On an afternoon that qualified as one of the coldest of the fall and winter season, Music City celebrated one of its' warmest hearts at the Governor's Mansion this past Tuesday. Amy Grant was presented with the 2012 Cecil Scaife Visionary Award by Tennessee First Lady Chrissy Haslam.
The award was to celebrate Grant's tireless efforts on behalf of many charities in the state, as well as those beyond its borders.
Grant's accomplishments were celebrated by many, including LaRawn Scaife Rhea, daughter of the award's namesake, Dan Harrell, Grant's longtime manager (now consultant) and brother-in-law, and her husband, Country Music Hall of Fame member Vince Gill, who made mention of her genuine nature. "When she is in a conversation with you, that is all she is focused on. She's not trying to get involved in one better."
In addition to a long line of hits in the Christian and Pop market, such as "I Have Decided" and "Baby Baby," Grant is one of Nashville's most respected and dedicated philanthropists. She has worked on behalf of such organizations as the Nashville Symphony, the Nashville Rescue Mission, the American Red Cross and Compassion International, among others.
In accepting the honor, Grant expressed that she had came full circle in a way. She recalled making some of her first recordings at Scaife's studio, and expressed gratitude, saying that "Were it not for Cecil Scaife, I might not be in this business."
The Cecil Scaife Visionary Award is given in honor of Cecil Scaife, who approached Belmont University to discuss the idea of a formal program combining the music and business school curriculum customized to the music industry. The first class, Music Business 101, was taught by Bob Mulloy at the Nashville school. Those in the audience that were celebrating Grant's accomplishments included longtime Nashville television personality Harry Chapman, and former Scaife Award winners Tony Brown (2009) and David Briggs (2011).
Grant and Gill will be playing a two-night stand of holiday music at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on December 19 and 20.