Biography All Music GuideWikipedia
All Music Guide:
His music a cross between '70s-style light rock and orchestrated pop, Steven Curtis Chapman has been one of the most prominent performers of contemporary Christian music since the '80s. Born and raised in Paducah, Kentucky, Chapman learned to play several instruments while hanging out in his father's music store, excelling at guitar and piano. As a young man, he enrolled as a pre-med student at Anderson College in Indiana. He soon decided to pursue a music career and dropped out to go to Nashville, where he began working in a music show at Opryland USA. When not performing, he was busy writing songs, a skill he learned from his father. One of Chapman's tunes was recorded by the Imperials, a prominent gospel group, marking the beginning of his songwriting success; many of gospel and country's brightest stars, including Sandi Patti, Billy Dean, Glen Campbell, and Roger Whittaker, have gone on to record Chapman's songs.
Although several different labels and music publishers were interested in him by 1987, he decided to sign with the major Christian music company Sparrow. That year he cut his first album, First Hand. The first single released from the album, "Weak Days," made it to number two on the contemporary Christian chart. His second album, 1988's Real Life Conversations, earned him four more hits, including the number one song "His Eyes." Co-written with James Isaac Elliott, it earned the Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year award from the Gospel Music Association in 1989. That year, he also won a GMA award for Best Songwriter of the Year. Released later that year, his third album, More to This Life, contained four number one hits and in 1990 earned him an unprecedented ten nominations at the GMA Awards (he won five). His next album, For the Sake of the Call, which contained five number one singles and earned him another slew of GMA awards and his first Grammy in the Best Pop Gospel Album category, only strengthened his position as the king of Christian music.
In 1992, Chapman made a successful bid to attract a more mainstream audience with The Great Adventure, which also won a Grammy, and its accompanying title track video. When Sparrow Records was purchased by EMI/Liberty, they began marketing the album in discount stores, and in 1993, it went gold. Also released in 1993 (both as a video and CD), The Live Adventure won more GMA awards and also earned Chapman a new award from American Songwriter magazine, Songwriter and Artist of the Year. Chapman released his seventh album, Heaven in the Real World, in 1994 and embarked on a major tour. In 1996, Chapman released Signs of Life, which was followed three years later by Speechless. Though Chapman's albums had always done well on the Billboard CCM charts, in 2001, after the release of Declaration, he really began to get even more attention on the Top 200. Both it and 2002's All About Love peaked in the Top 15, and his 2004 record, All Things New, made it to number 22. In September 2005, in time for the holiday season, Chapman released All I Really Want for Christmas, and the following year, Musical Blessing came out. Beauty Will Rise arrived in 2009. Following 2011's Re:Creation, he left his longtime label Sparrow Records and signed with Reunion Records, which released Joy, Chapman's third Christmas album, in 2012.
Steven Curtis Chapman (born November 21, 1962) is an American musician, songwriter, record producer, actor, author, and social activist.
After starting his career in the late 1980s as a singer/songwriter of contemporary Christian music, Chapman has since been recognized as one of the most prolific singers in the genre, releasing more than 20 albums to date. Chapman has also won five Grammy awards and 56 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, more than any other artist in history. His seven "Artist of the Year" Dove Awards, his latest in 2009, are also an industry record. As of 2007, Chapman has sold more than 10 million albums and has 8 RIAA-certified Gold or Platinum albums.
Chapman is also a vocal advocate for adoption, along with his wife Mary Beth. Together, they have started a charity organization called Show Hope (formerly called Shaohannah's Hope), that mobilizes individuals and communities to care for orphans through its international orphan care work as well as adoption aid grants to help put more orphans from overseas and the U.S. in loving, forever families. In 2009, Show Hope finished building Maria's Big House of Hope, a medical care center in China that provides holistic care to orphans with special needs. He is also a contributor to Compassionart, a charity founded by Martin Smith of British rock band Delirious?.
