also embarked on his ‘Winter Jam’ tour with his kids’ bands, Caleb and Will.
Chapman’s sixteenth album, ‘Beauty Will Rise,’ was released in 2009. He is claimed to have written the album’s songs after being inspired by the tragic and unexpected death of his daughter Maria Sue. ‘Meant to Be’ and ‘Re:creation’ were among the tracks selected.
Chapman ultimately broke ties with Sparrow Records, the record label with which he had remained loyal for so many years, in 2012. Sony’s Provident Label Group signed him, and he released a Christmas album called ‘JOY.’
In 2013, Reunion Records released ‘The Glorious Unfolding,’ which reached number 27 on the Billboard 200 and was the number one Top Christian Album. Chapman and Brent Milligan collaborated on the album’s production.
Major Projects of Steven Curtis Chapman
Chapman’s 1992 album ‘The Great Adventure’ marked a turning point in his musical career since, up until that point, he had only made soft and modern country music, but with ‘The Great Adventure,’ he aimed for the mainstream audience for the first time and achieved massive financial success.
Achievements & Awards
For albums including ‘For the Sake of the Call,’ ‘The Great Adventure,’ ‘The Live Adventure,’ ‘Speechless,’ and ‘All Things New,’ Chapman has won five Grammy awards. He has also garnered the most Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association (56), more than any other performer.
Personal History and Legacy
After meeting at Anderson University in Indiana, Chapman married Mary Beth in 1984. Emily, Caleb, and Will are their biological children, and Shaohannah, Stevey, and Maria are their adopted children.
Will Chapman, Chapman’s youngest son, accidentally drove over his adoptive daughter Maria Sue Chunxi Chapman in his automobile in 2008. She was sprinting towards him, but he failed to notice her, and she was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Mary Beth Chapman, Chapman’s wife, has written and published a book called ‘Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope’ about the loss of her youngest daughter.
‘Shaoey And Dot: Bug Meets Bundle’ (2004), ‘Shaoey and Dot: The Christmas Miracle’ (2005), and ‘Shaoey and Dot: A Thunder and Lightning Bug Story’ (2006) are three children’s books written by Chapman and his wife featuring adoption themes (2006).
Anderson University awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Music.
Estimated Net Worth
The estimated net worth of Steven Curtis Chapman is $25 million.