Gary Chapman (musician)

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Gary Chapman
Birth nameGary Winther Chapman
Born (1957-08-19) August 19, 1957 (age 63)
Waurika, Oklahoma, U.S.
OriginNashville, Tennessee
GenresContemporary Christian
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
InstrumentsVoice, guitar
Years active1979–present
Associated actsThe Rambos, Amy Grant

Gary Winther Chapman (born August 19, 1957) is an American contemporary Christian music singer-songwriter and former television talk show host.

Early life and music career[edit]

Born in Waurika, Oklahoma,[1] Chapman is the son of an Assemblies of God pastor, Rev. Terry W. Chapman, who ministered for 56 years before his death in 2009.[2][3] He grew up in De Leon, Texas.[4]

Chapman performed in bands throughout high school and college.[citation needed] After going to Bible college at what is now Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee and was hired as guitar player for The Rambos.[citation needed] In 1979, his song "Father's Eyes" was recorded as the title track to Amy Grant's Grammy-nominated second album My Father's Eyes.[5] In 1982, his song "Finally" recorded by T. G. Sheppard reached No. 1 on the country music charts.[6] He also received a Dove Award as Songwriter of the Year from the Gospel Music Association in 1981.[7]

During the rest of the 1980s and the early 1990s, Chapman continued to write, record, and produce music, while touring as an opening act for various artists. He sang "Brave Hearts" in 1987 for the Touchstone Pictures film Ernest Goes to Camp.[8] He also collaborated with numerous artists in the singing of Amazing Grace in the 1994 film, Maverick.[9]

He was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album in 1994.[10] The Light Inside also resulted in a Dove Award nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year. It also yielded a contemporary Christian music chart No. 1 song, "Sweet Glow of Mercy." He won a second Dove Award in 1994 for co-producing the album, Songs from the Loft, featuring various artists.[7]

In April 1996, Chapman won Male Vocalist of the Year at the GMA Dove Awards.[7] His 1996 album, Shelter, delivered another No. 1, "One of Two",[citation needed] with "Man After Your Own Heart" resulting in a Dove Award for Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year and featuring on the Dove award winning Special Event Album of the Year, My Utmost for His Highest. Shelter also received a 1997 Grammy nomination for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album.[11] At the 1998 Dove Awards, his album also featuring other artists, Hymns From The Ryman, won Country Album of the Year.[12]

Television career[edit]

In the middle of 1996, The Nashville Network announced Chapman would replace Tom Wopat as host of their evening talk show, Prime Time Country.[citation needed] The show ended after 1999. Chapman went on to produce "Muzik Mafia" on CMT[13] as well as appear numerous times on the network's "Gone Country" as a songwriting mentor.[14] Chapman, along with John Rich and Big Kenny (the country duo, Big and Rich) traveled to Viet Nam to document the story of Niles Harris, a Viet Nam veteran, in the production of "The 8th of November: A True Story of Pain and Honor". Chapman produced, wrote, directed and scored the documentary.[15]

Radio show host[edit]

Gary Chapman hosted CCM Countdown.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Chapman married Amy Grant on June 19, 1982.

Chapman acknowledged using cocaine and marijuana for a number of years while married to Grant.[16]

Grant filed for divorce from Chapman in March 1999, citing "irreconcilable differences", and the divorce was finalized in June 1999.[17]

Chapman married Jennifer Pittman in July 2000. Chapman and Pittman divorced in 2007.[1]

On December 22, 2008, Chapman married Cassie Piersol.[1][18] The couple began a project called A Hymn a Week in 2010 to honor the musical heritage left to Chapman by his parents.[2] Chapman has stated that both his parents, who were small-town pastors for their entire lives, had a strong influence in his life and they "implanted the hymns into [his] heart".[citation needed] Chapman's mother Mary died on December 26, 2002.[2] His father Terry died on April 12, 2009,[3] after a lengthy battle with Parkinson's disease and multiple myeloma. During his last years, he lived with Chapman and Cassie. During that time, Chapman played and sang old hymns at his father's bedside. Being asked to perform a hymn at a friend's funeral inspired him to begin compiling a brief history and personal connection to a different hymn each week, on a webpage called A Hymn a Week.[2]

Chapman has three children with Grant.[1] He and his third wife, Cassie Piersol Chapman, adopted an infant girl, Eva, in March 2014.[19]

He is a licensed helicopter pilot, who once surprised his friend and fellow Christian singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman (no relation) by landing in his yard.[1]

Chapman and his wife are involved in many charities and organizations: Nashville Rescue Mission, Agape Animal Rescue, T.J. Martell Foundation, Make a Wish Foundation.[20][21][22][23]



Year Title Peak chart positions Label
1981 Sincerely Yours Lamb & Lion
1983 Happenin'... Live
1987 Everyday Man 26 Reunion
1994 The Light Inside 10
1996 The Early Years Lamb & Lion
Shelter 7 192 12 Reunion
1997 This Gift 16 16
1998 Hymns from the Ryman Word
1999 Outside Reunion
2002 The Best of Gary Chapman: After God's Own Heart
Circles and Seasons Word
2013 The Truth Elevate Entertainment


Year Single US Country Album
1988 "When We're Together (Love's So Strong)" 60 Everyday Man
"Everyday Man" 76


  1. ^ a b c d e "IMDB". IMDB – Gary Chapman. IMDb. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "A Hymn a Week website". Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Obituary-Terry W. Chapman". Hendersonville Memory Gardens and Funeral Home. Family Legacy. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  4. ^ "Gary Chapman: The US CCM songwriter returns after a long absence". Retrieved October 4, 2013.
  5. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees 1980 – Grammy Award Winners 1980". Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944–2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 313.
  7. ^ a b c "Dove Award Past Winners". Retrieved November 13, 2013.
  8. ^ "IMDB Earnest Goes to Camp". IMDB Earnest Goes to Camp. IMDb. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  9. ^ "IMDB Maverick". IMDB Maverick. IMDb. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  10. ^ "The 37th Grammy Nominations". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
  11. ^ "The 39th Annual Grammy Nominations". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
  12. ^ "Dove Awards". Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved October 4, 2013.
  13. ^ " : MuzikMafia TV : Shows Main". CMT: Country Music Television. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  14. ^ "CMT : Photos : Gone Country 3 : Micky Dolenz (6 of 12)". Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  15. ^ "Big & Rich – The 8th of November: A True American Story Of Honor". discogs. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  16. ^
  17. ^ Jay Orr (October 9, 1999). "Amy starts over: Grant picks up pieces after divorce". John Lam. Archived from the original on June 29, 2008. Retrieved August 29, 2008.
  18. ^ "Gary Chapman". Facebook. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  19. ^ Hollie McKay (March 10, 2014). "'Private Lives of Nashville Wives' star Cassie Chapman pro open adoption". Fox News Channel. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  20. ^ "Agape Animal Rescue". Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  21. ^ "T.J. Martell Foundation | Home". Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  22. ^ "Make-A-Wish® America". Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  23. ^ "Nashville Rescue Mission". Nashville Rescue Mission. Retrieved September 27, 2013.

External links[edit]