Chapman was recognized in the Fall 2010 issue of Wood & Steel discussing the new Taylor 714 Signature Series guitar in honor of his youngest daughter Maria Sue. The guitar features the flower from Maria's picture and the word "SEE" on the 12th fret in Maria's handwriting. In 2003, Chapman starred in the Christian film Christmas Child.
Early life 
Steven Curtis Chapman was born to Judy and Herb Chapman in Paducah, Kentucky on November 21, 1962. Chapman's father is a guitar teacher in Paducah, and young Steven and Herb Jr. grew up playing the guitar and singing.
Upon finishing high school, Chapman enrolled as a pre-med student at Georgetown College in Kentucky. After a couple of semesters he transferred to Anderson College in Indiana. However, he soon dropped out and went to Nashville to pursue a career in music. While in Nashville he briefly attended Belmont University. He began working a music show at Opryland USA while dedicating time to songwriting.
In the 1980s, Chapman wrote a song called "Built to Last," which was recorded by prominent gospel group The Imperials. The strength of the song prompted him to be signed to a songwriting deal with Sparrow Records, where he rose to prominence. As of 2007, artists like Sandi Patty, Billy Dean, Glen Campbell, the Cathedral Quartet and Roger Whittaker have recorded Chapman's songs.
First albums (1987–1990) 
In 1987, Chapman released his first album, First Hand. The album included the song "Weak Days," which peaked at No. 2 on the Contemporary Christian Music chart. In 1988, he followed with his second album, Real Life Conversations, which earned him four more hits, including the No. 1 song "His Eyes." The song, which was co-written by James Isaac Elliott, earned the Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year award from the Gospel Music Association in 1989. That year, he also won a GMA Award for Best Songwriter of the Year.
After that, Chapman followed with more albums like More to This Life and For the Sake of the Call. All of these albums featured several No. 1 singles, and were awarded several GMA Awards. The latter also gave Chapman his first Grammy in the Best Pop Gospel Album category. These achievements strengthened his position in the Christian music scene.
Going mainstream (1992–2005) 
In 1992, Chapman made a successful shift into a more mainstream audience with his album The Great Adventure. The album garnered Chapman with two more Grammys, for the album and for the title track video. After Sparrow Records was purchased by EMI/Liberty, they began to market the album to a broader audience, pushing it to gold status in 1993. The success of the album prompted Chapman to record one of his concerts and release it as The Live Adventure, both as a video and a CD. This continuation won Chapman more GMA Awards, and also a new award from American Songwriter magazine for Songwriter and Artist of the Year.
Chapman continued to enjoy success with albums like Heaven in the Real World, Signs of Life, and Speechless. In 2001, with the release of Declaration, Chapman got more attention in the Top 200. That album, along with 2003's All About Love, peaked in the Top 15. The follow-up, All Things New, made it to No. 22.
Chapman has also released three Christmas albums, beginning with 1995's The Music of Christmas. In 2005, he released All I Really Want for Christmas, and this was followed by a re-release of The Music of Christmas in 2004, distributed only at Hallmark Cards stores.
In the Christian video game Dance Praise, four songs from Chapman are included: "All About Love," "Dive," "Live Out Loud," and "Only Getting Started." The Dance Praise expansion pack, Dance Praise Expansion Pack Volume 1: Modern Worship, adds the following songs to the game: "Children of the Burning Heart," "Let us Pray," "See the Glory," "Fingerprints of God," and "I Do Believe."
Chapman also hosts the Gospel Music Channel show, "The Best of the Dove Awards."
Later years (2006–2011) 
In 2006, Chapman went on tour to several Asian countries. His website claims his concert for U.S. troops serving in South Korea was the first Christian concert ever performed for the troops in that country, and a concert in Shanghai, China was "the first public performance by a Gospel recording artist event in the city open to China passport holders," and the third-largest concert in Shanghai that spring. The tour also took the artist to Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Singapore. During the same period, his song "The Blessing" reached No. 1 on Thailand radio charts. His No. 1 songs are "Dive," "Live Out Loud," "Cinderella," and "Do Everything."
