Natalie Grant is the first to admit she could easily be classified as a "Becky," the name Christian radio programmers coined years ago to describe their target demo: a woman in her 30s or 40s, married with kids, a typical soccer mom.
"It helps me to know the audience I'm truly singing to because I am that person," says Grant, who's married to writer/ producer Bernie Herms and has twin 3-year-old daughters, as well as another baby girl due in December.
Grant wants to empower her fans with her Aug. 24 Curb Records release, "Love Revolution." "The industry underestimates Becky," the four-time Gospel Music Assn. female vocalist of the year (2006-09) says. "They think that Becky just drives a minivan, takes the kids to school and has this happy, comfortable life. Becky is different today. Becky wants to change the world, and she believes that she can."
Grant's burning desire to make a difference informs her life and music. After seeing an episode of "Law & Order" that dealt with human trafficking, she launched the Home Foundation in 2005, a nonprofit organization that educates communities, builds shelters and orphanages, and provides medical equipment to aid victims.
"It's really grown beyond my wildest imagination," Grant says. "Our domestic shelter program is growing. I feel we are doing a really good job of educating our audience about the reality that slavery just doesn't happen across the world. It happens across the street."
Curb Records is partnering with Family Christian Stores so that each consumer who preorders "Love Revolution"-Grant's eighth studio album-will receive a free two-song CD featuring "Greatness of Our God" and "Your Great Name." "With each preorder, Family Christian Stores and the James Fund is making a donation back to the Home Foundation," Curb Records VP of marketing Jeff Tuerff says.
Consumers are also being directed to StartALoveRevolution.com, an interactive website that Tuerff says is "designed to expose Natalie's music, encourage others to start a love revolution by simply doing something such as donating clothes, visiting the elderly, feeding the homeless or helping your neighbor."
Grant continually looks for opportunities to make a difference and to encourage others to do so.
"Natalie recently got involved with KTIS Minneapolis and their wildly successful Drive Thru Difference promotion," Curb Records VP of promotion John Butler says. "The station encourages their audience to pay for a meal at a drive-thru window for the person in back of them as a way of sharing a smile for someone's day. Natalie did it in Nashville and called in to the morning show [live]."
Curb released "Greatness of Our God" as the first single, but when stations began playing "Human" after Grant performed it at the Dove Awards, the label switched support to the latter track.
"I didn't think it should be our first single," Grant says of "Greatness of Our God." "I didn't feel like it's a true representation of what the record is about. While there are plenty of worship songs on the record, I felt like 'Love Revolution' is such a strong action type of message that I felt that ["Greatness"] didn't totally capture the whole passion behind the album. I really felt that way about 'Human.' "