In 2007, Chapman co-headlined Newsong's annual Winter Jam tour with Jeremy Camp. For the tour, he brought his sons' band, The Following, out on tour to play as his backing band, along with longtime keyboardist Scott Sheriff. Chapman also released This Moment, which included the hit singles "Cinderella" and "Yours," in October 2007. He was chosen for WOW Hits 2009 for Cinderella. He continues to tour with his sons, Caleb and Will.
On April 20, 2008, Chapman was awarded a star on Nashville's Walk of Fame for his contributions in Christian music.
On November 3, 2009, Chapman released his seventeenth album Beauty Will Rise. Many of the songs from this album are inspired by the death of his daughter, Maria Sue. He claims that the songs on the album are his "personal psalms." Chapman, his wife and two sons each got a tattoo of the flower that Maria drew before her untimely death. "Beauty Will Rise," "Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope," Chapman's new song "Meant to Be," and "re:creation" are dedicated to Maria's memory.
Chapman's album, re:creation, contains six new songs as well as new versions of some of his most memorable songs of the past. He feels that this album is an opportunity to let everyone know he and his family believe God is recreating many wonderful things in their lives after the death of Maria Sue.
New label (2012–present) 
In August 2012, Chapman announced he has left Sparrow Records and is being signed to Sony's Provident Label Group. He recorded a Christmas album titled "JOY," which was released on October 16, 2012. Sales for the new release JOY were very disappointing for a new release, but the general sales for Steven Curtis Chapman have shown a steady decline for the past few releases. Sales ending the week after Christmas stood at 36,382. Steven Curtis Chapman released an album entitled "Deep Roots" exclusively through Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. on March 11, 2013.
Personal life 
Chapman is a devout Christian, and is married to Mary Beth Chapman (they had the same last name prior to their marriage). The couple met in the early 1980s at Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana and married in the fall of 1984. They currently live in Franklin, Tennessee, and have three biological children. Emily Elizabeth Richards (nee Chapman), Caleb Stevenson Chapman, and Will Franklin Chapman. Since 1991 Mary Beth has suffered from Clinical depression. Mary Beth keeps her depression under control with Prozac. After going on a Mission Trip to Haiti with Mary Beth in 1997, Emily asked her parents about adopting a little girl from the other side of the world, but they said "No." After much persistence from Emily Elizabeth and doing some research, Steven and Mary Beth changed their minds and they adopted three young girls from China. Shaohannah "Shaoey" Hope Yan, Stevey Joy Ru, and Maria Sue Chunxi.
Together, Chapman and his wife have written three children's books with adoption themes: Shaoey And Dot: Bug Meets Bundle (2004), Shaoey and Dot: The Christmas Miracle (2005), and Shaoey and Dot: A Thunder and Lightning Bug Story with illustrations by Jim Chapman (2006). Chapman's modern fairytale, Cinderella: The Love of a Daddy and His Princess (2008) chronicles and celebrates the blessings of childhood, family, love, and life. Together with minister Scotty Smith, Chapman has authored two books for the adult inspirational market: Speechless (1999), and Restoring Broken Things (2005). Chapman's song "All About Love" has been featured in commercials for the Fox television show Celebrity Duets.
Chapman and his sons recorded under the name of "Stevenson" after his oldest son Caleb Stevenson for the 2003 Veggie Rocks CD. (Song: "I Love My Lips," VeggieTales). Chapman recorded a new song for the brand new Veggie Tales Movie "It's A Meaningful Life" called "Meant to Be". Chapman is best friends with Geoff Moore. The Chapmans are members of Christ Community Church. The Chapmans own two dogs, Duke and Winston.
On November 10, 2011 Chapman and his wife became grandparents for the first time when a baby girl, Eiley Eliza Richards, was born to Emily and her husband Tanner Richards, in Ireland. The baby was born at 9:30 am Ireland time or 3:30 am Tennessee time.
Chapman's brother-in-law, Jim Chapman, was the bass vocalist in the 1990s country music group 4 Runner.
Death of Maria Sue Chunxi Chapman 
Maria Sue Chunxi Chapman died from her injuries and blood loss in a driveway accident on May 21, 2008 Chapman's youngest son, Will Franklin, was pulling into the driveway of their house after he auditioned for a musical at school, and Maria Sue was running to meet him. They didn't see each other in time and Will accidentally ran over Maria. Maria was air lifted to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. The paramedics tried to save her on the way to the hospital, but they couldn't. Maria was pronounced dead on arrival. The entire family was preparing to celebrate Caleb's high school graduation from Christ Presbyterian Academy and Emily's engagement just hours before the accident.
During the memorial service for Maria, in which Pastor Scotty Smith preached, the family expressed their faith in God and their love for one another.
After Maria's accident, the Chapman family spoke publicly about their loss and the role that faith played in it all. They have appeared on Good Morning America, Larry King Live, in People magazine, The 700 Club, and Huckabee. Maria was buried in her flower girl dress as she, along with Stevey, was going to be a flower girl in Emily's wedding that October. Maria's favorite color was blue. The family put Maria's ballet shoes, her favorite doll, letters from her brothers and sisters, and other things that meant a lot to Maria Sue in her coffin. Will kept Maria's security blanket so that he would have something to remember her by. Maria Sue is buried in Williamson Memorial Gardens in Franklin, Tennessee. Chapman's subsequent album, Beauty Will Rise focuses on this event and its aftermath. Chapman almost quit his singing career due to Maria's death and he nearly chose to never sing "Cinderella" again, but then he realized that Maria would have wanted him to continue singing and to honor her memory by singing "Cinderella". There was an investigation of Maria's death done by a spokesperson from The Tennessee Highway Patrol. It was ruled as a tragic accident. No charges were filed and The Tennessee Highway Patrol let Will off with a warning. In November 2009, a year after Maria Sue died, Chapman performed at a special concert at Harvest Christian Fellowship. Greg Laurie, the pastor of Harvest, suffered the loss of his own son, Christopher Laurie, just months after Chapman's loss. Chapman performed several songs from Beauty Will Rise, and took part in a live discussion between himself and Pastor Laurie. The two talked about dealing with grief and their mutual belief and hope in Heaven.
Since Maria's unexpected death Mary Beth Chapman has written and released a book about losing her youngest daughter called Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope, Caleb married his girlfriend Julia Anderson in 2009, Caleb and Will have started a Christian Band called "Caleb", Shaoey joined her school's basketball team and learned how to play the trumpet for music class at school, and Stevey is doing gymnastics and made her acting and singing debut in the 2010 "Veggie Tales" Movie It's a Meaningful Life. Shaoey and Stevey are taking voice lessons and they even started a band with Maria before she died.
Honorary Doctorate 
On May 7, 2011 Chapman received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Anderson University and was the commencement speaker for the Class of 2011.
In the late 1990s, Chapman became involved in youth violence prevention efforts following the 1997 Heath High School shooting at his alma mater in West Paducah, Kentucky. Chapman even dedicated a song, "With Hope," from his 1999 album, Speechless, to the families who lost someone in the shooting. In addition, he was asked to sing at the joint funeral held for the three victims. Chapman later gave a memorial concert, and joined Charles Colson and others in creating a video designed to sensitize teenagers to the signs of serious violence planning among peers, and to encourage them to report plans that are told to them.
In 2009, Show Hope finished building Maria's Big House of Hope, a medical care center in China that provides holistic care to orphans with special needs. Maria's Big House of Hope is also dedicated to the memory of the late Maria Sue Chunxi Chapman. Also in 2009, Chapman and his wife received the Children's Champion Award from the charitable organization Children's Hunger Fund for their work with Show Hope.
In September 2011, Chapman and his wife were awarded the Congressional Angels in Adoption award by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) in Washington, D.C..
Chapman also has promoted the international charity World Vision for at least a decade, serving as spokesman for Project Restore, its program serving the U.S. Gulf Coast region in recovery from Hurricane Katrina, in cooperation with the Gospel Music Association. He has also traveled to Uganda on a few occasions to help with the problem of street children, and to help orphans and adoption organizations. He has played at local churches, including KPC (Kampala Pentecostal Church) in Kampala.